Via Yahoo Finance

More than 50 beer and pub businesses have written to Boris Johnson demanding a definitive reopening date amid warnings that the industry risks losing “hundreds of thousands” of jobs.

The letter, signed by businesses including Budweiser, Carlsberg, Greene King and Diageo, called on the Government to provide “urgent clarification” by Friday June 19 that pubs will be able to reopen from July 4, the original timeline supplied by the Prime Minister.

Brewers have warned they need at least three week’s notice on when pubs reopen so they have sufficient time to brew fresh draught beer. Many businesses have begun brewing to ensure pubs have enough supply for the proposed July 4 reopening. 

Bosses said the sector has reached “crisis point” and that many firms will be forced to cut costs to ensure their survival if certainty is not provided by the end of this week.

This could result in hundreds of thousands of job losses and permanent pub closures, they warned. 

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said: “Despite our best efforts to work with Government and our significant investment to ensure the safety of our customers and team members, with under three weeks to go until the reopening date outlined in the Government’s roadmap, we have neither the finalised safety guidelines or confirmation of the definitive reopening date. 

“It’s incredibly frustrating for us and our people and we need Government to make a clear decision now on allowing pubs to open from 4 July.” 

When are things reopening?

Many pubs are preparing to remove staff from furlough in preparation for reopening, but changes to the coronavirus job retention scheme from July 1 means employers will only be able to furlough staff that they have previously furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.   

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Industry trade body the British Beer & Pub Association, which signed the letter on behalf of firms, said unless pubs can reopen from July 4, changes to the job retention scheme will cost businesses a further £120m.  

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “Britain’s 47,000 pubs and 2,000 brewers have reached a critical moment and need a definitive date on when pubs can reopen.    

“Our sector is burning through £100m a month just trying to survive with no cash coming in. That is simply not sustainable. We need a date now to give us confidence and clarity on when we will reopen.”