Pub owners would rather stay shut until later in the year, if it meant reopening free of restrictions, a trade survey has found.
The Hospitality Leaders Poll (Lumina) found that 76 percent of business owners would back tougher measures in the short term, as opposed to the restrictive tier-led existence known pre-Christmas.
The far-reaching survey also found that 47 percent expected landlords to seek full rent repayments should the industry reopen, with almost a third of respondents saying that they would not be able to pay this should it be requested.
Such highlights the almost impossible situation facing pub owners in Brighton and the wider UK. The hospitality sector has been the hardest hit by the covid pandemic, and Government support has failed to reflect this. A paucity of financial assisstance during times of lockdown, and margin-crushing restrictions when venues were allowed to open doors have seen the trade placed in a truly untenable situation.
Whispers from Westminster suggest that the hospitality industry will remain firmly shut until at least May, and even then its eventual reopening is likely to be hampered by the frankly unworkable restrictions seen in Q4 2020.
The fact that more than three quarters of operators would rather stay shut that deal with the insanity of mandatory meals, reduced capacities and absurd curfews serves to highlight just how little the Government understands the sector’s current plight.