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Hampshire pubs facing ‘carnage’ over Christmas Covid restrictions

Hundreds of pubs across Winchester, Portsmouth and Southampton are set to be forced into closure as the region enters tier two restrictions.

It is estimated two-thirds of pubs in Hampshire, or 718 venues, will be forced to close in December.

Research done by the British Beer and Pub Association has shown thousands of employees will not be working as businesses suffer from vastly reduced turnovers. The trade body warns of “carnage” across the industry in England unless the Government acts immediately to provide more help.

The BBPA CEO Emma McClarkin said: “Pubs are in a crisis today. We need urgent intervention from the Government to prevent a catastrophic number of job losses and the sector damaged beyond repair.”

She added: “as a sector we cannot stress enough that the Government has just 24 hours to create a pub specific package to prevent irreversible closures and job losses.”

Across England as a whole it is estimated over 30,000 pubs will have to close in December, affecting over 15,000 staff with pubs taking just 14 percent of their usual earnings.

The Chairman of British Pubs Association, Phil Whitehead said: “We are staggered and disappointed by the measly measures announced by the Prime Minister. These pale in comparison to the devastating hit that pubs across the UK are suffering as they are forced to shut their doors during their most important time of the year.”

So far, the government has offered £1000 grants for pubs affected by restrictions, in addition to the extended furlough scheme and other business grants.

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