Thank you for contacting me about supporting our pubs.
No-one wanted to see new national restrictions and I know many pub landlords will be concerned about the weeks ahead. In light of the rapid spread of the virus across the country, however, I understand why they are necessary. Without further action, the NHS could be overwhelmed and more lives lost.
While the closure of pubs will be difficult to bear, the Government is providing significant support for hospitality businesses over the next few weeks. Every business forced to close will receive grants of up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the Government is providing local authorities with a further £1.1 billion to support businesses in their area. The Coronavirus Job Retention scheme has also been extended allowing employees to receive 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500.
I am glad that the selling of takeaway food and alcohol are permitted. The sale of takeaway alcohol should be done safely via delivery or pre-order collection and in accordance with other restrictions.
Evidence continues to be collected on the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector and we must look forward to an easing of restrictions as soon as possible.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.