UP to 15,000 pubs could close for good if they are not allowed to reopen until the end of September, an industry boss has warned.
Emma McClarkin, head of the British Beer and Pub Association, said the pandemic had been “devastating” for the sector financially.
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And she warned that even when they reopen people could be reluctant to socialise in large numbers.
Ms McClarkin said the Government must support the industry even after the lockdown ends.
She said: “If you are looking to reopen pubs at the end of summer, it is looking very stark indeed.
“We could be losing 40 per cent of our businesses.”
In future staff will likely show customers to a table to take their orders and may also monitor toilets to check on social distancing.
In Europe, Danish and Swiss bars will become the first to reopen on Monday, followed by Austria next Friday.
Germany is aiming for a “controlled reopening” from the weekend.
Portugal, the Netherlands and France also plan to reopen bars in May and June.
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