The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling on UK governments to adapt the tier systems so all pubs can trade in December after lockdown.
New YouGov research, conducted on behalf of CAMRA, has revealed the majority of pub goers believe hospitality venues offer a Covid-safe environment.
The survey found that 82% of UK adults who have been to the pub at least once in the last six months felt hospitality businesses were Covid-secure environments, reflecting the huge investment many pubs have made to re-open during the pandemic.
“Businesses should be allowed to open based on whether they can provide a Covid-secure environment – not based on whether they serve food,” says CAMRA’s national chairman Nik Antona. “Publicans have invested thousands to keep their customers safe this year and comply with additional regulations and track-and-trace requirements, and this research shows that customers recognise this too.
“We are particularly concerned that wet-led pubs have been hit by forced closure in tier three areas even before lockdown and have been left out from the VAT reductions that only apply to food and non-alcoholic drinks, despite needing support just as much as other hospitality venues.
“It’s vital that they are given the chance to trade after lockdown ends. The government also need to properly review curfew, which SAGE scientists advise has a marginal effect on suppressing the virus and there are concerns that it leads to mingling in non-Covid-safe environments, such as people’s homes.
“With no evidence to suggest that curfews work, we believe the initiative should be scrapped – especially from the lower Tier levels when lockdown ends.
“For a long time, CAMRA has championed community pubs as the home of responsible drinking. This Christmas, we believe pubs should be the Covid-safe home to enjoy a pint.”
The campaign has also called on the Scottish government to re-examine strict restrictions on pubs as part of its five-tier system.