Tiered restrictions make 50,000 English licensed venues either shut or unviable

Covid restrictions make licensed venues unviable
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Research published this week by CGA shows the devastating impact of the government’s strategy to control Covid infections. Very little, it seems, separates the ability to trade under the government’s new tier regime and not being allowed to trade at all during lockdown.


More than 50,000 licensed premises in England are unable to trade under the government’s tough new tiered restrictions – according to research conducted by CGA.

Some 36,648 premises – 39 percent of England’s total – are located in Tier 3 areas, where hospitality venues must stay closed except for takeaways and deliveries. Another 55 percent, or 55,502 sites, are in Tier 2 areas, where alcoholic drinks can’t be sold unless with substantial meals. CGA’s research suggests that at least a third of these sites will not be viable under these and other Tier 2 restrictions.

This takes the number of sites likely to stay closed after the end of lockdown to at least 50,000. The number will rise further if operators in Tier 2 areas decide that other regulations, including those covering curfews and group sizes, make it unprofitable to trade.

CGA’s research shows that just 2 percent of England’s licensed premises (2,227 sites) are located in Tier 1 areas, where restrictions are loosest. But here, too, a significant number of businesses could decide to remain closed.

The Market Recovery Monitor also provides analysis of the market in Scotland and Wales, where restrictions have eased in recent weeks. Despite this, only 40.4 percent of sites in Scotland are trading, with 7,189 of them in regions designated as Level 3 or 4, where they are subject to limited trading or forced to close. Trading numbers in Wales are only slightly higher at 42.2 percent, despite the country ending a 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown.

Karl Chessell, business unit director for food and retail at CGA, said: “With nearly two in five English sites unable to welcome guests and more than half subject to major constraints, December is going to be difficult in the extreme. Hospitality has worked incredibly hard to give people safe and pleasurable experiences since July, but the tiered system in the most important trading month of the year is going to place the future of many of them in jeopardy.”

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