The UKs pub industry will be lost within days without an "immediate and decisive" government action amid the coronavirus pandemic, an association has warned.
In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the British Beer and Pub Association on Monday called on his government to take urgent action to prevent mass job losses and permanent pub closures, the Metro newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Advisory to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres
The letter comes after the government issued a new advisory for the people to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.
"The UK pub and brewing industry is tonight facing an existential crisis as a direct result of the guidance issued by the government today. Thousands of pubs and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost in the very short term unless a proactive package creating cash and liquidity is provided immediately to the industry," the Association's chief executive Emma McClarkin said in the letter.
"Forced pub closures without a meaningful support package will have a catastrophic financial and social impact. "I cannot emphasise strongly enough how critical it is that action is taken now. Failure to do so will destroy the industry."
Prime Minister advises people to work from home
At a press conference in Downing Street on Monday afternoon, Johnson advised that people should start working from home "where they possibly can", the Metro newspaper reported.
"You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues," he added. But pub, restaurant and theatre industry leaders said they were concerned that because the government had not ordered them to close businesses."
While Caroline Norbury, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, called the advisory a "crippling blow", UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said that it left the industry in "limbo with no recourse to insurance". The UK has reported 1,543 cases with 55 deaths.