Once a central social hub for British communities, pubs have been forcibly erased from everyone’s daily life since their closure on 20th March at the start of lockdown. Pub closures have temporarily thwarted British pub culture and there is anxiety that their temporary closures may become permanent if Britons don’t return to pubs once they re-open.
In an attempt to revive the British economy, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is due to announce that pubs will reopen in the coming weeks. This is an exciting prospect for most people as it is another step closer towards the resumption of normality. But what does this really mean for pubs? Business cannot be expected to go on as normal even with a reduction in social distancing.
Plans are in place to have some beer gardens “patrolled to enforce social distancing” and customers may have to ask to use the loo. Granted, this rule does not make going back to the pub the most enticing prospect, but if we don’t support local pubs now, they will go bust. Despite the furlough scheme helping local business stay afloat, this cannot continue otherwise it will bankrupt the country. Pubs cannot survive on government support, they need our support too.
While pubs have been closed, Britons have been reliant on supermarkets for alcohol. In the fragile economic climate, it is likely that some Britons may not return to pubs for a while to save money despite them missing social interactions.
British people are out of the habit of going to pubs, so naturally it will be difficult to get back into that way of life again. But hopefully the prospect of pubs going bust will entice customers to return to bar stools ordering a pint and Sunday roast again.
In January this year, the BBC released a story about how UK pub numbers were on the rise for the first time in a decade. Unbeknown to me, pubs have been gradually on the downturn, so a global pandemic will not have helped the cause.
So, what can we do to help save British pubs from going bust? It’s easy – go to the pub! There will be limitations to the number of people who are allowed in a pub at one time, but there are ways to get around that. Taking inspiration from our European cousins, Britain has been given the green light for drinking al-fresco. Police have raised concerns that this change could increase raucous behaviour and disorder, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Pubs have to survive. They are an essential part of British culture and provide 457,000 jobs. If we don’t go to pubs because we’re worried it’s not going to be as it was before, we need to swallow our pride or the pubs will go bust.
We cannot let British pubs go bust. If we do, we’ll only have ourselves to blame. It is vital to support local pubs before they can no longer support themselves. If we stand idly by and do nothing, we are part of the problem.
Read Japanese Pub Sprays Customers with Alcohol to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 for more information about how pubs are taking extreme measures to keep people safe from COVID-19.