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Public Houses: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 138027, tabled on 14 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the tiered covid-19 public health restrictions on the ability to trade of (a) the 60 pubs in Reading East and (b) other pubs throughout the country.

Answered on

22 January 2021

Scientific evidence shows that hospitality venues can be higher risk environments than other indoor settings, and people who are consuming alcohol tend to be less likely to comply with health guidance. Through tiering we are making these venues safer and reducing transmission of the virus.

Whilst tiered restrictions have reduced the ability of pubs to trade, the Government has implemented a comprehensive and generous package of business support, worth £280 billion. This includes a new one-off grant worth up to £9,000, VAT relief, a business-rates holiday, and the extended furlough scheme. A further grant of £1,000 was made to support wet-led pubs in Tier 2, 3 and 4 areas, including Reading East, over the Christmas period.