Pubs left in limbo over July opening date, Boris Johnson told

Publicans have called for clarity from the PM Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

The pub industry is urging the Prime Minister to let them know by Friday if they can open next month instead of keeping them in “limbo.”

Coronavirus lockdown forced all pubs to close their doors on March 20, however with other sectors of the economy now reopening, publicans are demanding details on when they too might be allowed.

Chief executives of leading brewers and pub operators wrote to Boris Johnson to warn him that the sector has reached “crisis point” and needs to know that they can open from July 4.

The companies include international, regional, family and independent brewers, as well and national and regional pub operators who collectively brew 90% of the beer in Britain and own 20,000 pubs.

As the government announced gyms might reopen at 'start of July at the very earliest', the PM was warned how hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost and pubs could close permanently unless the the July 4 date is confirmed.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said pub and brewery businesses are burning through £100 million every month in cash whilst they remain closed.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “Britain’s 47,000 pubs and 2,000 brewers have reached a critical moment and need a definitive date on when pubs can reopen.

“Our sector is burning through £100 million a month just trying to survive with no cash coming in. That is simply not sustainable."

Many pubs have been finding innovative ways to operate their businesses without allowing customers inside, with several now offering takeaway pints.

Pubs have been coming up with innovative ways to reopen their business without breaking the rules. Credit: PA

But for them to reopen fully, many pubs say their premises are too small to allow for two metre social distancing.

The PM ordered a review of the two metre rule after the hospitality piled significant pressure on ministers to reduce it to one.

Ms McClarkin added: “Without a confirmed date for reopening, our sector is going to have to make some big decisions this week on furloughed staff and when reopening is feasible, with a further wave of redundancies likely.

"Hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost. Our message to the Prime Minister is clear: stop keeping our sector in limbo."

She went on: "Give us the clear date we need for reopening, so our great British pubs can be ready to return and support our communities and the economy once more.

"The livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of publicans and pub and brewery employees in every corner of the UK hang in the balance.”

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of pub operator and brewer Greene King, said: “Despite our best efforts to work with Government and our significant investment to ensure the safety of our customers and team members, with under three weeks to go until the reopening date outlined in the Government’s road map, we have neither the finalised safety guidelines or confirmation of the definitive reopening date.

“It’s incredibly frustrating for us and our people and we need Government to make a clear decision now on allowing pubs to open from July 4.”