The government’s plans to allow households to mix over Christmas make a “mockery” out of pub restrictions, The British Beer and Pub Association has said.  

It was announced up to three households can mix at home during the festive period on Tuesday as the government announced a five-day loosening of coronavirus restrictions.  

According to the latest Government guidance, Christmas bubbles will still not be able to mix in pubs or restaurants where rules will still depend on which tier each venue is in.  

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday that the country will return to a three-tier system when the national lockdown ends on December 2.  

From next Wednesday (December 2), people will once again be able to leave their home provided, they stick to the rule of six, with the level of restrictions dependent on which tier an area falls into.  

But the latest news concerning the relaxing of the rules at Christmas has angered the hospitality sector with many businesses concerned about how they will get through the winter months.  

The Argus:

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the trade association representing brewers and pubs, said: “These plans for Christmas make a mockery of the extra restrictions being placed on pubs and the economic devastation they are facing this Christmas. 

“How can it be that pubs cannot properly open while households can mix in private settings? The Government data has consistently shown that house-to-house transmission is one of the highest, whereas hospitality has accounted for as little as 2% of Covid incidences when open. 

“Pubs are a controlled, safe and regulated environment to socialise in – following all Government guidelines and working with NHS Track and Trace. They are part of the solution for a safe and enjoyable Christmas, not the problem.” 



Ms McClarkin warned that Christmas was “the most important time of the year” for the pub sector and “thousands will not survive the winter” without financial support from the Government. 

“It seems the Government has chosen to inflict unnecessary pain and irreversible damage on our sector without publishing evidence alongside these decisions.” 

She added: “We all need some festive cheer after this tough year – and we want everyone to be able to enjoy a beer in their local pub with family and friends this Christmas, safely. After all, Christmas just won’t be the same if we can’t go to the local.”