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Tue 1st Jun 2021 - Operators urged to support new sector campaign demanding government removes all remaining covid restrictions this month
Operators urged to support new sector campaign demanding government removes all remaining covid restrictions this month: A campaign urging the government to remove all remaining covid restrictions on the sector this month has been launched by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). Called “Countdown to Freedom”, the new campaign will remind the government of its roadmap commitment on 21 June – and the trade body has issued a rally call for the industry to get behind it. The campaign will comprise powerful news stories and social media posts using the hashtag #Countdown2Freedom, showing the damage current restrictions are having on the viability of pubs, brewers and hospitality businesses and how they threaten to impede their recovery. It will also highlight the freedoms people miss the most from when they could visit pubs and other hospitality venues as normal before the covid crisis, such as drinking while standing, bar service and cheering on their team while watching live sport. At present, about 95% of the UK’s 47,000 pubs have reopened. However, they face significant restrictions that greatly limit their ability to trade as viable businesses, such as table service-only and one-metre-plus social distancing. Upwards of 2,000 pubs are still closed, unable to reopen under the current restrictions in place. As more and more individuals across the UK receive their vaccination, the BBPA said all restrictions must be removed on 21 June, if safe to do so. Publicans, hospitality operators and interest groups are all encouraged to get involved in the campaign. This will be done by supplying a range of social media assets available for everyone to use to promote the campaign through their own social channels and website, showing their support and the desire of the hospitality sector to fully reopen without restrictions. BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “The time is ticking on the government to stick to its roadmap. The overall goal of the campaign is to ensure the government safely removes all restrictions on our sector on 21 June.”

BII opens entries for Licensee of the Year 2021 as contest returns: The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has opened entries for its annual Licensee of the Year award, which has returned after last year’s postponement due to the pandemic. The competition is open to managers, lessees, tenants and free traders. A four-month judging process will culminate with the winner crowned at the BII Winter Event on Tuesday, 23 November. As well as the title, the winner will receive a year’s free Sky Sports pubs and clubs subscription for their venue and £500 towards a celebration with their whole team in their pub. Licensees can nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues, customers or suppliers at www.bii.org. Entrants must have been operating their business for at least two years, hold a personal licence and have a food hygiene rating of four or five. The closing date for entries is Friday, 9 July. BII chief executive Steven Alton said: “Our focus for 2021 will be on how licensees have weathered the storm over the past year, but also about the positive impact they have had on their teams and communities. We are looking forward to, once again, welcoming the very best licensees to be put through their paces and recognising and celebrating the fantastic work that they do, especially over the past 18 months.” The 2019 winners were Mark Osborne and David Hage, of The Railway in the Nottinghamshire village of Lowdham.

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