New 3 Tier System comes into force in England

Since the closure of hospitality venues across areas of Scotland last week, as expected, similar restrictions and closures for high risk areas in England have been laid out.

This afternoon, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has confirmed the 3 tier system that will be used to simplify the rules that will apply across England.

Tier 1 - Medium Risk will continue with the current national measures, including the 10pm curfew, the Rule of Six, table service only and face coverings whilst moving around venues.

Tier 2  - High Risk will see more restrictions: no households mixing, either in our pubs or in our homes, meaning even less opportunity for visitors to come to hospitality venues.

Tier 3 - Very High Risk will see hospitality venues closed to customers, with takeaway and delivery being the only options available for continued trade if pubs wish to take advantage of the enhanced Job Support Scheme and grant funds detailed below. However, we expect an exemption to allow venues to remain open to serve food, with alcoholic drinks only being served as part of a substantial meal.

Clearly there is significant detail behind the above measures and we will provide further information as it becomes available.

Support available
Last week, Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, outlined an extension of the Job Support Scheme for businesses that will be forced to close in those Very High Risk areas. Where hospitality venues are forced to close, Government will pay the wages of staff unable to work, up to 66% of their earnings (capped at £2,100 a month). They will also pay a grant to businesses of up to £3,000* a month during the closure period.

*Tapered grants dependent on Rateable Value of venue.

Whilst this will enable businesses to keep staff in employment, (albeit on severely reduced wages) during the shutdown period, these payments will still need to be made by the business and then claimed back in December.

For many pubs, already trading at a loss with dramatically reduced footfalls following the tightening of the restrictions in September, we anticipate that many will not have the cash flow available to make this happen.

Your BII Team is creating a simple guide, summarising all of the new restrictions and pointing you in the right direction for the advice and help you will need to be released that at the earliest opportunity.

Since reopening in July, pubs have welcomed back staff and customers alike, with highly professional, regulated and safe venues, recording visitor details and providing people with vital human connections that were so sorely missed over the lockdown period.

Whilst some of our members will be in these Very High Risk areas, every hospitality business will be affected, leaving 1000's of professionally run pubs in no mans land; not forced to close and therefore get access to the grants and enhanced Job Support Scheme for their staff, but still left with severely reduced trade and minimal opportunity to make money over the winter.

The short sighted nature of these restrictions and the lack of support built around them has the potential to cause mass redundancies and business failure in our sector, at an immense cost to our society. Unemployment, particularly amongst our young people will be huge, but as important will be the loss of these hubs of our communities, where people have gathered for decades to commiserate, celebrate and come together with friends and families.

We have written, alongside the other key trade bodies, laying out a clear package of support to enable survival through the winter as well as a long term plan for the recovery of our sector. We will continue to engage across all areas of Government, making clear the harsh trading realities faced by you, our members.

We will also continue to push for the evidence that pubs are incremental to the spread of the disease, and that many of the further restrictions in place are warranted. However, we remain focussed on the fight for the financial support that will be needed to save our industry over the winter.

We will continue to provide, clear and actionable information on all further developments and in addition, our expert helplines are open to you, as always, with your BII Team there to support you however we can.

Steven Alton


BII is the trading name of the British Institute of Innkeeping a private company limited by guarantee and registered in England as a charity. Company number 1601185.
Charity number 283945.

Registered office Infor House, 1 Lakeside Road, Farnborough, GU146XP.

British Institute of Innkeeping, Infor House, 1 Lakeside Road, Farnborough, GU14 6XP, United Kingdom