As I write this to you, we still have not had the guidelines from Government to support a reopening of our pubs on the 4th July. We know that the speculation around what may be required is creating a lot of uncertainty for you as we head ever closer to this date.

You need clarity around what will be expected of you as a hospitality business, however we understand that preparing and planning must be started now, even before the guidelines are published. Many of you have been doing this for some weeks already, using the draft protocols that we shared with you last month.

In the absence of Government’s official guidelines, you can access these again, as a link at the bottom of this email. As these protocols were submitted to Government by the BII and the other key trade bodies as part of the Government Task Force for reopening of pubs, we are confident these will be reflected in the final guidance.

We understand that for the majority of you, 2m vs 1m physical distancing will have a serious operational and financial impact on your pub. 1 in 4 of you will not be able to open at all unless Government reduces that distance to 1m, but even then, you will be operating at less than break even.

As you are aware, we have been using your direct feedback with Government to ensure sensible reopening measures are balanced with essential business support. As you have hopefully seen over the last 7 days, we have taken every opportunity to share your key concerns and requirements via the national media; BBC News, ITV News and BBC Radio News.

Shield Safety Group
For those of you who are planning to reopen when we are told it is safe to do so, you need support to ensure you can bring your business out of hibernation safely. In particular, the requirements of Risk Assessments and ongoing Risk Management are essential to safe reopening for you, your staff and your customers.

I am extremely pleased that we are able to announce our partnership with Shield Safety Group, who offer expertise and specific experience around all aspects of environmental health which they will be providing to you, our members, as part of our expert Helpline service.

In addition to this, we are currently jointly developing a Risk Assessment template and accompanying companion guide to enable you to adapt your business with confidence.

Shield Safety have joined the BII as a long term partner – here for the immediate challenges, supporting the adaptation of your pubs as measures change - but also to offer longer term support in all areas of Risk Management, keeping you and your pubs safe moving forward.

This additional Helpline service, and the Risk Assessment template is being provided to you as a standard part of your membership, further strengthening the incredibly well-used expert helplines from John Gaunt & Partners (covering legal & licensing), Bhayani Law (covering HR & Employment), Harris Lamb (Business Rates), RSM Accountancy (Employment Tax) and our Landlord Relationship Helpline.

All of these are backed by your BII Team who are here for you, pointing you in the right direction, ensuring you know where to turn for the right advice and getting you the best value possible from your membership. Since pubs were closed, these helpdesks have been contacted nearly 2,500 times.
Support going forward

We recognise the importance of continued business support from Government; further business grants, including extending grants to those with an RV over £51k, the push for full furlough for as long as it is required, and the need to provide easily accessible business loans as our pubs reopen.

Equally, we are also engaging Government on wider support for our pubs through further key incentive areas such as VAT reduction and the urgent requirement to tackle fundamental Business Rate reform. We need recognition that our recovery as a sector will be hard fought over the next couple of years.

You will shortly receive detailed information on how you can get support from Shield. In the meantime, rest assured that the BII will continue to push for a clear pathway to the safe reopening of your pub. As soon as the official guidelines for reopening are released, we will support you with their implementation and ongoing requirements.

We hope that this further development of our Membership support package will be of real value to you moving forwards.

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