Emma McClarkin says only 15,000 (40 percent) of England’s 37,500 boozers have enough space in beer gardens or yards to turn a profit. The British Beer and Pub Association CEO spoke out as she criticised the Government’s vaccine passport scheme.
She warned that landlords will be bogged down with red tape when they open for outdoors drinking on April 12.
Ms McClarkin said the extra burden of test and trace responsibility would “scupper things” for struggling pubs.
She told BBC Breakfast: “It could make it feel that we are discriminating against sections of the population that have not been offered a vaccination, or are unable to have one, or a grandad who is probably going to forget his actual passport because he does not have it on his smartphone.
“We have not had a consultation with the Government about how we would do this.”
Ms McClarkin added of the pubs: “They will be loss-making because of the restrictions still in place. Only 40 percent of venues will have the outdoor space to get opened.”
Her stance is backed by industry bodies such as the British Institute of Innkeepers and UK Hospitality. They have written jointly to the Government to protest at the “disproportionate and discriminatory measures”.
More than 40 Tory MPs – including former leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith – have joined a cross-party campaign against using Covid passports to allow pub access.
But Boris Johnson has defended the idea and suggested a certificate could give “maximum confidence” to businesses and customers. His staff say no final decisions have been taken.