Robinsons Brewery, situated in the heart of Stockport, have responded to the idea of requiring a vaccine passport in order to visit the pubs.  The Brewery have stated that the Prime Minister’s suggestion that over 16’s will be required to present vaccine certificates or ‘passports’ to visit the pub, is simply not workable.  The suggestion again wrongly singles out pubs, and will deprive society of the opportunity to meet in safe and COVID-secure environments - most probably leading to an increase in uncontrolled meetings in parks and private houses. Oliver and William Robinson, Joint Managing Directors at Robinsons Brewery, comment:

“We are grateful for the cross party support we have seen which is challenging this idea. The more rules, regulations and barriers that the government creates, the fewer pubs will be able to viably open, risking further job losses.  The result will be quite simple, the general public will be attracted to uncontrolled settings as we saw early last summer and have already begun to see this spring.  The images of large numbers gathering in parks across the country suggest they are already likely to be vectors of transmission, the public will also be more encouraged to meet in private homes with again no controls in place.

The potential triple whammy of Vaccine Passports, enhanced Track and Trace requirements and the concept of outside only payment will, for a number of pubs, be the final blow to their re-opening plans and could potentially lead to a considerable number of business failures across the UK.

  1. Vaccine passports will be a license for forgery and negative testing is not practical or enforceable for pub staff or customers.  It will merely set the public against the politicians. It is something we would support for over-seas travel, but not within the UK, other that possibly for large-scale events, were social distancing simply cannot be controlled.
  1. With regards to enhanced Track and Trace, in pub beer gardens this idea is impossible to enforceable many pub beer gardens are not fenced from roadway or car parks.  Customers can be encouraged, but a legal requirement when it is no requirement in other retail settings such as large shopping centres is simply at odds with logic and reason.  Our publicans did an excellent job last summer and will with sensible, clear and proportionate guidance do the same again this year.  They cannot be required to take responsibility for the actions of customers who ignore advice.
  1. In relation to outside payments only, the potential ban on taking payments in indoor settings will mean any business (of which there are many) who have hard-wired tills and terminal payment terminals machines will not be able to open.  The illogic of this suggestion when you can order collect and pay for a takeaway indoors beggars’ belief.

We ask the Prime Minister and other senior cabinet ministers to put a stop to this damaging speculation, and to allow pubs to re-open under the same rules as they did last summer.”

Robinsons Brewery, who operate over 230 tenanted and 20 managed pubs in North Wales and the North West of England, have been based in the heart of Stockport for almost 2 centuries. Since the pandemic hit, the Brewery was one of the first to assist licensees with their domestic and business rents. In addition, during lockdowns, they have been working hard to replace all draught beer and cider which went out of date during this crisis with fresh stock. The Brewery have sent out several surveys not only to their tenants but to customers also, to regularly gain feedback on key areas such as how customers feel about re-opening, and how satisfied tenants have been with Robinsons – with results praising the brewery for its dedication. Robinsons’ private Facebook group for its tenants is also frequently updated with essential business information, to keep them as updated as possible.