PUB bosses want Covid rules relaxed to pack in punters for England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final on Saturday.
Hospitality chiefs are urging the government to ease social distancing restrictions for the crunch tie with Ukraine.
⚽ Follow ALL of the latest news and updates from Euro 2020 with our live blog
Thousands of Brits will hit the pub for Saturday’s game as the country roars on Gareth Southgate’s boys.
The 2-0 win over Germany has sent the country into footie fever pitch, sparking a scramble for pub table bookings.
And landlords braced for their busiest night of the pandemic on Saturday are begging for pubs’ capacities to be increased for England games – all the way to the final.
But the remaining restrictions on social distancing are not set to be lifted until ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19.
Patrick Dardis, chief executive of brewery Young’s, which runs 270 pubs, told The Telegraph: “The appetite is huge.”
He added: “We will not be able to meet the demand due to the Freedom Day delay, unless the Prime Minister gives dispensation for the next one, two, or even better three England games, given 1966 was England’s last success.”
It’s estimated that pubs missed out on sales of £5million during England‘s match with Germany due to coronavirus restrictions.
Landlords were tipped to sell 1.3million fewer pints during Tuesday’s match, the British Beer and Pub Association said.
Under Covid curbs, pubs must keep numbers lower than capacity to comply with social distancing rules.
Groups of up to six people from two households can meet together inside, with pubs running table service.
Fans who sing during the football even risk being slapped with a £1,000 fine.
It comes as expats in the EU are being urged to “pull out all the stops” to support England at their Euro 2020 quarter-final in Rome.
English fans on the continent were rallied to buy tickets so the noise of Ukranian supporters is drowned out in Italy.
Back home, UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, joined those calling for regulations to to be relaxed in pubs for England games.
Landlords have reported a surge in bookings for Saturday’s game as fans seek out the atmosphere of a busy bar.
Clive Watson, chairman of City Pub Group, told The Telegraph: “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I’m extremely confident it will be chockablock on Saturday.”
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “As fans will not be able to attend the next match in Rome due to Covid restrictions, the pub is the destination to watch the game.
“I urge England fans to support the team – and our pubs – by watching the game at their local.
“The match should be a welcome boost to our trade, but restrictions will mean pubs still struggle to benefit.
“Until all restrictions are lifted pubs will continue to be unviable – even with the Euros boost.”
A BBPA survey found 85 per cent of pub-visiting football fans believe current Covid restrictions will negatively impact their experience of watching Euro 2020.
Ms McClarkin added: “To secure our pubs for future tournaments and national occasions like the Euros, there can be no further delays to the lifting of restrictions.
“On July 19, all restrictions on pubs must be lifted.”