Pub regulars abandon their locals, with a quarter not having returned since lockdown

Hayley Dixon
·2-min read
Pubs have implemented social distancing and safety measures since being allowed to reopen - Getty
Pubs have implemented social distancing and safety measures since being allowed to reopen - Getty
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter

Pub regulars are abandoning their locals, with one in four saying they have yet to visit since lockdown restrictions were eased.

Amid fears over coronavirus, and with social distancing restrictions still in place, more than 40 per cent of pub-goers said they are visiting less often than before the virus pandemic struck in March.

The survey, by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), has led to calls for Boris Johnson to cut tax on the price of a pint in order to save the industry.

It comes in the first week of the Government's "Eat Out to Help Out" scheme, which is offering a 50 per cent discount to diners in order to kick start the restaurant industry. However, the offer does not include alcohol.

The survey of nearly 4,000 CAMRA members found that, since the pubs reopened, 23 per cent are not visiting at all, 42 per cent are visiting less frequently and just three per cent are spending more time in their local.

It comes amid warnings that the revenue lost during lockdown, and decreased capacity due to social distancing measures, could force tens of thousands of pubs out of business.

Nik Antona, CAMRA's National Chairman, said: "These figures show that there is still a long way to go to return to pre-lockdown levels of trade.

"The beer and pubs industry needs certainty and support in the long-term – which is exactly why cutting tax on beer served on tap in pubs would give the sector stability, support jobs and encourage people to drink responsibly in the regulated setting of the community pub."

Mr Antona called for "a lower rate of tax on draught beer, with the savings passed on to consumers and pubs" so that pubs can compete with supermarkets and ensure jobs in the long term.