New research from BBPA and KAM reveals the devastating impact of restrictions on pubs and pub-goers. 4-in-10 Brits say their favourite pubs are still shut because of COVID.

Our research, carried out with BBPA, asked 1,000 UK adults if any of their favourite pubs were still closed, with 40% of respondents (400) saying they were.

According to the BBPA, as many as 2,500 pubs remain closed across the UK due to the current restrictions they face. These require them to ensure one metre-plus social distancing at all times, no standing and maintaining the rule of six to a table. It says that pubs still closed do not have the space to operate the social distancing and table service only rules viably, hence why they have remained closed.

“The current restrictions on pubs are flat-lining their recovery before its even had a chance to begin.” Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association

Scotland is the worst hit

Based on the research, at a regional level, Scots were the most likely to have a favourite pub shut. 54% of Scots saying their favourite pubs were still closed because of COVID restrictions. This was closely followed by the East Midlands where 52% of survey respondents said their favourite pubs were still closed. Then London where 51% of respondents said their favourite pubs were still closed.

Restrictions must end to aid recovery

The BBPA says restrictions in all pubs across the UK must be removed as soon as possible if the sector is to recover from COVID. It says that under the current restrictions the overwhelming majority of pub businesses are unviable – making it so crucial that restrictions are removed.

“Pubs and licensees are struggling to recover with the current restrictions they face and debts are accumulating. Every week the current restrictions stay and uncertainty continues, the likelihood of pubs being lost forever increases. How on earth are they meant to survive without more Government support?” Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association

Previous KAM research had shown the local pubs which can afford to open would be the types of hospitality venues that win back customers first.

With the recent extension of restrictions, KAM wants to offer our support to the whole of the hospitality industry. We truly believe that knowledge is power so we’ve added a new report to our ‘free resources page’ called Return of the Pub. It’s based on research carried out during the early lockdowns but still has loads of relevant information and insights for the sector. You can now access it for free here.