Halving distancing rule means 145m more pints can be served

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Drinks prediction: the combination of more pubs reopening and having a higher capacity means significantly more beer will be served, CGA says
Drinks prediction: the combination of more pubs reopening and having a higher capacity means significantly more beer will be served, CGA says

Related tags: Coronavirus, Beer

Cutting the social distancing rule from two metres to one-metre when pubs reopen on 4 July will mean 145m additional pints of beer will be sold during what remains of 2020, new data has found.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the change in distancing measures​ earlier today (Tuesday 23 June) stating that Brits should keep a social distance of at least one-metre while taking precautions to reduce the risk of transmission.

Previously, data experts CGA based its predictions on trade post-reopening with two-metre distancing in place until the end of August, meaning outlets could trade at just 30% of capacity whereas at one-metre, they can trade at 70%.

Consumer confidence

Now however, it estimated the difference would be 145m more pints sold – the equivalent of almost 33 Olympic swimming pools.

CGA director of client services Jonny Jones said: “As well as the difference in sales, more outlets are likely to reopen in July, as their businesses become viable at 70% capacity.

“The combination of more outlets opening and a significantly higher capacity across all who do, equates to an additional 145m pints of beer sold over the remainder of 2020 although, this does depend on consumer confidence and how people feel about going out again."

Pent-up demand

Jones added: “Our data suggests there is enough pent-up demand to max out sales at this level of supply but many consumers are still cautious about returning to the trade and want to see precautions put in place to ensure their safety.

“It is now down to operators to market their credentials as Covid-19 safe and ensure customers feel comfortable to visit their outlets.”

This follows research from the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) found while three quarters of pubs could reopen in someway under two-metre social distancing rules, 82% would do so at less than half of pre-pandemic turnover levels​.

However, the survey of 8,500 of the BII’s members, found if social distancing measures were halved to one metre – in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines – only one-in-10 publicans would not be able to resume trading, with 65% of respondents somewhat or very confident they could provide a safe environment for staff and customers under one-metre spacing guidelines.

Related topics: Beer

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