Coronavirus: a year of closures

In numbers: 12 months since Boris Johnson told pubs to close

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hard to believe: 'Looking back, we had no idea of the challenges we would face including three national lockdowns, tiered and regional reopening strategies,' Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie explained
Hard to believe: 'Looking back, we had no idea of the challenges we would face including three national lockdowns, tiered and regional reopening strategies,' Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie explained

Related tags: coronavirus, lockdown, Boris johnson, Rishi Sunak, Health, Finance, Pubco + head office

With 20 March marking a year-to-the-day since last orders were called in pubs just days before a first national lockdown, The Morning Advertiser looks back on some of the defining data from the past 12 months.

Reflecting on the past year, Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie, stated that it’s “hard to believe” that on 20 March 2021 it will be a year since pubs were first ordered to close amid the Covid-19 outbreak. 

“Looking back, we had no idea of the challenges we would face including three national lockdowns, tiered and regional reopening strategies, a myriad of different trading restrictions as well as the financial impact on the business,” he explained. 

“While many of our 40,000 team members have been furloughed and struggled with the uncertainty, I have been continually amazed by their positivity, resilience and sense of community.

“The stories of how they have pulled together throughout the crisis, in particular supporting their local communities and volunteering for good causes have been inspiring. 

“The past year has taught us how important pubs are to communities, and I know our customers are keen to reconnect with their friends and family over a pint or a meal, so it is imperative that we are able to operate without restrictions from 21 June so we can all enjoy the summer,” he continued. 

“Whilst there will still be challenges in the months ahead, we stand ready to open our doors and welcome people back to the great British pub experience they know and love.” 

A pandemic year in numbers

458 days​ – the number of days between Boris Johnson first calling upon pubs to close on 20 March​ 2020 and the proposed end-date of the Government’s lockdown roadmap on 21 June 2021.

48 minutes​ - An average of 30 licensed venues a day permanently closed​ since December 2019 – the highest rate on record according to figures from the latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners. 

73,171​ – the number of people supported by the Licensed Trade Charity’s services during 2020 – an increase from 23,020 the previous year.

£57,000​ – income top-up provided by the Licensed Trade Charity to people suffering from serious illness in 2020.

£9,750​ – Small business owners in hospitality forked out on average £9,750 of their own savings​ to keep paying staff during the pandemic, over £2,000 more than small businesses in industries. 

47%​ – figures from pub property website,, revealed the number of applications it received​ to operate pubs increased by 47% during 2020.

2,000​ – The number of pubs​ the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) estimates have permanently closed since Prime Minister Boris Johnson closed pubs in March 2020. 

£62m​ – the amount pledged in rent concessions​ to licensees by Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars, since March 2020. 

2.1bn​ – the number of pints​ in beer sales lost due to a full year of either forced closure or trading under severe restrictions according to the BBPA. 

£8.2bn​ – the amount of trade value wiped out​ from the sector in beer sales alone, according to the BBPA. 

£200m per day​ – the amount lost in sales by the hospitality sector during 2020 according to UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls – equivalent to £8 per hour​. 

£70bn​ – the amount “wiped off” hospitality sector revenue by Covid-19 during 2020, Kate Nicholls told the MA500 Conference in February​. 

28%​ – the drop in hospitality sector staff headcount as a result of the pandemic, with 660,000 fewer people​ employed in the industry at the end of 2020 according to analysis by Fourth. 

84% ​– At the hospitality sector’s “lowest ebb” in December, sector sales were down by 84% year-on-year​ according to Kate Nicholls.

£10,000 per month​ – the average cost of keeping a pub closed for a month, according to UKHospitality figures. 

Up to £20,000​ – the amount Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he believed a “typical” pub would pay in annual rent​ during an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show​ in February 2021.

Between £25,000,001 to £50,000,000​ – the amount claimed​ by JD Wetherspoon and Mitchells & Butlers under the Government’s furlough scheme in 2020. 

46%​ – Fleurets found that the average price​ of a trading freehold pub fell by 34.7% during the Covid-19 pandemic while the average leasehold pub price plummeted by 46%

£746m​ – the loss incurred​ by the UK’s largest pub company, Stonegate, during the 12 months to September 2020.

1709​ – the last time the UK economy experienced a larger slump than the 9.9% drop in GDP in 2020 was following the Great Frost of 1709​, when the economy shrank by 13%. 

48%​ – food and beverage service output from venues such as pubs almost halved​ (48%) over the past year according to the Office for National Statistics 

£7m​ – the weekly cash burn​ of pub operator and brewer Greene King during lockdown, according to its CEO Nick Mackenzie. 

£2bn​ – hospitality sector rent debt from 2020​, according to UKHospitality’s Kate Nicholls.  

47%​ – The number of hospitality shifts worked in 2020 was 47% lower than 2019’s overall figure​ – peaking at a 97% drop during the toughest months of the sector’s shutdown, according to Wagestream. 

£112m​ – while Corona remained the world’s most valuable beer brand according to figures from Brand Finance,​£112m dropped off its brand value due to the pandemic.

821 years​ – Figures from hospitality software provider Fourth found that the Government-backed Eat Out to Help Out scheme increased the scheduled hours worked by hospitality staff​ from 12.9m in July to 20.1m in August – an extra 821 years’ worth of extra work. 

£542m​ – According to analysis from S4labour, the online labour-scheduling management system from Catton Hospitality, pubs, bars and restaurants face a collective monthly furlough bill of £542m

228​ – the number of calls made per month, on average, to the Licensed Trade Charity during 2020.

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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