The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said KAM's poll of 1,000 pub goers about UEFA Euro 2020 shows the importance of scrapping all remaining rules on 21 June.
One-in-ten (91%) football fans said they had sorely missed watching the football at the pub during lockdowns.
What’s more, half said they would be more likely to watch this summer’s football tournament at a pub if all restrictions were removed.
Restrictions mean pubs will not be able to make the most of the boost to trade, which previously has seen millions of extra pints sold in pubs.
BBPA figures shown that during the World Cup in 2018 when England made it to the semi-final, an extra 40m pints were sold in pubs in addition to normal trade.
Crush the atmosphere
Lifting social distancing and table service rules on 21 June would mean that if England, Scotland or Wales proceed to the later stages of the competition, fans can fully enjoy the experience.
“When it comes to watching England, Scotland or Wales at the Euros, only being at the game itself can compare with being at the pubs,” BBPA boss Emma McClarkin said.
With Covid restrictions in place, fans’ experiences wouldn’t be “the same as normal,” she added.
“Table service only, groups of up to six indoors and no standing drinking are going to crush the atmosphere.”
The BBPA’s survey had highlighted that football fans “miss these freedoms they used to take for granted.”
McClarkin said: “More and more people are getting the vaccine each day. It’s time for the restrictions on our freedoms to be replaced by the protection of the vaccination and for businesses and life to get back to normal.”
The trade body has been imploring the Government to push ahead with its unlocking roadmap through a new ‘countdown to freedom’ social media campaign.
Scottish pub operators will be hit especially hard by restrictions during the tournament, with curfews that could force staff to kick out fans during the middle of matches.
Most of the central belt is subject to a 10.30pm curfew under level two rules while areas in level one can reopen half an hour longer and close at 11pm.
Pub staff will be forced to ask football fans to leave before games finish, potentially putting them at risk of abuse and violence, the Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) has said.
SHG has asked the Scottish Government to urgently assess existing curfew rules for the tournament and consider the implications for police.
Local authorities should be able to decide when pubs take last orders, the group added.