Quarter of UK drinkers cut alcohol intake in lockdown

21st August, 2020 by Owen Bellwood

One in four UK drinkers reduced their alcohol consumption during lockdown and 7% stopped drinking altogether, according to a new report.

According to a YouGov pole one in four UK drinkers reduced their alcohol intake during lockdown

A YouGov survey commissioned by industry watchdog the Portman Group found 88% of UK drinkers are consuming the same or less alcohol, or have cut out alcohol completely compared with before lockdown.

According to the report, 54% of people are consuming the same quantity of alcohol, 25% have begun drinking less and 7% have cut out alcohol altogether. However, 8% of drinkers said they are now drinking more than they were before lockdown.

The majority of UK drinkers (66%) also said they are drinking responsibly and within the chief medical officer’s guidelines of 14 units per week.

John Timothy, CEO of the Portman Group, said: “During the course of the Covid-19 crisis there has been a fear that many people would turn to alcohol and that misuse would increase.

“Yet the British public are showing continued moderation both at home and, happily, now back at the pub. It’s great to see people supporting their community pubs while drinking sensibly and maintaining social distancing”.

Return to the pub

Following the reopening of the UK hospitality sector, 72% of UK drinkers said physical distancing measures had not deterred them from returning to the pub. The on-trade opened in England first (4 July), followed by Scotland on 15 July, Wales on 3 August and Ireland on 10 August.

According to the YouGov survey, 42% of drinkers in England have been to a pub or bar, while in Scotland 37% of those polled said they had visited the on-trade. Figures for Wales and Ireland were lower, with 30% of drinkers in Wales and 26% of Irish consumers making a return to their local pub or bar.

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