East Yorkshire pubs still taking less money than normal, new analysis reveals
East Riding residents shelled out more money in the pub when allowed back indoors, new figures suggest – but limits on social contact mean spending is still below pre-pandemic levels.
Hospitality and pub industry leaders have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding support for their sector following the delay to the planned lifting of all restrictions on June 21.
Banking firm Revolut analysed the data of its 8,000 customers in the East Riding between May 17 – when indoor hospitality resumed – and June 13.
Punters spent 94% more in pubs over this period than they did compared to the previous month – when only outdoor hospitality was allowed.
However, spending was still 39% below the level recorded in February 2020, before the pandemic struck.
Mr Johnson pushed back the end of England’s coronavirus restrictions to July 19 due to concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant.
Sector leaders including the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the Campaign for Real Ale say they are “bitterly disappointed” by the delay, which they estimate will cost pubs £400 million alone.
Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics also show that UK pubs had been under increasing pressure before the pandemic.
The number of pubs fell to 38,900 in March last year – down slightly from 2019, and significantly fewer than the 52,500 in 2001. In the East Riding of Yorkshire, this figure fell from 350 in 2001 to 280 in 2020.
Mr Johnson left open the option of ending restrictions on July 5 if the data proves drastically better than expected, but conceded “let’s be realistic, probably more likely four weeks”.
He added: “It’s unmistakably clear that vaccines are working, and the sheer scale of the vaccine roll-out has made our position incomparably better than in previous waves.
“But now is the time to ease off the accelerator because by being cautious now we have the chance in the next four weeks to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.”