Almost 21 pubs and bars have closed each day since the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed last year, according to figures published today.
Britain has 7,592 fewer licensed premises than it did before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, with independent pubs and bars hit the hardest by the restrictions on trading.
Closures accelerated in January and February this year as the government imposed a fresh coronavirus lockdown on the UK following muted trading over the key Christmas period.
In the first two months of the year, the number of pubs and bars in the UK fell by 2,713 – equivalent to 46 closures a day, or one every 31 minutes.
In total, 5,112 independent premises have been lost since March 2020, including 1,971 in January and February this year, indicating that the latest Covid-19 lockdown was the final nail in the coffin for many small and family run businesses.
Restaurant and pub chains recorded 1,229 closures since the pandemic hit.
Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director for hospitality operators and food, said: “While hospitality finally has a roadmap out of lockdown, these figures show that dozens more businesses are being pushed to collapse every day.
“Losing Christmas sales had a shattering impact on many entrepreneurial restaurants, pubs and bars, who add so much colour to our high streets and enrich communities up and down Britain.
“Hospitality is a vibrant sector that can help to kickstart the UK’s economic recovery this summer, but in the meantime support is desperately needed to avoid thousands more business failures.”