Pubs could limit Brits to three pints when lockdown lifted, Government adviser suggests

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Professor Eyal Winter suggested Brits were “starving” for pubs, and the Government would bring in a drink limit to help them stay safe.

He claimed Brits are starving for pubs to return

Speaking to The Guardian, the Lancaster University academic insisted social distancing would be required if pubs reopen.

He is advising the Government on how to ease the coronavirus restrictions, and speaks with the Cabinet Office’s behavioural science group.

Pubs have been shut since the UK went into lockdown on March 23, but the economist suggested landlords and shop owners could be asked to enforce new rules.

He suggested landlords could ration how much beer they serve to two or three pints.

Customers would then be politely told to go home.

He said: “People are starving for pubs. They are an important part of British culture.

“One of the most important things is to have a programme, to say, ‘in two weeks we will do such and such’.

“You need to make the rules crystal clear, and to explain to the public the rationale behind each one of them.”

The academic, who is also professor at the Hebrew University’s centre for the study of rationality, insisted things would get back to normal.

He added: “It will take a lot of time to move back to January 2020. But we will get there.”

Dr Winter added that he is part of a team that feeds policy ideas to the Government, but not all are accepted.

The British Beer and Pub Association suggested putting even more restrictions on pubs would be “a step too far”.

Chief Executive Emma McClarkin said: “It is important that the Government pays special attention to the conditions under which pubs are asked to operate when it comes to reopening.

“Stringent social distancing, if required, will have an enormous impact on footfall in pubs and consumer confidence will take time to rebuild.

“We anticipate that trade could be down by well over half upon reopening, when the time comes, so pubs will need substantial ongoing support from Government if they are to survive this crisis for the long term.

“Restricting and monitoring consumption on top of any COVID restrictions that may need to be enforced is a step too far.”

It comes as alcohol sales rose up by 31.4 per cent.

It means an extra £300million was spent on booze by Brits in March, taking the monthly total to around £1.2billion.

Pub industry insiders fear staying closed until the end of the year could kill off a huge number of Britain’s 48,349 locals.

This month Michael Gove was asked whether boozers would open “before winter”.

He said: “The other inference that I draw from your question, which is that areas of hospitality will be among the last to exit the lockdown — yes, that is true.”

Today’s figure on the graph just shows deaths in England

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