Two out of five people say their favourite pubs are still closed because of the pandemic, new research suggests.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said pubs remain shut across the UK because of ongoing restrictions such as social distancing and no standing.
A survey of 1000 adults for the BBPA by KAM Media found that 40% said their favourite pubs are still closed.
The BBPA said restrictions in pubs must be removed as soon as possible if the sector is to recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “The current restrictions on pubs are flatlining their recovery before it has even had a chance to begin.
“It is very revealing that four in 10 Brits say their favourite pubs are still closed. Clearly there are a lot of locals out there still closed that play an important role in people’s lives.
“Pubs and licensees are struggling to recover with the current restrictions they face and debts are accumulating. Every week the current restrictions stay and uncertainty continues, the likelihood of pubs being lost forever increases.
“The countdown to freedom is on in England for pubs on July 19, but the Wales and Scotland Governments must give more certainty to publicans.”
In April, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) announced plans to launch legal action against the Scottish Government over the country’s coronavirus restrictions.
The NTIA said the move was being made with an “extraordinary sense of disappointment and frustration”, but that the hospitality and late-night sector in particular have been “driven to the edge of insolvency”.
With no specific end date for the restrictions in sight, the NTIA said 39,000 jobs are at risk.
The group added that Scottish Government support has been “wholly inadequate” to compensate for operating losses and, on average, a “typical small business owner” has incurred around £150,000 worth of debt during the pandemic due to fixed costs exceeding income generated from revenue and grants.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes in level two areas across Scotland can open and sell alcohol indoors until 10.30pm or outdoors until 10pm.
Hospitality venues can remain open until 11pm in areas of the country under level one restrictions.