Around 25,000 licensed premises were still shut at the end of May 2021, and the delay to a complete reopening puts a significant number at risk of permanent closure.

CGA and AlixPartners’ latest edition Market Recovery Monitor reveals 76.2% of Britain’s licensed sites were trading by the end of last month, with the number more than doubling from April’s total of 32.9% with the return of inside service.

However, while more than nine in 10 venues in segments including food pubs (91.9%), high street pubs (92.9%) and casual dining restaurants (93.9%) are now open, figures are much lower in sectors that rely on late-night trading, like nightclubs (49.9%) and bars (72.9%).

With strict restrictions including distancing and table service in place, CGA’s trading data shows that sales have been well below pre-Covid-19 levels in these segments in particular.

The four-week delay to a full easing of trading restrictions in England until 19 July, with Scotland likely to follow a similar path, places many closed businesses in jeopardy of failure.

Karl Chessell, CGA’s director for hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “Britain already has nearly 10,000 fewer licensed premises than before the pandemic, and that number will sadly rise as a result of the government’s delay. Coming as it does on top of a mountain of challenges on debt, tax, rising costs, recruitment and much more, hospitality now deserves sustained financial backing to save thousands of businesses and jobs, and the government’s extension of the ban on commercial evictions of tenants is a welcome first step. The hospitality sector’s recovery is central to the UK’s economic revival, and more support like this is vital if we are to prevent further casualties.”