The hospitality sector has lost £86bn worth of sales in the year since the first lockdown began on 23 March 2020, according to UKHospitality, with more lost sales opportunities to come if the government doesn’t make some concessions.

Operators have seen more than eight months of closures, costing more than 600,000 jobs, and resulting it around 12,000 business failures, with the majority of operators unable to open until 17 May putting further businesses and jobs at risk, it said.

In order to lighten the burden of restrictions on pubs and restaurants when they can reopen, the association is calling on the government to allow people to be able to order via a hatch or outdoor till when outdoor re-opening commences on 12 April, and to be able to order at the bar from the indoor reopening date in May.

It is also urging the government to allow customers to consume drinks while standing outdoors.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive, UKHospitality, said: “The last 12 months have been truly awful for our sector. That is why any controls that limit commercial activity upon reopening should be necessary and proportionate and we back the recent call from the Public Accounts Committee for the Government to provide the evidence for such limits.

“While any restrictions remain in place, our pubs and restaurants can only break even and the viability of thousands remains at risk – we lost over 12,000 in the last year alone.”

UKH is also calling on the government to look again at some of the areas of support it introduced in the Budget – in particular the business rates cap, which Nicholls said unfairly penalises a large proportion of hospitality businesses who will find themselves paying full rates just days after restrictions are due to be fully lifted in June. “That cannot be right, and we urge ministers to think again,” she said.

Nick Mackenzie, CEO of Greene King, said it was hard to believe it was now a year since the company first closed its pubs.

He said it was imperative the industry was able to operate without restrictions from 21 June.

Mackenzie said: “Looking back, we had no idea of the challenges we would face including three national lockdowns, tiered and regional reopening strategies, a myriad of different trading restrictions as well as the financial impact on the business. While many of our 40,000 team members have been furloughed and struggled with the uncertainty, I have been continually amazed by their positivity, resilience and sense of community. The stories of how they have pulled together throughout the crisis, in particular supporting their local communities and volunteering for good causes have been inspiring.”