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Britons are expected to spend ?210 million in pubs this weekend as more than one third return to their local.

About 35 per cent of UK adults plan to visit a pub in the first week they reopen after the coronavirus lockdown, new research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts.

A ¡°substantial proportion¡± of these are intending to go during the initial weekend in what is expected to be a major boost for the sector¡¯s hopes of rapid recovery, the think tank said.

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CEBR expects about 6.5 million pub trips to be made this weekend, which is about 1.5 million more than would be the case on a normal weekend.

However, it stressed that a majority of the population ¡°remains cautious¡± over a return to bars and pubs.

The rush to get back to the pub after more than three months stuck at home is expected to result in a jump in consumer spending, with spending expected to increase by 32 per cent over the weekend, it said.

The CEBR report added: ¡°The longer-term outlook for the pub industry may not be so rosy, however.

¡°Many within the wider hospitality industry had warned that the need for two-metre social distancing rendered a majority of businesses unviable.

¡°Though the replacement of this rule with a new ¡°one-metre plus¡± recommendation means that many more pubs will now be able to return to operation, it still represents a considerable restriction for others.¡±

The think tank also estimates average profits for those which reopen to be about 46 per cent of pre-crisis levels, as dwindling sales are eaten up by cost rises.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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