To protect people from the coronavirus, authorities in many countries have restricted the operation of pubs and restaurants for nearly a year and a half, sometimes banning them altogether.
In Britain, this approach has led to a dramatic increase in alcohol sales. In the 12 months between March 2020 and March 2021, people in the United Kingdom bought an additional 12.6 million liters of alcohol in stores and shopping malls (about 62 million liters compared to 50 million previously). And that ended up leading to an “unprecedented” increase in alcohol-related deaths, the Public Health England said.
“Our research has shown that isolation has hit drinkers the hardest, they have been drinking more,” the authority said, adding that addressing the problem should be an “integral part” of the plan to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
It is noted that the number of deaths from alcohol abuse has increased by 20 percent in the past year (up from 3 percent the year before). Stress, loneliness, and unequal access to support services, the researchers believe, led to this.