The research of 2,000 consumers in England and 500 owners or managers of pubs, hotels and restaurants conducted between 9 and 11 October by reservation company Adactus found that while 37% of people had cancelled their Christmas day bookings to eat out in a pub, restaurant or hotel, the restrictions were resulting in cancellations right across the Christmas period.
Almost half (45%) have also cancelled or changed plans to eat out on New Year’s Eve, 26% on Boxing Day and 19% on Christmas Eve.
With the three-tier system applying the ‘rule of six’ for all dining out with the highest tier as just one household or bubble, along with a ‘circuit breaker’ now in Wales, most people aren’t waiting on the Prime Minister to lift the ‘rule of six’ for Christmas Day, according to the research.
However, 77% of consumers say they will rebook Christmas reservations if the ‘rule of six’ was lifted.
Instead more than half of people in England are planning to celebrate privately at home with friends and family without an evening curfew. Almost 70% say they have changed plans or cancelled reservations to eat out because their party will exceed six people.
“Clearly our study has found that people are not changing their Christmas plans to eat out due to their fear of catching the virus, but due to the ‘rule of six’ and 10pm curfew,” says Adactus managing director Scott Muncaster.
“Many people would still like to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with meals out but are being put off by the restrictions.”