During Covid-19 lockdown, the overall sales of alcohol products in Ireland have plummeted by 30%, according to Drinks Ireland estimates.

Drinks Ireland represents drinks manufacturers, brand owners and distributors of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Drinks Ireland director Patricia Callan said: “The on-trade, that is all pubs, restaurants and hotels, usually account for 55% of total alcohol sales and they are completely closed.

“Therefore, as expected, we have seen a rise in off-trade sales, but this increase in no way compensates for the loss in sales associated with the on-trade being closed, so overall we estimate that alcohol consumption in Ireland could be down by around 30%.”

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The coronavirus outbreak has badly impacted the hospitality sector, putting many jobs at risk with on-trade closure in the country.

Additionally, the global closure of the on-trade industry has severely affected the Irish drinks industry, which exports €1.4bn of products annually.

Callan added: “The drinks industry is doing its part to help this sector, making donations to support unemployed bar workers. It has also joined the national effort to respond to the Covid-19 crisis in many different ways, including through producing sanitising products.

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“It’s important that people maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle at this time, and this includes not drinking to excess.”

Earlier this month, the UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) outlined a three-point plan to ease the burden on wine and spirit businesses due to coronavirus (Covid-19), outlined in its letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The trade organisation urged the Chancellor to provide the wider hospitality supply chain businesses with the same support offered to pubs, bars and restaurants.