Coronavirus: government funds study on opening pubs


Drinkers at the bar

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Researchers at Stirling University need to see how pubs, clubs and restaurants can safely reopen.

They are studying the viability of relaxing the coronavirus locking measures for authorized premises.

The project is funded by the Scottish government and will examine a wide range of implications, including consumption, intoxication and violence.

Professor Niamh Fitzgerald, lead researcher, said one option could be to “partially ease the restrictions”.

The study will assess the impact on emergency services, including the ambulance service, at a time when they are under increased pressure.

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University of Stirling


Professor Fitzgerald says research will examine whether people could drink more when pubs reopen

Professor Fitzgerald said: “Governments and the public are very interested in how authorized premises can start to reopen – but there are risks.

“Whenever the restrictions are relaxed, businesses can seek to recover losses and customers can choose to celebrate by drinking more than usual.

“The actions of businesses and consumers could have implications for the way intoxicated people become intoxicated and have an impact on our emergency departments. “

Ambulance calls

She added, “We will be consulting with a wide range of companies, staff, policy makers and experts.

“One option could be to relax the restrictions partially or in a phased manner, potentially with measures remaining in place around sales, hours of operation or site capabilities to minimize damage and impact on service providers. emergency. “

Professor Jim Lewsey of the University of Glasgow Institute of Health and Welfare is also involved in the research.

He said: “This study was only possible because it builds on a strong existing collaboration with the Scottish Ambulance Service, to better understand the impact of alcohol on ambulance calls more general.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the service with relevant research during this difficult time. “


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