When the pubs closed: beer consumption before andafter the first and second waves of COVID-19 in Australia

Brian Vandenberg, Michael Livingston, Kerry O'Brien

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Abstract

Aims Restrictions to alcohol availability during the rst and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia in-cluded closures of businesses where alcohol is sold for on-premises consumption (pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes), butnot where alcohol is sold for off-premises consumption (take-away and home delivery). This study aimed to compare beerconsumption before and after restrictions to alcohol availability during the rst and second waves of COVID-19 inAustralia.Design Interrupted time–series analysis. Setting Australia. Participants Estimated resident populationaged 15+ years.Measurements Seasonally adjusted estimates of beer per capita consumption measured in litres of al-cohol (LALs) per week, disaggregated by on- and off-premises sales.Findings First-wave restrictions (week beginning 23March 2020) were associated with a signicant immediate reduction in on-premises beer per capita consumption[0.013 LALs, 95% condence interval (CI) = 0.013 to –0.012, P = < 0.001], but no signicant change inoff-premises beer per capita consumption. Partial removal of rst-wave restrictions (week beginning 18 May 2020) wasassociated with a signicant immediate increase in on-premises beer per capita consumption (+0.003 LALs, 95%CI = 0.001 to 0.004, P =0.006),butnosignicant change in off-premises beer per capita consumption. Second-wave re-strictions (week beginning 06 July 2020) were associated with a signicant immediate reduction in on-premises beer percapita consumption (0.004 LALs, 95% CI = 0.006 to –0.002, P =0.001)but,again,nosignicant change inoff-premises beer per capita consumption.Conclusion Restricting the availability of on-premises alcohol during the rstand second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia was associated with signicant reductions in on-premises beerconsumption, but no signicant changes in off-premises beer consumption
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalAddiction
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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