Evidence shows only 226 outbreaks in pubs since Covid began
The risk of catching coronavirus in a pub or restaurant is 'relatively low', the Government's scientific advisers have admitted.
The admission came in a review of studies and data from the UK and around the world into the threat of the virus in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors.
SAGE found there had been just 226 outbreaks in pubs and restaurants in England since the pandemic began, despite the sector being heavily penalised throughout the Government's Covid response.
The finding will raise questions about why the hospitality sector faces another three weeks of closure, despite Covid infection numbers being at record lows.
The British hospitality sector is said to have lost an average £200million per every day since the crisis first hit.
Since April 12, pubs and restaurants in England have been allowed to serve people outdoors but they are not due to fully open until May 17.
Sir Patrick Vallance, who heads up the advisory panel, admitted to MPs last year that there was very little proof showing that targeting pubs, bars and restaurants with lockdown actually worked.
He said there were strong indications that hospitality settings drive transmission, but admitted 'we cant give specific data on that and neither can anyone else around the world'.
The Government attempted to justify the brutal restrictions on hospitality in a paper published in November.
It referred to studies in South-East Asia in the early parts of the pandemic but made no assessment of the £500million measures implemented by British venues to make themselves Covid-secure.