Almost half of consumers in England have been back to pubs, bars and restaurants since they reopened for outdoor service, new CGA research has revealed.

Its Consumer Pulse survey found 44% of adults have visited the hospitality sector since last Monday (12 April).

The figure is nine percentage points higher than the 35% of consumers who returned in the first ten days of reopening after the end of England’s first national lockdown in July 2020.

People who have been out have made an average of 2.4 visits each, and almost all said their visit was better than expected (45%) or as expected (52%).

The survey also suggested some consumers are delaying visits because of doubts about crowds and the weather.

More than two in five (42%) said they would have gone out more in the past week if they thought they would be able to get a table without a reservation.

Among those who have not yet been back, almost a third (31%) said it was because they do not want to sit outside.

A significant proportion of non-returners are either waiting for indoor seating to become available (16%) or for safety measures to end completely (12%).

Rachel Weller, CGA’s director of consumer research and marketing, said: “With four weeks still to go until hospitality can fully return, businesses will be hoping for more sunshine and continued momentum of visits from increasingly confident consumers, while reassuring those who have not yet been out it is safe to do so.”