Today marks the launch of the Portman Group’s, inaugural blog series – ‘Responsible actions to COVID-19’. This series features alcohol charities, partnerships and industry bodies and looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the alcohol sector, demonstrating the responsible and rapid response from the industry.

The imposing of lockdown was an unprecedented measure which impacted the daily lives of everyone in our society. The closure of pubs, bars and restaurants presented a new challenge to the industry and alcohol sales to fall. Despite this, the industry made changes, responded responsibly, and supported their communities.

A new blog will be shared every Monday and Thursday and will feature posts from across the alcohol-related sector. Over the coming weeks, blog posts will be shared from a number of organisations including, the British Beer and Pub Association who will explain how pubs played a greater role in their communities than ever before. The Scotch Whisky Association share their rapid response and production of ethanol for hand sanitiser. The Portman Group also share the impactful measures taken by members and research on drinking habits during lockdown. Additionally, Drinkaware will share how to best support those whose drinking has increased to higher levels.

We also look to our affiliate organisations, the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership and the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, for their perspectives on the impact of lockdown in Scotland and the coronavirus response in the wider world. Finally, we will gain the perspective of ClubSoda, the leaders of the Mindful Drinking Movement, who will discuss their members experience during lockdown and the take up of no alcohol alternatives

Emma McClarkin, CEO of The British Beer and Pub Association, had this to say about their blog contribution: “The pub sector stepped up to the plate to help local communities while suffering almost impossible business challenges during the lockdown. We welcome the opportunity to tell the story of pubs up and down the country through the Portman Group blog series and are equally interested to understand the experiences of other sectors and learn from them”.

Finally, John Timothy, CEO of the Portman Group said: “Navigating COVID-19 has been a challenge for all in our industry, this blog series is a coming together of the bodies involved in alcohol. We are delighted to be able to shine a spotlight on the actions of a sector acting fast and responsibly during the pandemic. This blog draws the perspectives of the major champions of responsible action, to understand how they responded and to learn for the future”.