COVID-19 Public Health Road Map: Alcohol consumption

Gillian Shorter, Nicky Knowles, Shanara Abdin, Elizabeth Jenkinson, Chris Armitage, Tracy Epton, Jo Hart, Atiya Kamal, Lucie Byrne-Davis, Madelynne A Arden, Ellie Whittaker, Lesley Lewis, Daryl O'Connor, Vivien Swanson, John Drury, Sam Thompson, Emily McBride, Angel Chater, Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention Taskforce

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Behavioural science recommendations
Following the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) guidelines to moderate alcohol consumption benefits both physical and psychological health. Moderating alcohol consumption can be influenced by what we know and what we can do (capability); people around us and our physical environment (opportunity); and our beliefs, what we want, how we see ourselves, how we regulate our emotions, and our habit (motivation). To support changes since COVID-19:
● Consider the impact of alcohol supply disruption including less on-trade sales (e.g. bars and restaurants), and more off-trade sales (e.g. off-licences) with a view to helping people to follow the CMO guidelines at home.
● Consider the reopening of on-trade outlets and the impact on public health, healthcare, and on other services (including policing) and encourage following the CMO guidelines outside the home.
● Engage with key policy frameworks to help people follow the CMO guidelines including the World Health Organisation SAFER initiative. These promote the five key policy drivers, which support moderate alcohol consumption including marketing, price, drink- driving countermeasures, access to brief interventions and treatment, and restricting alcohol availability. Policies should consider alcohol-related health inequalities. For best effect, public health-oriented policy-making should be free from interference by the alcohol industry and bodies funded by the alcohol industry.
● Remind people that keeping to CMO guidelines has wide-ranging positive impacts on health and wellbeing, and communicate the risks of alcohol consumption on lung function and immunosuppression, which increases risks around COVID-19.

We recommend following the British Psychological Society’s Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention: Psychological guidance to shape any policy and/or communications strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeicester
PublisherBritish Psychological Society
Commissioning bodyBritish Psychological Society
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Co-Chair of the Health Behaviour and COVID-19 working group that produced these documents 4/9


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