Third of adults unlikely to use Eat Out scheme, survey finds

Just one in 10 adults had participated in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme by the middle of August and a third are unlikely to do so, a survey has found.

While 93% of adults told the Office for National Statistics (ONS) they are aware of the scheme, just 11% said they had used it by August 16.

A further 41% said they are very likely or likely to make use of the scheme during August, while 36% said the opposite.

Of the latter, more than half (51%) said they do not want to make use of the scheme because they are worried about catching coronavirus, and 46% said they are concerned about being able to socially distance from other diners.

Four in 10 said they are worried about eating indoors, while one in seven said they cannot afford to eat out – even with the discount.

The Government announced the scheme, which sees diners’ meals slashed to half price up to the value of £10 per head during August, to help the hard-hit hospitality industry.

The ONS analysed responses from 1,533 people aged 16 and over in Britain polled between August 12 and 16 as part of its Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

The proportion of adults saying they feel comfortable or very comfortable eating indoors at a restaurant has been rising since the start of July.

The latest results suggest 43% feel this way, up from 40% last week.

Around a third of respondents who said they had left their home during the past week said they had visited a pub, restaurant or cafe.

This is up from just one in 10 adults five weeks ago.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants reopened indoors in England from July 4, in Scotland from July 15 and in Wales from August 3.

The ONS survey also revealed the public want the police to be stricter in enforcing rules to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

More than two-thirds (69%) of adults said they feel the police should be very strict or strict in enforcing rules.

But just one in seven (15%) believe the police are currently behaving this way.