As some countries around the world start to relax physical distancing and lockdown regulations, the IWSR has found that consumers are still proceeding with caution. The industry, especially the on-premise, will need to keep in mind that consumers are not guaranteed to revert to their pre-crisis behaviour.
China is perhaps one of the most relevant market to look at right now. It was the first country to initiate restrictions on movement, and amongst the first to ease them. The lockdown of Hubei province, where the virus is believed to have originated, was imposed in mid-January 2020, and ended in early April. During that period, the province, made up of 57m inhabitants, was shut off from the rest of China. In other parts of the country, restrictions have gradually eased from late March with factories, non-essential shops and some on-premise re-opening. Some spaces, such as cinemas and nightclubs are still closed. Restaurants and bars are gradually opening, while gyms opened briefly before being shut again.
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