Wastewater survey shows no change in COVID-19 drinking

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Despite alarmist statements from anti-alcohol activists who tried to equate an increase in retail sales while hospitality venues were closed to concerns about Aussies drinking to excess, the latest wastewater analysis has shown that alcohol consumption during the pandemic has remained unchanged.

According to the latest National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report[1] released today, “alcohol consumption has continued at levels within the ranges observed prior to the outbreak of the pandemic”.

Alcohol Beverages Australia CEO Andrew Wilsmore said; “those groups trying to suggest Australians have been drinking to excess during Covid lockdowns have got it wrong. This latest report joins several other studies, including the ABS, which have shown that not to be the case, with Australians continuing to drink responsibly through the pandemic.

“Australia’s drinking culture is now one of moderation, with per capita consumption at 50-year lows.

“As Australia starts to hit its 80% national double vaccination targets, it should be unsurprising that we will now see a shift from at-home consumption back to our hospitality venues with sport back on, dancing allowed and musicians preparing for concerts and events.

“Australians have missed the social interaction that these occasions bring, and it will be a much-needed shot in the arm for our hospitality and tourism sectors who have been one of the hardest hit from the pandemic.

“Instead of trying to create a false sense of concern, Australians deserve a pat on the back for changing our culture to one where moderation is the norm,” said Mr Wilsmore.

[1] https://www.acic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/National%20Wastewater%20Drug%20Monitoring%20Report%2014.pdf

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