PUBS and restaurants won’t open until May as the pressure caused by coronavirus on hospitals will not ease quickly enough, experts have warned.
Boris Johnson’s hope of being back to normal by Easter may distant dream – if the current infection rate follows the same trajectory as we saw in the first wave.
Pubs and restaurants may not open again until MayCredit: PA:Press Association
He said schools will be the first to reopen under the new road map, which will take a “gradual” approach to lifting restrictions.
Based on the first wave, the hospitality industry was allowed to open on July 4 when there were 2,800 Covid-19 patients in hospitals.
Which, on last year’s trajectory, would not be reached until May 5 this time around, according to The Times’ analysis.
And schools began opening last year from June 1, when there were 7,244 Covid patients in hospital – a level that will be reached on April 3 in this scenario.
Despite the current success of the vaccine rollout which could speed the timeline up, Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia said: “Although we should start seeing effects in a couple of weeks, it won’t make much difference at first and we won’t see the full effect for some months.
“It doesn’t seem likely that we will back to normal by Easter.”
One source told the Daily Mail that the opening of restaurants and pubs could happen in “early summer.”
Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said: “There are some initial signs that the current measures are bringing infection rates down but there is still a long way to go.”
But the PM is busy plotting a route out of the unprecedented shutdown of society – and pledged to reveal the blueprint on February 22.
Although Mr Johnson did not confirm whether England will be returning to a tiered system, similar to what was in place in October.
Meanwhile, it was revealed last night that a new Covid jab, Novavax, is 89.3 per cent effective – and is shown in UK trials to be effective against the Kent variant.
Britain’s incredible vaccine campaign has now got a triple boost with the news of 150million extra jabs.
But Covid deaths in the UK yesterday rose by 1,239 with 28,680 new cases after lockdown was extended.
The latest victims mean a total of 103,126 people have now lost their lives to the disease in Britain since the pandemic began.
But yesterday’s total is lower than last Thursday, when 1,290 deaths were reported.
A further 28,680 new infections have also been recorded – bringing the total number of cases to 3,743,734.
Cases have slowly started to fall after a third lockdown was slapped on the UK at the start of the year.
The hospitality industry may not open until ‘early summer’Credit: Ian Whittaker – The Sun