Pub boss warns delaying Covid restrictions after June 21 could stunt economic recovery

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Delaying the relaxation of England’s coronavirus restrictions after June 21 could hamper economic recovery, a pub chain boss warned.

Chief Executive of the Shepherd Neame brewery and pub company Jonathan Neame said a week would have a ‘marginal impact’, but five weeks would be a ‘real downer’.

He warned that the recovery is “ pretty fast at the moment ” and said any further lockdown will “ really undermine consumer and business confidence. ”

It comes as experts continue to debate the pros and cons for the country to open up further on June 21.

Professor Sir Tim Gowers, whose argument against herd immunity contributed to England’s first lockdown, warned caution.

Professor Christina Pagel, a member of Independent Safe at University College London, agreed, saying the reopening should be delayed for a few more months.

But Nervtag member Robert Dingwall said it was “hard to see” why June 21 could not take place.

Chief Executive of the Shepherd Neame brewery and pub company Jonathan Neame (pictured) said a week would have a ‘marginal impact’, but five weeks would be a ‘real downer’

He warned that the recovery is `` pretty fast at this point '' and said any further lockdown will `` really undermine consumer and business confidence. ''  Pictured: A pub in Scotland last week

He warned that the recovery is “ pretty fast at this point ” and said any further lockdown will “ really undermine consumer and business confidence. ” Pictured: A pub in Scotland last week

Mr. Neame told the Today program, “For example, if it is delayed for seven days, but there is still some result, then the restrictions will be lifted completely, then that will be a marginal impact.

“ On the other hand, if we go into another five-week cycle of data review and uncertainty and more reviews at that point, then I think that will put a real damper on the recovery, which is happening pretty quickly at that point. right now, and it will really undermine consumer and business confidence. ‘

Meanwhile, experts are debating whether it would be a good idea to fully reopen the country on June 21.

Prof Sir Tim, a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, told The Guardian that the downside of being ‘a little more careful’ was much smaller than the downside of taking it wrong.

When asked about the next step in the easing of the lockdown in England, scheduled for June 21, Prof. Gowers said he did not believe the plans were necessarily in jeopardy, but urged caution.

Since Boris Johnson has made it a major point that all steps are irreversible, I think he has put himself in a position where, once he takes a step, he will be extremely reluctant to return, because that would be a big U-turn, an embarrassing climb down, ”he said.

So I think if that’s the way you’re going to play things out, you have to be very, very careful with every step you take … and maybe everything [will] okay maybe the number of people getting vaccinated is just enough … ‘R’ will remain broadly below one, even with Indian variants.

‘But if it’s not okay, we know, because of the math, it’s going to get bad very, very quickly. Or maybe it doesn’t look that fast at first, but it will grow exponentially.

“So it will go faster and become a big problem.”

It's because Britain recorded more than 4,000 daily cases on Friday for the first time since April, while 10 people were killed

It’s because Britain recorded more than 4,000 daily cases on Friday for the first time since April, while 10 people were killed

The Guardian said that Prof. Gowers had sent the Prime Minister’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings a five-page document in March last year warning of the need to “urgently resort to extreme containment measures.”

Other experts argued Friday that the restrictions should remain in effect until a higher proportion of the population had received both vaccine doses.

Professor Christina Pagel, an Independent Safe member of University College London, said the reopening should be delayed for a few more months.

But Prof Dingwall, of Nottingham Trent University, told Times Radio it was “hard to understand” why June 21 couldn’t go through, adding that those currently catching Covid are usually younger and get less sick.

When asked if hospital admissions could get out of hand, leading to local lockdowns, he said, ‘I think we need to look very closely at what hospital admission entails.

The anecdotes that the clinicians come up with is to say that these aren’t really, really sick people like they saw in January, so more people who just need a little extra help breathing, they come in, they get oxygen and dexamethasone for maybe three or four days, and then they go home.

“And in that sense, I think hospital admissions may not be a good indicator of the severity of these infections.”

He said it was necessary to ‘break this link in our mind between’ this is highly transferable, this spreads very easily ‘… and’ this is just as dangerous as things were when the Wuhan virus emerged last spring. first struck ”.

Kirklees, Burnley, Rossendale, Blackburn, Bury, Manchester and Bolton are marked as the highest risk areas in the North West of England

Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Clackmannanshire and Midlothian were considered the highest risk in Scotland

The map shows the following areas in darkest orange, indicating the highest probability of becoming a hot spot: (left) Kirklees, Burnley, Rossendale, Blackburn, Bury, Manchester and Bolton; (right) Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Clackmannanshire and Midlothian

The prime minister told reporters on Thursday that he “has not seen anything in the data at the moment” to deviate from the target of the June reopening, before adding, “But we may have to wait.”

The Times reported that facial covers and home-work assistance could remain in effect after June 21, when all legal restrictions on social contact will be lifted in England.

Increasingly concerned that the spread of the Indian variant could undermine the relaxation of restrictions, ministers were drafting plans that could lead to a partial end to the lockdown.

But the paper added that the Treasury gave priority to removing the ‘one meter plus’ and ‘six in house rule’ measures to help the economy recover.

An overview of the measures that will be relaxed on 21 June was planned at the end of May, but has been postponed due to the Indian variant.

Meanwhile, a source from the Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee (JCVI) told the Telegraph that it is expected to outline “ options and consequences ” for vaccinating children rather than making a clear recommendation for ministers to follow.

The source said, “It is likely that the JCVI will come up with an options menu detailing what the consequences of each of them would be, rather than making an actual recommendation.”

Their comments come after the European Medicines Agency recommended extending the use of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine to children 12 to 15 years old.

A single Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine has also been approved for use in the UK and should be available by the end of the year.

The vaccine is part of the UK’s Cov-Boost study examining the effectiveness of a range of vaccines that can be used as a booster shot in the fall.

The Department of Health and Social Care announced on Friday that further peak testing is underway in Lancashire after more cases of the Indian variant were discovered.

The UK R ratio - the number of people infected by each coronavirus case - has risen back above one, meaning the national outbreak is likely to grow again, which is expected to happen if lockdown rules are lifted

The UK R ratio – the number of people infected by each coronavirus case – has risen back above one, meaning the national outbreak is likely to grow again, which is expected to happen if lockdown rules are lifted

People living, studying and working in areas such as Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn and Rossendale are urged to take a PCR test even if they have no symptoms, while additional mobile testing units and Covid-19 tests are deployed for higher education institutions.

Current data suggests that while the number of hospitalizations in some parts of the country affected by the Indian variant, the number of hospitalizations remains largely the same.

Data for England released Friday by the Office for National Statistics shows that an estimated one in 1,120 people in private households had Covid-19 in the week to May 22 – largely unchanged from one in 1,110 in the previous week. The estimate for Scotland is about one in 630, up from 1,960, taking Scotland back to where it was about a month ago.

Meanwhile, the reproduction number – the R value – for England is 1 in 1.1, up from 0.9 and 1.1 the previous week, suggesting the epidemic is on the rise.

The latest seven-day average for daily hospital admissions in England is 88 (up to May 25), an increase of 15% from seven days earlier.

The figure means that hospital admissions are back to early May levels and remain 98% below the peak of the second wave in January.

Data from Public Health England shows that the majority of people with the Indian variant have not been vaccinated, with only 3% of cases (177 out of 5,599) from February 1 to May 25 receiving both doses.

Over the period, there were 12 deaths related to the variant, eight of which were among the unvaccinated.

Dr. Mike Tildesley, of the University of Warwick and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modeling (Spi-M) group, told the BBC the cases would increase but the vaccines are proving to be beneficial.

He said experts should “gather as much evidence as possible in the next two weeks” and then “try to predict what to expect if this relaxation continues on June 21.”

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