Under the latest rules outlined by the Prime Minister when discussing lifting the lockdown, he noted that the hospitality industry, including pubs, will be among the last to open.
Boris Johnson reminded the nation that these had previously been “one of the last things” to reopen following the end of the first lockdown last year.
During a trip to a vaccination centre in Cwmbran, South Wales, he noted that the Government would “need to go in stages” and “cautiously” when lifting the lockdown. He then dismissed “speculation” from the press and others, arguing that since “[the Government] opened up hospitality fully as one of the last things that we did”, due to the alleged risks of increased transmission there, this was what was also going to happen now.
Expert opinion and studies as to the transmission of the disease in pubs are mixed, with some indicating that they spread coronavirus quite highly, while others disagree.
For the former, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, told MPs stated that such venue, alongside other hospitality sectors, were responsible for 20% of coronavirus transmission.
For the latter, the neoliberal think tank the Institute for Economic Affairs highlighted that official data from NHS Test and Trace had shown that less than 5% of people contacted by them had been near another person in a hospitality venue.
It comes as several reports detail how this reopening could begin as early as March 8th, with some schools expected to reopen on that date. Other sectors of society and life, including many other industries, are set to follow suit at a later date.