Boris Johnson is set to unveil is “roadmap” out of the third national lockdown next Monday. The rollback is expected to begin with the staggered reopening of schools on March 8, and pubs could be allowed to serve drinks and meals in beer gardens by Easter. A full reopening of bars and restaurants is not expected to happen until May, but there are growing calls for pubs to be allowed to welcome back customers at Easter.
Express.co.uk conducted an exclusive poll to gauge readers’ mood on the issue.
When asked, “Should Boris open pubs and restaurants for Easter?” 50 percent (1,245) said yes while 48 percent (1,178) said no.
Just two percent (64) said they didn’t know.
In comments, many readers warned a reopening of hospitality venues would leave England vulnerable to a surge in Covid infections.
But others argued that watering holes had been making every effort to stay open in a safe manner before “Lockdown Three” was imposed.
One reader said: “I think the pub and restaurant industry was doing a good job before they were being closed down again and the subsidies for food seemed to work well and was very popular.
“The industry needs something to plan to survive.
“I was in the UK when the pandemic began but now living in the US and here restaurants where I am are open and functioning okay. But many people won’t go. It’s their choice as it’s their lives.”
And another person keen to see bartenders start pulling pints again said those who are too afraid of the consequences could simply continue staying at home.
They said: “Here’s a solution: If the Cov-cowards want to hide under their beds forever let them.
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But others said a more cautious approach should be adopted by ministers.
One reader wrote: “No restrictions should be lifted until it is deemed safe to do so.
“Even then, it should be staged sector by sector with the option of clamping down again if a surge is noted and before it gets a proper hold.
“Learn the lessons from last time.”
A second person backed their view, saying the last thing the British public needed was to be sent into yet another lockdown during the summer.
The reader said: “Open schools on March 8 and see how that goes, then open at Easter.
“We don’t want lockdown 4 in the summer because people can’t wait to go the pub.”
Others said the only safe way for Britons to enjoy a drink with their mates was to do so on a video call at a “virtual pub”.
And one even went as far as to suggest the reopening of drinking joints could cause another deadly spike in infections, adding: “Is a fourth wave a good idea? Another 50,000 deaths?”
The poll ran from 12.10pm to 8pm on Monday, February 15, with a total of 2,487 people taking part.