Pubs 'may not open until May' as No 10 considers extending lockdown

Pubs and restaurants could remain closed for another four months as No 10 considers extending England’s nationwide lockdown, according to reports.

The prime minister plunged the nation into its third lockdown earlier this week and said the strict ‘stay at home’ message would stay in place until mid-February – but did not give a confirmed deadline.

Downing Street is now reportedly considering keeping the lockdown in place until late March, according to The Sunday Times, with pubs and restaurants forced to stay shut for even longer.

A source told the paper: ‘The May Day bank holiday is more likely the moment you see pubs reopening.’

Cabinet minister Michael Gove admitted this week that restrictions could remain in place until the end of March and the government cannot be certain on an end date.

Boris Johnson told the nation as he set out the latest Covid-19 restrictions that vaccines would be the UK’s way out of the pandemic and that the ‘end is in sight’.

Mr Gove said the mid-February review point will be focused primarily on the progression of the vaccine rollout rather than lifting the restrictions that were imposed on Monday evening.

The Duchy of Lancaster told Sky News: ‘It takes some time immediately after vaccination to get the benefit of full immunity. 

‘We will keep these constantly under review but you are absolutely right, we can’t predict with certainty that we will be able to lift restrictions in the week commencing the 15-22′. 

The news comes as several mass vaccination sites are set to open tomorrow across the country, with the government aiming to vaccinate 14 million vulnerable people by mid-February.

More to follow…

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