Sheffield pubs could reopen from April - without selling alcohol
Pubs in Sheffield may be allowed to operate from April but they will not be able to sell alcohol as part of the Government's plan to ease the lockdown measures.
According to the Sun, ministers are preparing to allow pubs to serve takeaway pints in April before fully reopening in May as the Prime Minister is due to set out his roadmap for reopening society later this month.
But a report by the Telegraph said that the prospect of dry pubs was being discussed as an option to allow bars to open their doors in April.
However, the paper reportedly said the Government sources were against the idea, as to what purpose it would serve if there was no alcohol.
British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "Opening pubs without selling alcohol is not 'reopening' pubs at all."
Despite the talks of reopening the society and business, a medical expert has warned against easing lockdown measures too soon because hospitals are "still in the thick" of coronavirus infections.
Anthony Gordon, professor of critical care medicine at Imperial College London, said intensive care units were still “full to the rafters” and the public would have to wait longer for “relief”.
The Prime Minister on Friday also said it was still early to consider releasing restrictions as Conservative MPs called for schools in England to return before the March 8 target date and for all measures to be dumped by May
when all over-50s and the clinically vulnerable are expected to have been vaccinated.
The pace of the vaccine rollout, with almost 11 million people given their first dose jab, has brought hope that restrictions could begin to be scrapped, with some experts predicting that people could see friends and family as soon
as March and newspapers reporting that shops could open in April, followed by pubs in May.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Prof Gordon said: “I think we’re all hoping that there is relief from all of this, from the lockdowns and so on eventually, but at the moment we are still very much in the thick of it for a little while longer.
“What I’m seeing is that we’re still extremely busy. We’ve expanded into these surge ICUs and they are still fully open and full with patients.”