Majority of Brits are braced for a second peak and think pubs have reopened too soon

George Martin
·3-min read

The majority of the British public think pubs have reopened too soon and the country should brace for a second peak of coronavirus cases, a poll has revealed.

Analysis carried out by polling agency Opinium found that 52% of Brits think the hospitality sector has gone back into business too early.

It comes as pubs and restaurants reopened on Super Saturday, with images showing vast crowds flouting social distancing rules in London and across the UK.

Over half of those surveyed by Opinium, 55%, said they are braced to go back into full lockdown before a coronavirus vaccine becomes available.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Police officers patrol as bars on Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter set out tables for customers on the closed road on July 04, 2020 in Manchester, England. The UK Government announced that Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants can open from Saturday, July 4th providing they follow guidelines on social distancing and sanitising.  (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Police officers patrol as bars in Manchester on Saturday. (Getty)

And a massive 73% of people think there will be a second outbreak of COVID-19 this year.

The government’s disapproval rating is at 49%, with just 30% approving of its performance during the pandemic.

A total of 52% think the government under-reacted to the situation, while just 30% believe it has reacted proportionately.

Adam Drummond, head of political polling at Opinium, said: “While the Government may be keen to reopen, the public are looking ahead and with trepidation and aren’t expecting this release to be anything but temporary.

“An overwhelming majority expect a second wave of coronavirus to hit the UK, and a smaller majority expect a further lockdown will be needed before a vaccine eventually releases us from this virus.”

Members and guests enjoy a drink with yellow tape on the carpet aiding social distancing inside the Ridge Hill Working Men's Club in Stalybridge, northwest England, on July 4, 2020, as restrictions are further eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Pubs in England reopen on Saturday for the first time since late March, bringing cheer to drinkers and the industry but fears of public disorder and fresh coronavirus cases. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Members and guests enjoy a drink with yellow tape on the carpet aiding social distancing inside the Ridge Hill Working Men's Club in Stalybridge, northwest England on Saturday. (Getty)

It comes as a former Government chief scientific adviser claimed that a further 27,000 excess deaths are "likely" between now and next April under the government’s current approach to coronavirus.

Speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday, Sir David King said it looked as though the current government policy was to "maintain" the current level of about 3,000 new infections per day across England.

He said: "What we are saying is 27,000 excess deaths are likely between now and next April if the expectation by the chief medical officer is that he would be surprised and delighted if the UK is in the same place next spring.

"If he's correct we would still have about 2,000 to 3,000 new infections in England per day and that is the number of deaths that would follow from that.

He added: "It looks as if the policy is to maintain the current level of about 3,000 new infections per day across England, while Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland are heading towards net zero."

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