The UK Government is aiming to vaccinate two million individuals against Covid-19 a week, starting with those most at risk from the virus.
To date, over 90% of Coronavirus deaths have occurred amongst the over 65s and those deemed clinically vulnerable. So bringing immunity and protection to this demographic should radically change the rate of hospital admissions, fatalities and the nation’s ability to combat Coronavirus.
By the end of February 2021, the government believes that the 17 million plus individuals that fall into this vulnerable category will have been vaccinated. This would make it feasible for the hospitality industry to reopen fully in March or April, with the potential for an easing of restrictions to begin from late February if the success of the vaccination programme beats expectations. In the most optimistic scenarios, the vaccination could deliver a swift return to normality by the summer, by which point the government projects that 44 million individuals will have been vaccinated, around two thirds of the population.
Whilst the speed and success of the vaccination programme is still to be determined, vaccinating the population should put an end to the need for a series of “in and out” Lockdowns. This will enable the hospitality industry to prepare for a permanent reopening and remove the uncertainty that has affected the sector since March 2020.
There is still time for the industry to have a successful year, with the vaccine rollout bringing more hope for the sector that at any time since the arrival of Coronavirus.