Hospitals are preparing for the floods gates to open this weekend, and with most pubs set to open their doors for the first time since lockdown, it’s really no surprise. If the queues for McDonald’s, KFC and Primark have taught us one thing, it’s that if there’s a place to queue, Brits’ll go mad for it.
Hospitals have now been urged to plan for surges in A&E ‘similar to that of New Year’s Eve’ by health bosses. July 4th, now dubbed as ‘Super Saturday’, is going to be a true test for the British people – with a carrot dangling for those who’ve been gasping to return to normality. And while it’s exactly that we’ll finally be able to get out and about again, the virus is still very much in circulation, and if we don’t keep on our best behaviour we could see ourselves back on lockdown just like Leicester. There have already been some hints that areas of Yorkshire could go back on lockdown, with spikes in cases in all corners of the region.
The Evening Standard and Health Service Journal have reported that NHS officials have been emailed to ask them ‘ensure that your demand/activity planning reflects a busy weekend, with peaks in activity into the evenings similar to that of New Years’s Eve’.
Continuing: ‘efforts are maximised from 29 June to reduce bed occupancy ahead of the weekend, should we also see a rise in admitted patients’. The message has been circulated around trusts in at least two of the seven NHS regions, though it is not known if it has now been circulated across all of England.
Dr Katherine Henderson, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, spoke to The Telegraph, saying: “We are nervous. We are bracing ourselves for this weekend.
“We do understand that people want to celebrate, but we’ve got to do this carefully. It is slightly scary for the NHS.”
Bars, restaurants and cafes will have social distancing measures in place upon their re-opening, with new safety protocols in line with government legislation. A lot of the responsibility, however, will be placed on ourselves. By all means, go out and enjoy a good ale, lord knows we all deserve one. But, it maybe doesn’t need to be a ’10 pints, 5 jaegers and the rest kind’ of nigh where social distancing goes out of the window.