Dr Hilary Jones warns we're heading for 'bleakest winter' as UK flocks to pubs

Dr Hilary Jones has warned we’re heading towards our ‘bleakest winter’ if we land in a second lockdown thanks to Britons hitting the pubs. 

Since lockdown has been lifted, and with the help of Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, people across the country have been returning to restaurants and pubs. 

But with infection rates doubling in the space of a week, pubs have been put under restriction again, with venues in England closing at 10pm, while Scotland is putting in a 16-day alcohol ban from today. 

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, medical expert Dr Hilary warned that these ‘last hurrahs’ could be costly for the country come winter. 

‘If we don’t take it seriously we’re going to be in big trouble,’ he stated. ‘Those countries that have been successful have imposed lockdowns on pubs and hospitality. 

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‘It’s people flocking there in the first place, then gathering outside, then going home.’ 

He continued: ‘You’re going to get more transition rates.

‘The virus has ambushed us into thinking we can go back to normal after lockdown – now we’re facing one of the bleakest winters ever.

‘I hate to be the harbinger of doom and gloom and I would love to go out to bars and restaurants but we can’t go on like this.’ 

Hilary’s comments came shortly before he shut down the suggestion of allowing younger people to ‘go back to normal’ while shielding those who are more at risk. 

Isabel Oakeshott, who appeared on the show, argued that the focus should be more at risk groups, seeing as those who are of a younger age are more likely to handle the virus. 

Calling it ‘reckless’ Dr Hilary said: ‘You can’t protect in a focused way, the vulnerable, and the elderly – you can’t. It didn’t work in Sweden, hasn’t worked anywhere in the world.

‘And if we just say, “oh, let it run riot”, we will have an overwhelmed NHS, we’ll have ICU beds full of Covid-19.’

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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