Odds Say England Covid Restrictions Will Be Lifted in August
Coronavirus restrictions in the UK are only likely to be fully lifted by the end of the summer, according to online betting sites.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently reneged on his promise to scrap all social distancing measures and health restrictions in England by June 21 in a dramatic comedown for the government.
A surge of virus cases of the India variant – known as the Delta variant – means the UK is behind schedule for what officials expected in terms of suppressing infection rates.
Even despite the hugely successful vaccine programme that has so far protected 45 per cent of the population, around 7,500 people a day are still contracting the disease.
Johnson said the country needs “a few more crucial weeks” to get people vaccinated and ease the strain on the NHS, much to the dismay of the hospitality sector.
Concerns of a third wave coming to the UK this summer have convinced betting exchange sites to flip the odds on when the country will fully come out of legal restrictions.
UK Covid Betting
According to the latest odds, England is Evens (1/1) to lift out of restrictions in July – the new date pledged by Johnson – and 4/5 to extend legal limits into August.
That suggests a 55% chance that Johnson will again push the easing date back into the following month. Scotland have followed suit and are extending their restrictions into July too.
MPs are set to vote on the current delay and Labour are likely to side with the Conservatives, meaning the extension is all-but inevitable.
Johnson Approval Ratings Dip
Unfortunately for Johnson, the timing of his extension to restrictions has caused a dip in his popularity figures for the first time since October last year, when he announced England was to go into a brief second lockdown.
The PM’s approval ratings have fallen back below his disapproval ratings, with 48 per cent of British voters thinking negatively of Johnson, compared to 44 per cent in favour.
The data also comes after a difficult weekend for the Tory leader at the G7 summit, where American president Joe Biden appeared to side with the EU over a possible trade war developing with the UK.
Brexit was the buoyancy aid that carried Johnson to the Conservative leadership in 2019 and his subsequent general election victory, which handed him an 80-seat majority in Parliament.
But issues with the EU and broken promises over lockdown easing clearly hasn’t impressed voters.
Not that this has affected his odds on when Johnson will quit or be sacked as PM. In fact, some exchange sites have him as low as 1/20 to be in his job by the end of the year.
What’s more, the Conservatives are still favourites to win an overall majority at the next election, which shows Johnson is in a strong political position even if the opinion polls suggest otherwise.
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