England has lifted almost all its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, according to its roadmap out of lockdown despite a continued rise in the number of daily infections.
This Monday is being described by the British government as Freedom Day, where almost all legal restrictions on social contact have been removed.
The detailed arrangement of the final step out of lockdown includes: no more limits on social contact to allow people to gather in groups of any size; removing the “one meter-plus” rule in almost all settings, except for specific places such as airports; no capacity caps on large scale events; and people are no longer required to work from home, among other changes. Face coverings will be recommended in some spaces, but not required by law.
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The government said the removal of restrictions is the right step, despite the rising number of infections in much of the country.
Reactions by members of the public towards Freedom Day are mixed with some saying the virus has more “freedom” than the public, but others look forward to a life resembling normalcy.
CAUTION STILL NEEDED
Although 46.2 million adults, or 87.8 per cent of the population, have had the first dose of a vaccine, and 35.7 million are fully vaccinated, medical experts urge the public to exercise caution.
“THREAT TO THE WORLD”
Hours ahead of England’s Freedom Day, Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson warned that the current wave of coronavirus infections in Britain could see up to 200 000 new cases a day.
The UK government’s decision to lift virtually all of England’s pandemic restrictions was also criticised by international experts as “a threat to the world.”
Over 1 200 scientists have backed a letter in the journal The Lancet last week, saying that the UK’s plan to lift the restrictions is an “unethical experiment,” which poses a serious threat to the rest of the world.
Some said other countries will imitate England for political expediency.