Today, the British Government went ahead with the plan of reopening and lifting all the pandemic restrictions such as the wearing of face masks have also been lifted in the nation despite a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
From midnight 23:00 GMT Sunday (local time), nightclubs, cinemas, and other indoor venues in England were allowed to run at full capacity. Similarly, legal mandates covering the wearing of masks and working from home have been cancelled. Moreover, residents of the UK, who have been fully vaccinated, and returning from amber list destinations in Europe will no longer have to quarantine.
The main aim of reopening the country is to revive the economy of the nation that has been devastated due to the global pandemic. Talking to the media, PM Boris Johnson has defended the decision. He said that if they do not open up now, then they will have to open in autumn and winter when the virus is at its peak due to the cold weather.
“If we don’t do it now, we’ve got to ask ourselves, when will we ever do it? So this is the right moment, but we’ve got to do it cautiously,” he added. Since the past few weeks, Britain has been facing fresh COVID-19 cases with the Delta variant and has reported over 50,000 daily COVID-19 cases. However, hospitalisations have been at a slower pace than new infections.
While many have dubbed this as ‘Freedom Day,’ epidemiologists and other critics have expressed grave concerns and say the move is coming too soon. Medics also warned that even if Britain is suffering far fewer deaths than in previous waves, such a caseload would still put severe pressure on the National Health Service (NHS) and risk seeding new variants.