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England takes leap into the unknown, lifting Covid rules as cases surge

England takes leap into the unknown, lifting Covid rules as cases surge

England is taking a step into the unknown on Monday, lifting nearly all remaining restrictions on public life at a time when coronavirus infections are high and rising. From Monday, there will be no more limits on indoor gathering. Nightclubs can reopen, the 1-meter social distancing rule is removed and face masks become largely voluntary, although some airlines and transport companies have said they will retain mask-wearing requirements.

In essence, the majority of legal restrictions have now been lifted and replaced with an emphasis on personal responsibility as infections continue to rise. There was no mention of “Freedom Day,” as Monday July 19 had previously been dubbed, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution as the country moved to “Step 4″ of its roadmap of restriction-lifting.

Cases remain high across the U.K. with 316,691 cases reported over the last seven days, up around 43% from the previous seven-day period. Hospitalizations are low but are creeping higher, with 4,313 people admitted to hospital in the last seven days, government data shows. In the last seven days, 283 people have died. The vast majority of infections are currently among younger age groups who are not yet vaccinated, or are only partially protected. Recent events like the Euro 2020 soccer championships, which saw England fans gathered in pubs and bars around the country, have also been blamed for the rise in cases.

England takes leap into the unknown, lifting Covid rules as cases surge, CNBC, Jul 19

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