As scientists warn of an increase in cases, England lifts covid limits.
The British government eliminated pandemic limits on ordinary living in England on Monday, removing all social barriers in a move criticized by experts and opposition parties as a risky foray into the unknown.
Nightclubs and other indoor venues were allowed to reopen at midnight (2300 GMT Sunday), while legal regulations prohibiting the wearing of masks and working from home were repealed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised the people to be cautious and to join the two-thirds of UK adults who are now fully vaccinated. Johnson is self-isolating after his health minister was infected.
Despite scientists’ severe reservations, Cameron supported the reopening – nicknamed “freedom day” by some media – as daily infection rates in Britain topped 50,000, second only to Indonesia and Brazil.
“If we don’t act now, we’ll be opening up in the autumn, in the winter months, when the virus will benefit from the cold,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a video message.
The commencement of summer school holidays this week provided a “priceless firebreak,” he remarked.
“We have to question ourselves, if we don’t do it now, when will we ever do it?” So it is the appropriate time, but we must go with caution.”
Jonathan Ashworth, the health spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, called the government’s decision “reckless,” echoing experts who argue the reopening puts global health at risk.
“We are opposed to opening up without any measures in place,” Ashworth said on BBC television, criticizing the government’s mask proposal in particular.
The government claims that any risks to hospital care are manageable following the success of the vaccination campaign, which has now provided at least one dose to every adult in the United Kingdom.
However, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London cautioned that when the Delta variety of Covid loses control, Britain might face 100,000 cases every day.
“The real question is whether we can get that doubled or perhaps higher. And that’s when the crystal ball starts to break down,” he told the BBC.
“We could go to 2,000 hospitalizations per day, 200,000 cases per day,” he said, “but it’s a lot less certain.”
Even though the number of deaths in the UK is significantly lower than in past waves, physicians warn that such a caseload would place severe strain on the NHS and risk spawning new variations.
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, a senior Conservative MP, said the country should learn from Israel and the Netherlands. Brief News from Washington Newsday.