'Freedom Day' In England Despite Warnings As Virus Surges Worldwide
Muhammad Irfan 11 days ago Mon 19th July 2021 | 04:19 PM
Day-to-day pandemic restrictions were lifted in England on Monday but "freedom day" was met with deep concern from scientists as coronavirus cases surge across the nation -- and around the world
London, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th Jul, 2021 ) :Day-to-day pandemic restrictions were lifted in England on Monday but "freedom day" was met with deep concern from scientists as coronavirus cases surge across the nation -- and around the world.
The 2020 Olympics were set to open on Friday in Tokyo, hit by a fourth coronavirus case in the athletes' village and the refusal of major sponsor Toyota to run any Games-related tv ads, further eroding support in Japan for the problem-plagued event.
Daily infection numbers have also climbed in Britain, averaging more than 50,000 since last week.
- 'A new chapter' - Nightclubs in England reopened their floors to dancing at the stroke of midnight for the first time since March 2020, while sports stadia, cinemas and theatres can now run at full capacity.
"I thought, well, we missed New Year's, so why not come out and celebrate?" said Nicola Webster Calliste, 29, outside a club in Leeds, northern England.
"It's like a new chapter." Alex Clarke, 40, was at the front of the queue outside a club in north London.
"There's a bit of apprehension and uncertainty about the protocols," Clarke said. "But as long as everyone is sensible, then it'll be alright." Covid-19 travel rules and self-isolation for close contacts remain in place.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson -- who is self-isolating after his health minister was infected -- has defended the move, dubbed "freedom day" by some media, but urged people to remain prudent.
The government says thanks to a rapid vaccination programme, the risks to the healthcare system are manageable.
Scotland and Wales, whose devolved governments set their own health policy, said they would maintain the mask mandate among other curbs.
There are fears people travelling for the Eid al-Adha festivities could spread the virus further, and authorities in the vast Muslim-majority country strengthened roadblocks on Monday for the start of the holidays.
Although Australia has enjoyed far lower case numbers than most nations, it is also struggling with outbreaks in its two biggest cities.
Melbourne extended a lockdown, meaning roughly 12 million Australians will remain under some form of stay-at-home order.
In Myanmar, where hospitals are empty because of a long-running strike against the military junta, volunteers are going house-to-house to collect bodies for burials.
"We are running our service without resting," Than Than Soe told AFP at the bustling office of her volunteer group.
- US surge - Worries have also grown in the United States, where despite a majority of the adult population receiving at least one shot and months of declining spread, Covid-19 cases have soared by 135 percent over the past two weeks.
In West Hollywood nightclub Revolver, clubbers were warned in the queue: no mask, no entry.
It frustrated the fully vaccinated at the venue, who said they should not have to suffer because of those refusing to get shots.
"Why should we feel responsible for individuals who don't want to protect their own body?" said Anthony Bawn, a 36-year-old screenwriter.
"If they force me to (wear a mask), I'm going to go home."