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All Covid restrictions lifted in England as experts warn of disastrous consequences

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Flickr/BackBoris2012 Campaign Team

As the government lifts all Covid-19 restrictions in England from today, only time will tell if the move was the right one. PM Boris Johnson has forged ahead with, “freedom day”, despite a surge in infections that could threaten the country’s National Health Service. The government’s stance on the matter is that the success of the vaccine rollout will mean fewer hospitalisations and deaths.

Despite strong condemnation from opposition politicians and medical experts, from today all indoor venues can return to full capacity and nightclubs can re-open. The legal mandate on wearing face masks is also being dropped. The Bangkok Post reports that despite daily infections surging past 50,000, second only to Indonesia and Brazil, the PM insists now is the best time to re-open, given that the school summer holidays start this week.

“If we don’t do it now, then we’ll be opening up in the autumn, the winter months, when the virus has the advantage of 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.”

Opposition health spokesman Jonathan Ashworth from the Labour party has called the decision “reckless”, while Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London says the UK is heading for 100,000 cases a day as a result of the Delta variant. Other medical experts agree, warning that the move risks creating more new variants and threatens the healthcare system.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt points to other countries such as the Netherlands and Israel, where governments have had to backtrack on relaxing restrictions following a surge in infections.

“The warning light on the NHS dashboard is not flashing amber, it is flashing red.”

Meanwhile, public health expert Gabriel Scally from the University of Bristol has not held back on his view of the government’s approach, describing the lifting of all restrictions in England as, “moral emptiness and epidemiological stupidity”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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