In England, the face masks are allowed to take off and even keep distance is no longer mandatory. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tonight that he expects the promised “Freedom Day” to continue on July 19.
“We need to live with the virus,” is the message. Thanks to the successful vaccination campaign, the weak in society are now protected and relaxations can continue, the Prime Minister says.
Johnson says it‘s important to weigh the risks:
The date of July 19 applies only to England. In other parts of the UK, such as Wales and Scotland, they follow their own roadmap.
But while the British government has been proclaiming the “teaching with covid life” message for days, the debate is raging. Is easing such a good idea now that the delta variant is on a big advance?
Medical experts and opposition members ask for more clarity about what ‘life with the virus‘ means: what coronastic inheritance rate and how many cases of lung covid are now acceptable to the UK government?
Ascending Infections vs Low Hospital Admissions
The number of infections with the new delta variant is rapidly increasing in the UK. Where the daily average in the week of June 1 was around 4,000 infections, this is about six times higher, a month later: around 24,000 a day.
As a result of vaccines, hospital admissions seem to remain low for the time being. Medical experts also confirm that the link between the number of infections and the number of admissions is significantly weakened.
Nowhere in Europe has been vaccinated as much as in the UK. About two-thirds of the adult population (63 percent) had a second dose, and 86 percent received a first injection, the latest figures show.
That vaccination success allows us to give people back their freedoms, says Johnson. Although the Prime Minister stresses that the pandemic is not over and that one should continue to carefully assess the risks of covid-19.
In this new phase, it will not be the government that imposes what we can and cannot do, but we should use our “own common sense” according to Johnson. So how much distance you keep and how you protect yourself becomes your own responsibility – even if it can lead to conflicts with others.
The discussion has already erupted in the media: are you wearing a mask or not in London’s crowded metros? At this point, the views of local mayors, the national railways and the British government seem to collide. For example, London Mayor Sadiq Khan calls on the government to keep wearing a mouth mask compulsory in public transport.
Stadium with 60,000 football fans
Meanwhile, more than 60,000 fans are expected at Wembley Stadium in London for the European Championship semifinals this week. Although there is evidence that the coronavirus is spreading during major events, Prime Minister Johnson does not intend to reduce that number.
He advised the fans to support the English team “enthusiastically but responsibly.” It is, of course, whether exhausts British football fans will remember that advice during the game.