March 29, 2021: With a vaccination rollout that is on schedule and positive data indicators, Boris Johnson, with his unruly hair courtesy of barber shops being closed, and an upbeat demeanor, happily announced to the nation that England can soon go back to its “roadmap to freedom, unlocking the economy and getting back to the life people love.”
The sports obsessed nation, starved of entertainment, breathes a sigh of relief on what is fast being dubbed “Happy Monday”, as new rules will allow amateur team sports to resume, including tennis, golf, basketball. The English Premier League which continued during the lock-down minus the fans will also likely benefit.
In a first tentative step towards normalcy, England had started opening its schools on March 8 this year, and with public gatherings of up-to 6 people now allowed, the public outlook is definitely looking up. The government will allow opening of pub gardens, and non-essential retail such as hairdressers from April 12 in the third stage.
With 30million people already vaccinated, England can afford to ease restrictions even as the rest of Europe braces for another surge in cases. And this, is what according to Boris Johnson, sets England apart from the continent.
England has so far being relying on Pfizer and AstraZeneca, however that is soon about to change, with the first tranche of Moderna due to arrive next month, hopefully easing some of the concern around possible vaccination shortages originating in India and the row with the EU.
The optimism is tempered with caution, as the PM echoed warnings issued by experts, “We must remain cautious, with cases rising across Europe and new variants threatening our vaccine rollout,” He also urged the public to adhere to guidance on social distancing and hygiene.
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