London, April 12 2021: As it completes vaccination for nearly 60% of its population, England takes a major step towards “resumption of normal life”, as pubs and restaurants in have been allowed to partially reopen, bringing some cheer to hard hit hospitality sector.
Bars and restaurants have opened out door dining and barbers can now open their doors for clientele as trims are long overdue. The last stay at home order was issued by Britain about three months ago, while a surge of shoppers is expected at stores in the non-essential retail sector as outlets try to recoup heavy Covid losses. Mosques too are preparing for Ramadan and traditional community gatherings amid renewed optimism.
Indoor gyms, swimming pools, libraries and zoos have also been given the go-ahead to open their doors, as have self-catering domestic holidays, where bookings have soared. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the easing of restrictions “a major step forward in our roadmap to freedom”.
There is also increasing pressure for a decision on the resumption of non-essential international travel, with Britons eager to book foreign holidays. Johnson has said the government will be driven by data, not dates, in its reopening plan, with the next anticipated easing due on May 17. All social restrictions are scheduled to be lifted on June 21.The emphasis is still on outdoor activities to prevent spread of the virus through close contact indoors.
As the public mood is beginning to change, authorities and health experts still warn against complacency and urge social distancing measures be adhered to.
According to Peter Horby, chairman of the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group. “The watchword has got to be caution, really,” “the modelling which is now pretty good does show that we can expect some kind of rebound.” Meanwhile, government officials and scientists are banking on vaccination to prevent more serious cases of Covid-19 that require hospital treatment.
Britain has recorded more than 4.3 million positive cases since the outbreak began and over 127,000 deaths, one of the worst to. Meanwhile, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with their own devolved administrations, are implementing less widespread easing of restrictions.
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