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England scraps lockdown rules but Covid-19 cases on the rise with Delta strain

19 July 2021 12:28 PM
Tags:
England
BBC
UK
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Covid-19 lockdown regulations
BBC News

CapeTalk host Abongile Nzelenzele chats to BBC correspondent Rich Preston about the latest international news stories.
  • Most Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted in England on Monday 19 July
  • Face masks are no longer a legal requirement and there are no rules on public gatherings or social distancing
  • According to BBC, almost all legal lockdown restrictions are to end but self-isolation rules will remain
  • BBC correspondent Rich Preston says Prime Minister Boris Johnson is self-isolating after he was exposed to Health Minister Sajid Javid, who has tested positive for coronavirus

© chazbharj/123rf.com

Most Covid-19 lockdown rules have come to an end in England on Monday 19 July.

Most legal restrictions, including mandatory face masks, social distancing, limits on gatherings, have been lifted, reports BBC correspondent Rich Preston.

While face masks are no longer required by law, some shops and transport operators will still require them.

According to Preston, many nightclubs reopened at midnight when the regulations were lifted.

The BCC reports that the self-isolation rules will remain in place. This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson self-isolates after coming into contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Johnson initially said that he would not have to isolate because he was taking part in a pilot scheme that involves daily Covid-19 testing.

However, he made a rapid U-turn after facing backlash from the public, Preston tells CapeTalk.

The easing of lockdown restrictions in England has been met with mixed reactions as the Delta variant of Covid-19 drives news cases across the UK.

Changes to lockdown restrictions are also gradually taking place in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

It's reported that more than 68% of UK adults have been fully vaccinated, which is expected to reduce Covid-19 hospital admissions, serious illness and deaths from virus.

Meanwhile, the UK's daily coronavirus cases have exceeded 40,000 - the highest figures since mid-January.

"This is so divisive because while we have these rules ending, Covid-19 infections are rising again with the Delta variant responsible", Preston says.

This is indeed the day that Boris Johnson said that... all restrictions on what we can and can't do because of Covid-19 are gone. All of the. Every single one. There's no mandatory face coverings, no social distancing required. They've all just gone in a flash.

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC

The irony is that Boris Johnson is himself currently isolating after being identified as a close contact of Sajid Javid, that's our health minister who tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC

The funny twist in that story is that Boris Johnson originally said he wouldn't [self-isolate]. He said he's taking part in a pilot scheme, he's taking tests every day and... doesn't have to self-isolate. But there was a huge backlash to that. People saying it seems like there's one rule for some and one rule for others.

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC

He's self-isolating, but as the clock ticked into midnight, those restrictions were lifted, the law literally ended and as that happened nightclubs reopened. There were nightclubs in London, Manchester, etc. which at midnight opened their doors to let people in.

Rich Preston, Senior foreign news reporter - BBC



19 July 2021 12:28 PM
Tags:
England
BBC
UK
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Covid-19 lockdown regulations
BBC News

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