Celebrations across the UK as coronavirus lockdowns ease


Jubilant celebrations ring through public shops, hairdressers, and pub gardens for the first time in months as rules ease across the UK. 

As lockdowns measures on non-essential services were eased, midnight revelers thronged pubs and social hotspots in sheer excitement. 

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Several businesses ranging from nail salons. Hairdressers, beauty parlors, indoor gyms, and spas are now open to the public. People are even authorized to stay away from home overnight. Unless in the case of essential trips, international travel remains restricted. 

Public amenities such as libraries and community centers will reopen, not forgetting the outdoor social hangouts like zoos and theme parks. 

Improved weather and the reopening of pub gardens are major morale boost for the general public and hospitality sectors. A briefing report presented in the House of Commons provides information on the impact of the pandemic on the kingdom’s hospitality sector. According to the report, in early March only 43% of the hospitality industry had been trading, way lower than the 74% across all other industries. 19% of small businesses were worried that their businesses won’t survive the next 3 months. 

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As the weather improved, pub gardens are expected to be a morale booster for the British public and hospitality sectors. This was after a tough year of closures that left many disenfranchised. As soon as the measures went into effect, 24 hour licensed pubs opened. Other regular pubs across the country have been fully booked for several weeks as drinkers count down to April 12. Drinkers will however have to sit outside until further easing measures come into effect. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson affirmed the continuation of the country’s reopening roadmap after an analysis of Covid-19 infection data on the reopening of schools was carried out. The government has based its reopening decision on several factors; successful deployment of the vaccine program, evidence on the reduction of hospitalizations and deaths, and an assurance of no further surge in hospitalizations. Further assessment will look at the risks posed by new market variants. 

According to Johnson last week, step 2 of the ease will carry on without incident on April 12 as nothing on the available data then showed a deviation from the intended plan. Despite this development, he urged restraint over the many restrictions in place. Outdoor gatherings were limited to 2 houses or 6 people. To date, over 4.3 million infections have been reported across the U.K and over 127,000 people have lost their lives. 

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On the bright side, the country’s vaccination program has been a massive success when compared to the rest of Europe. Over 32 million people have thus far been vaccinated in an unbelievable record vaccination program. 7.4 million people have already taken their second dose. The swift rollout carried out in December way ahead of the US and EU has helped the country fight off the third wave that hit hard late last year.  

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The next phase in the easing of restrictions will take place on May 17. What happens here is people can now mix freely outdoors with a limit set to 30 people. People can also socialize indoors upto six people, while indoor, restaurants, cinemas, and pubs will remain open to the public.