“Freedom Day” is here – Prime Minister Boris Johnson (57) has lifted almost all Corona measures in England while he is still in quarantine because his Minister of Health has Corona.
“We are taking a big step towards opening up and that is very correct. (…) If we don’t do it now, we have to ask ourselves if we will ever do it, ”said Johnson in a video message from his country estate in Checkers.
▶︎ Called: As of today, there are no mask requirements or distance rules in England. In addition, discos are allowed to reopen, theaters and sports stadiums can occupy all seats. The recommendation to work from home is also canceled. Exceptions apply in London, where the mask requirement remains in place in local transport.
The easing is highly controversial in Great Britain in view of the rampant Delta variant. The opposition accuses the government of ruthlessness, and scientists fear another large corona wave.
On Saturday alone, 48,161 new infections were reported in Great Britain – as many as last time in early January. The incidence (cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population) is 465. For comparison: at the beginning of May – before Delta raced through Great Britain – the incidence was still around 20.
However: The new corona wave is much safer than the last big one from winter. While around 30,000 patients were in hospital at the height of the winter wave in mid-January, there are currently around 3,000. This means that the hospitalization rate is around ten times lower. With 14 deaths a day, the current death rate is around a hundred times lower than in mid-January (almost 1,400 deaths a day).
The fact that, despite enormous new infections, significantly fewer people have to go to hospital or die is almost exclusively due to the fact that 87 percent of the population in Great Britain have been vaccinated at least once – 68 percent have already received the second injection.
Health minister infected despite vaccination
However, even a full vaccination did not protect UK Health Minister Sajid Javid (51) from infection. Javid tested positive for Corona on Saturday, but says he has only very mild symptoms.
Since then, Prime Minister Johnson has retired to quarantine at his country estate in Checkers. “Take the next step with prudence and respect for other people and the risks that this disease still poses,” warned Johnson in his video message.