July 26, 2021

England lifts last restrictions despite outbreak spike

From “Freedom Day” – “Freedom Day” – to the risk of “Covid chaos” … The British government had to maintain the lifting of all legal health restrictions in England from Monday July 19 – end of the wearing of the compulsory mask in stores and transport, end of indoor gauges.

But, to believe the Mail on Sunday, Boris Johnson has given up to the “Churchillian” speech he was preparing for the occasion, preferring to call his fellow citizens to the “ prudence » Sunday.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Because of the Delta variant, England postpones the end of its deconfinement by one month

And for good reason: the Downing Street strategy seems increasingly risky, as Covid-19 infections have crossed the 50,000 daily case mark and the economy is threatened with paralysis, as millions of Britons are forced to quarantine himself for having been contact cases. Starting with Boris Johnson himself, like Rishi Sunak, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, who confirmed to isolate himself, until July 26, after having rubbed shoulders with the Minister of Health Sajid Javid, tested positive on Saturday. They tried to escape quarantine, but very quickly gave it up, faced with the start of a controversy.

As of Saturday, 54,674 cases of contamination in twenty-four hours had been recorded in the United Kingdom, an increase of 40% in one week. As of Sunday, 48,161 cases were again reported. And while the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are more than 90% effective in preventing severe cases and hospitalizations, the latter are progressing rapidly, with 740 patients admitted to hospital on July 13, double the start of the month. Deaths also remain limited (twenty-five deaths recorded on Sunday), but they follow the same worrying progression as hospitalizations.

Hundreds of thousands of contact cases

Already, hospitals under pressure – in Birmingham for example – have announced that they are deprogramming operations. Another consequence, also very embarrassing, in the week of July 5, 530,126 Britons were contacted by the contact tracing application, “Test & Trace”, asking them to isolate themselves.

National media are now talking about a «Pingdemic» (an epidemic of notifications sent by the application): for lack of staff forced to stay at home, the London Underground had to close two lines of its network on Saturday; Steve Rowe, CEO of Marks & Spencer, explains in the columns of the Sunday Times, that the chain of stores was going to have to reduce its time slots for lack of personnel.

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