Wetsuits for cold water and large wind coats. The english They regained limited freedom on Monday, allowing them to meet in small groups outside and resume outdoor sports as part of a prudent lack of refinement.
Faced with a much more contagious strain of the coronavirus originated in the south of England At the end of the year, London closed non-essential shops on December 20 – restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums had already closed before – and decided not to reopen schools after the Christmas holidays, ordering the population to “stay home ”.
Thanks to a drastic reduction in the number of daily infections (3,862 on Sunday) and a successful vaccination campaign that has already administered the first dose to 30 million people (60% of adults), this third national lockdown began to rise very timidly on March 8 with the return of the students to the classrooms and the authorization to see a single person outside.
People enjoy a picnic in Regent’s Park in London.
The progressive lack of refinement, which must last until the end of June, entered a new stage on Monday with the authorization to organize meetings of up to 6 people in open places such as parks or private gardens and to reopen golf, tennis and outdoor swimming pools despite the low water temperatures.
In full wetsuits, or the bravest without them, bathers had been swimming with swans since the morning in the ponds of London parks while the first picnics began to take place on the grass.
Although the government continues to encourage teleworking whenever possible and avoid public transport, the order to “stay at home” is also legally lifted in the country most affected by the pandemic in Europe, with more than 126,500 deaths confirmed by covid-19 .
Bathers swim in the Saltdean Lido near Brighton as restrictions are eased from the third coronavirus lockdown in England. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP). (GLYN KIRK /)
Called to prudence
Despite this small relaxation, foreseen in a detailed roadmap announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the end of February, the government continues to call on the population to be prudent, warning of the risk that new, less reactive variants of vaccines will give the de-escalation of confinement with serious economic and psychological consequences.
Despite having had a “very difficult last few months” and an “impatient” desire to see family and friends when the Easter holidays roll around, Health Minister Matt Hancock called on the British to be prudent to “protect progress. made with the vaccine ”.
“As the increase in cases in Europe shows, this virus remains a very real threat”, he warned.
A soccer training session takes place in warm weather at London’s Regent’s Park on March 29, 2021. (Photo by Hollie Adams / AFP). (HOLLIE ADAMS /)
London police insisted that “all large gatherings” remain banned and vowed to act swiftly against indoor parties and mass gatherings.
The country, which has so far administered the AstraZeneca / Oxford and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines, and faces a reduction in supplies right at the time of injecting the second doses (distributed so far to 3.5 million people) expects the delivery in April of 17 million doses of a third vaccine, that of the American laboratory Moderna, to reach its goal of having vaccinated the entire adult population by the end of July.
The next step in the deconfinement of England is scheduled on April 12, with the reopening of bars and restaurants, and non-essential businesses such as hairdressers that Johnson himself, with a more undisciplined blonde hair than usual, said he was eager to visit. .
Travel abroad remains prohibited, which according to the roadmap will only be allowed from May 17 at the earliest.
“We must remain cautious,” insisted Johnson, stressing that “the increase in cases in Europe and new variants that threaten our vaccination campaign” could reach the UK in three weeks.
For the moment, however, he is moving forward with his national plan “towards freedom,” he said.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.