England has lifted most of its domestic COVID-19 restrictions, marking a milestone as the country moves into a new phase of pandemic life — what some have dubbed “Freedom Day.” Rob Pinney/Getty Images Young people gathered at nightclubs just after midnight to celebrate the return of crowds to raucous indoor spaces. “This is what life’s about,” one clubgoer said.
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People dance at Egg London nightclub early Monday in the British capital. hide caption
The loosened restrictions are happening as cases in the U.K. spike to the highest levels since January — up 41% over the previous week. “Today, we’ve taken the fourth step on the prime minister’s road map. We faced challenges and delays. However, thanks to the success of the vaccine rollout, we are now in a position to ease the majority of our domestic COVID-19 restrictions,” U.K. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said Monday. Restrictions are lifting, but cases are rising
Requirements to wear face coverings have been lifted, though masks are still recommended in crowded areas such as public transport. They are required on the London Tube. And the government is no longer instructing people to work from home if possible, though it anticipates a gradual return to the office. The move to phase four of the country’s reopening plan means there are no limits on the size of social gatherings or events, and social distancing is no longer required. The government still recommends meeting outdoors when possible.
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- Most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in England: Coronavirus updates: NPR
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