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UK "Freedom Day" Opening Up Despite Almost 40,000 Cases


05:16 19 Jul 2021

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People across England are experiencing life without legal Covid restrictions for the first time in 16 months today.

So-called 'Freedom Day' comes at a time of surging infection rates, driven by the more transmissible Delta variant.

The UK's recorded another 39-thousand-950 new coronavirus cases.

A further 19 people have also died within 28 days of a positive test.

This compares to 34,471 infections and six deaths reported this time last week.

Despite this, there were cheers from nightclub-goers at a venue in London last night.

It happened after most of England's legal Covid restrictions ended.

Many clubs wasted no time - throwing open their doors just after midnight.

New Normal For Nightclubs

Charlie Gilkes owns several nightclubs in the English capital.

Despite no limit on attendances, he says a full reopening isn't on the cards:

"Given the cases are so high we're no re-opening with a big bang."

"We're not going full tilt."

"But we are keeping some restrictions in."

"I'm looking forward to us getting back to what I hope will be a new normal, or very much like the old normal."

"No Sense Of Freedom" - WHO

Social distancing and mask-wearing are also no longer compulsory.

The relaxing of measures has led to concern among scientists due to surging infection rates.

England's now reporting the third-highest daily case numbers in the world, behind only India and Brazil.

Dr David Nabarro - the WHO's Special Envoy on Covid-19 - is worried about what the next stage will bring:

"There is no sense of freedom in my heart."

"Unfortunately, there is a sense that the virus is very much here."

The British Prime Minister - who's himself self-isolating - has defended the reopening but is urging people to be cautious.

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