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Feb 23, 2021

Monday, Mar 08, 2021 - 14:05:50

UK moves to lift coronavirus lockdowns

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For two long months, the United Kingdom has been in total lockdown – schools, hospitality, and non-essential shops shut – with people advised to stay at home.

But finally, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the end is near.

"We're setting out on what I hope and believe is a one way road to freedom, and this journey is made possible by the pace of the vaccination programme," he said.

UK OPENS QUARANTINE HOTELS, PUSHES ON WITH VACCINE DRIVE

The roadmap comes in various stages: 

March 8 - All children will resume school, People can meet one other person outside for more than just exercise, Care home residents can receive one regular visitor. 

March 29 - Outdoor gatherings allowed of up to six people. Outdoor sport will be allowed.

April 12 - Reopening of non-essential retail, hair and nail salons, gyms and pools.

May 17th - Indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, cinemas, museums will reopen. 

June 21 - All legal limits removed and the last sectors such as nightclubs will reopen.

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The announcement led to a rush to book overseas vacations – amid optimism travel restrictions will be removed by summer.

But critics argue it’s too slow: Nigel Farage tweeted, "It will be 3 months until we can have a drink in a pub. This is freedom at a snail’s pace."

The British economy dropped 10% in 2020 – the most in the g7. and some businesses say they can’t hold on.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer of UK Hospitality said, "Every day, every week that goes by, we stand to lose more and more of our businesses because they are hemorrhaging cash at the moment"

The UK has had one the worst death tolls in the world –180 deaths per 100,000 – vs 151 in the US.

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But following a successful vaccine roll out across 27% of the population, there is at least now light at the end of the tunnel.

Despite that, some companies are also afraid they haven’t seen the worst – that they say will come when government relief ends – only then will they know whether the cure was worse than the disease.

 

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Next News:

Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: 2.9 million Americans vaccinated in one day in a new record

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The US hit a new daily record for vaccinations with 2.9 million shots in arms in just one day.

So far, 30 million Americans have received a COVID vaccine.

Experts are concerned about people getting too comfortable as the virus continues to spread.

The more contagious UK variant makes up more than 20% of all cases nationwide, a new report in the New York Times found.

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Here are more of today's headlines:

How COVID relief bill will impact New York
Fresh off the Senate's passage of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was back in New York on Sunday to promote what he said would be the plan's $100 billion impact on his home state.

The Democrat detailed aid that he said would be headed to schools, small businesses, museums, restaurants, transit, theaters, vaccine distribution and local governments plus the $1,400 in direct aid that most New Yorkers are slated to receive as part of the relief package.

Bike Week: Daytona motorcycle rally goes on despite COVID pandemic
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Daytona Beach's annual Bike Week has brought tens of thousands of motorcyclists to the city and its neighbors this weekend - and few of them are wearing masks.

The city made a bargain with its bars - 60% capacity indoors in return for the permits necessary for temporary outdoor sales and entertainment. The city is trying to avoid what happened at the Sturgis, South Dakota, motorcycle rally in August - that event led to a disputed number of infections around the country, ranging from several hundred to tens or hundreds of thousands.

Newark couple celebrates golden anniversary with vaccine
Two retired school teachers from Newark celebrated their golden anniversary by getting their COVID-19 vaccinations Saturday.

Eighty-eight-year-old Alan Greene and his 78-year-old wife, Judy, went to the Meadowlands vaccination mega-site for their second doses of the vaccine. Judy says they feel fortunate to have gotten through the pandemic without getting sick, especially after Alan broke his hip in a fall back in July.

Joe Biden's approval on COVID-19 steady as country wary about reopening: POLL
President Joe Biden retains broad support for his coronavirus response, though the country appears to be wary of aggressively loosening restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll.

On the cusp of scoring his first major legislative achievement, more than two-thirds of Americans (68%) approve of Biden's approach to the pandemic -- a consistent result since he took office in January. At a moment of deep political polarization, his steady approval is also reinforced by positive marks from 35% of Republicans, 67% of independents and an overwhelming 98% of Democrats in the poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel.

NY indoor dining capacity to increase March19
Restaurants in New York, but outside of New York City, will be allowed to increase their indoor dining capacity to 75% beginning March 19, Gov. Cuomo announced Sunday. "We also think 75% is what the consumer is ready for," Cuomo said. It will be an increase from the current 50% capacity. Meanwhile, there is no word on when capacity at restaurants in New York City will be increased beyond the current 35% restrictions.

UK students off to class backed by virus tests
British children are gearing up to return to school on Monday after a two-month closure, part of what Prime Minister Boris Johnson said was a plan to get the country to "start moving closer to a sense of normality." As part of the plan, millions of high school and college students coming back to U.K. classrooms will be tested for the first few weeks. Authorities want to quickly detect and isolate asymptomatic cases in order to avoid sending entire schools home.

When did you realize the COVID pandemic changed everything?
Many of us had a moment, most often occurring in March 2020, when we realized that COVID-19 had completely changed our lives forever. Even though we've managed to move forward and adapt to a new normal, that memory still sticks with us. Tell us: What was that moment to you?

Top 7 COVID vaccine questions answered

You had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On Your Side is getting you answers from doctors on the front line of the pandemic.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE
Positive COVID-19 cases by zip code - New York City

New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
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