Police and anti-lockdown protesters clash outside the Houses of Parliament with spirits seething in Westminster just as England’s ‘Freedom Day’ reaches half-day. And according to the ONS, their concerns seem to be shared by those less likely to throw a bottle too.
The Reg saw reports of a blocked road as protesters throwing glass took to the streets today, as many Covid restrictions must be relaxed as a precursor to normal life. The catch is, for a lot of people, it just doesn’t feel like it.
The official line is that across the country – to a greater or lesser extent depending on where you live, work or travel – many restrictions are being lifted with a shift in emphasis on greater personal judgment and greater personal judgment. greater responsibility.
We note that in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland restrictions still apply as the Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned the Scots this morning.
But according to the latest weekly Opinion and Lifestyle survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the nation’s gradual unlocking is expected to be slow and cautious, with more than half (57%) expressing concern about the plans to lift the legal restrictions that have shaped people’s lives over the past 18 months.
Fortunately, nine in 10 people said they ‘felt’ wearing a mask and keeping distance from strangers was helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, with two-thirds (64%) of those polled saying that ‘they still planned to cover their faces. in the shops.
If you are traveling by public transport, there is bad news. Only two-thirds of those polled said they plan to continue wearing masks on buses and trains, while six in 10 said they plan to avoid crowded places.
Transport for London said people would still be required to wear face coverings on public transport, unless they were “exempt”.
South Western Railway – which serves London Waterloo – said it had “removed advice on social distancing and expects passengers, out of respect for others, to wear face coverings in crowded places.”
Track and trace ping-demic: BoJo and co slow down the vaccine
All of this comes amid continued concerns about the NHS Track and Trace application. Last week, more than 500,000 people were ‘nutted’ and ordered to isolate themselves – including Prime Minister Boris Johnson among other senior politicians – which has sparked even more confusion as business leaders called for clarity and leadership.
“Again, reopening the economy is hampered by poor communication and mixed messages,” said Dr Roger Barker, director of policy at the Institute of Directors.
“The latest guidelines for companies make it clear that by law companies must not allow a self-isolating worker to come to work. But, at the same time, ministers are telling the media that the application is merely advisory.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak also came under heavy fire over the weekend after suggesting that they themselves would participate in a “pilot program” where they would be allowed to continue to operate. work and avoid isolation. It has gone like a sick bag with citizens as industries across the country continue to be hit by staff shortages caused by self-quarantine rules, dubbed by the English press the “pingdemic”.
The pair did an about-face after the backlash and vowed to self-isolate. Nobody mentions Barnard’s Castle, eh? ®