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COVID restrictions lifted across England

19th July 2021

Since the Prime Minister’s roadmap was announced, and subsequently extended, vast swathes of the population have been counting down to the lifting of lockdown restrictions on the 19th of July. 

However, freedom day seemed to come around with much the same monotony as the last 480+ days.

Out of habit, but also out of anxiety, many people still donned face masks whilst shopping or whilst travelling by public transport.

The easing of restrictions has been described as a “perfect storm”, with the number of reported cases rising rapidly as restrictions become the loosest they have been in 16 months.

Leaders such as Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, have urged people to be sensible going forwards:

“We are asking people in Bristol to continue to presume to wear a face covering…continue to keep your distance, keep up with the personal hygiene, hand washing, and if possible meet in open spaces, and if meeting indoors, meet in well-ventilated places.”

Customer-facing businesses have arguably been left exposed by the lifting of restrictions and the increased movement of the population. Concerns about transmission, and eventual self-isolation, amongst staff is also high.

On the other hand, hospitality businesses will rejoice at the prospect of maximum occupancy rates and, perhaps the most neglected industry of all, nightclubs are finally able to open there doors after months of closure.

Nightclubs have been a focal point of debate throughout the pandemic and will continue to be contentious over the coming months.

Whilst business recovery is vital for these venues, the adherence to health and safety practicalities will be equally integral. Fears surrounding the close proximity of individuals, and the fears of transmission back to their families and colleagues, have dominated much of the conversation.

Leaders in the industry have stressed how important the reopening date is for there businesses and most are therefore hoping to create an environment that is as safe as possible to avoid any excuse for officials to close their venues once again.

It now seems that, though legal restrictions are no longer formally enforced, the responsibility for the public’s safety now lies with the public.

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