One might (wrongly) believe that Covid-19 no longer exists in the UK. After ending the recommendations on telework last week, the English government on Thursday lifted the last remaining restrictions in the country to fight against the coronavirus. It is no longer compulsory to wear a mask indoors in public places, nor to present a vaccination passport for events with a large audience. Opposed to the lifting of the obligation to wear a mask in public transport, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced to maintain this measure in the capital.
“As the Covid becomes endemic, we must replace legal obligations with advice and recommendations”, justified last week, before the deputies, Boris Johnson for whom the population will have to get used to living with the Covid-19, like it does with the flu. The Prime Minister even hopes to be able to lift the obligation to isolate themselves in the event of a positive test in March, “just as there is no legal obligation for people who have the flu to isolate themselves”.
Hospitals are holding up
This wind of freedom is timely for the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, more than ever weakened at the head of the government by the holiday scandal in Downing Street in defiance of the anti-Covid-19 rules. As the number of cases exploded over the holidays, Boris Johnson had resisted calls to further toughen the restrictions in place. He believes that the facts proved him right: hospitals held on, the number of patients on ventilators never increased, and cases fell sharply.
However, the United Kingdom, among the countries hardest hit by the pandemic with nearly 155,000 deaths, still experiences nearly 100,000 new cases recorded daily. According to a study published by Imperial College London, the level of infection remains high, especially among children and adolescents. Of 3,500 participants in this large study who tested positive between January 5 and 20, two-thirds had already had the virus before.