In the early hours of the morning, the English rushed to the stands or to the hairdresser on Mondays to tame their voluminous hair, savoring the little freedom found with the restrictions associated with the pandemic lifted.
“It finally happens, after all these months!” Kobe Wise, 32, yells, enjoying a cold beer at Half Moon, an East London pub in the “beer garden” he visited from there. Opening, I come to 9:00 am for the occasion, protected from rain by parachutes.
Around it, despite the winter temperatures, dozens of students are spread out over two tables – the different house groups are limited to a maximum of six and are kept forbidden inside.
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Some are in Guinness, others choose an English breakfast – sausage, beans and eggs – with a hot drink. Cheeeeers! They say, with their mugs and laptop close at hand, to capture the moment with a selfie.
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On Oxford Street, one of London’s major shopping streets, Mystery Shoppers lined up outside clothing stores as early as 5.30am, braving the cold two hours before non-essential businesses reopened.
Hairdressers across England are overworked, with some reopening as early as midnight to meet demand.
These scenes are made possible again thanks to the marked improvement in the health situation in the United Kingdom, the most bereaved country in Europe with more than 127,000 deaths, under the influence of strict containment and mass vaccination.
Since the third confinement decision in early January or even December in certain areas such as London, pollution, hospitalizations and deaths have been in free fall.
“I’m sure this will be a huge relief to business owners that have been closed for so long and for everyone else, this is the opportunity to get back to doing some of the things we love and miss,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson delighted.
Nevertheless, he called for “acting responsibly” to avoid the re-emergence of pollution.
But the joy of a gradual return to normal was tarnished by the death of Prince Philip, 99, on Friday, who plunged the UK into a period of national mourning until the day of his funeral on Saturday.
Boris Johnson postponed a visit to the pub, which he had planned to celebrate the reopening.
In addition to terraces and shops, English can also return to gyms, spas, libraries, swimming pool and go on vacation in the country.
It’s a much-anticipated boost to the economy, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, although the British Beer & Pub Association estimates that only 40% of pubs in England have enough outdoor space to reopen.
This was also made possible by a massive vaccination campaign, which has already made it possible to administer a first dose to nearly 60% of the adult population since the beginning of December, that is, most of those over 50.
Authorities maintained their goal of providing a first dose to all adults by the end of July despite concerns raised about the potential risk of blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been recently booked for more than 30 years as a precaution.
Despite these improvements, calls for caution multiplied. Radio Times professor Peter Horby, who heads the group advising the British government on respiratory viruses, warned (Nirvtag, even if it is not known exactly when or to what extent there will be an inevitable recovery in the number of cases). ).
The dismantling, which follows a different schedule according to the country, provides for the reopening of in-house restaurants in England on 17 May, simultaneously with hotels, museums, performance halls and stadium stands of limited capacity.
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Traveling abroad is prohibited, at least until then, for fear of importing vaccine-resistant varieties for the Coronavirus.
Funerals are still limited to 30 participants, forcing the royal family to plan a small funeral for Prince Philip.