NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

No Masks In Closed Spaces, Goodbye Vaccine Proofs: UK Lifts Omicron Curbs.

No Masks In Closed Spaces, Goodbye Vaccine Proofs: UK Lifts Omicron Curbs

Covid In Britain: Coronavirus cases have fallen in all regions in England in the past few weeks.

London:

England on Thursday lifted coronavirus restrictions imposed to tackle the Omicron variant, with masks no longer required in enclosed places and vaccine passports shelved.

The number of positive Covid-19 cases has fallen sharply over the past two weeks, and although still at high levels, have plateaued in recent days.

The UK government introduced the so-called "Plan B" restrictions on December 8, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a looming "tidal wave" of Omicron.

Face masks were required in all enclosed spaces and, controversially, vaccine documentation also was to enter places such as nightclubs, football grounds and large-scale events.

On the streets of London around St Paul's Cathedral, there was general support for the lifting of restrictions, which comes after more than 37 million people had booster jabs.

"I think it's a really good thing," said Elizabeth Hynes, 71, who is originally from Ireland but has lived in England for 47 years.

"I was coming up the lifts here at St Paul's and I was looking at all the shows" being advertised, she said of the posters inside the underground station.

"And I thought 'how wonderful, it's like old times'.

"It's like we're getting back to how London was, and you realise how much you've missed live theatre and fantastic shows."

Hynes said she had stage-4 melanoma skin cancer, but had so far "been lucky" and not caught Covid.

"We don't know about tomorrow, we have to live... for today, trying to get a bit of enjoyment out of life," she added.

Julia, 28, from Spain, said it was time to "have a normal life".

"It's been two years and it's time to take responsibility ourselves," she said as she waited for the St Paul's eatery in which she works to open.

"In Spain we need to wear masks everywhere, even in the street," she added.

Even if "there's nobody in the street... you need to wear the mask. On the beach, you need to wear the mask.

"I prefer the UK restrictions because it's going to be very difficult to visit the family there. I'm fully vaccinated but I don't want to get the vaccine every nine months."

'Traumatic'

England previously lifted restrictions on July 19, so-called "Freedom Day", but then introduced new rules as the Omicron wave arrived.

Health minister Sajid Javid credited the country's booster programme for allowing restrictions to be lifted.

"Our vaccines, testing and antivirals ensure we have some of the strongest defences in Europe and are allowing us to cautiously return to Plan A, restoring more freedoms to this country," he said.

From Thursday, passengers on London's transport network will still be required to wear face masks but they will no longer be mandatory in secondary school classrooms.

"It was traumatic for them, they couldn't hear the teachers, the teachers couldn't hear them," Hynes said of the mask rules in school.

US holidaymaker Ethan Letson, 24, agreed with London Mayor Sadiq Khan's decision to mandate face coverings on the capital's trains and buses.

"I still wear the mask on public transport, I will wear it in very crowded areas like the Underground. It's so tight down there, you could get sick at any time," he said.

Unlike Scotland and Wales, which set their own health policy, England kept nightclubs and bars open over the festive period.

But businesses still took a heavy hit as punters stayed at home.

Hospitality workers in the business district around St Paul's said things had only just started to improve.

"The last week, business has started to pick up again. Around Christmas it was dead," said bartender Lewis Colby, 39.

"People aren't so scared anymore, trains are busier coming into work, people are starting to drink more."

Despite the lifting of restrictions, those who test positive for coronavirus must still self-isolate for a minimum of five days.

Johnson said he also hopes to scrap those rules when they expire on March 24.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Останні новини
Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade

Fox News' chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream provides details on the Supreme Court's ruling that reverses the long-standing precedent on abortion in America. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Li...

New York City expanding access to monkeypox vaccine as virus spreads across U.

New York City expanding access to monkeypox vaccine as virus spreads across U.

New York City is making the monkeypox vaccine available to more people as the amount of cases continues to increase in the U.S. Now, groups of at-risk men who have had multiple male sex partners, or anonymous sex in the past two weeks, are eligibl...

Hikers Filming Reality Show Rescued On Arizona Trail.

Hikers Filming Reality Show Rescued On Arizona Trail.

Crews rescued eight women who became stranded in Echo Canyon while reportedly filming reality show "Bad Girls Gone God." KPNX's Jonathan McCall reports. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovativ...

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion.  #CNN #News

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in landmark case involving abortion access

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in landmark case involving abortion access

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade and the fundamental right to abortion that has been the law for almost 50 years.

Former DOJ officials testify about Trump’s efforts to overturn election.

Former DOJ officials testify about Trump’s efforts to overturn election.

The House Jan. 6 committee heard from three former officials who said they repeatedly told former President Trump that allegations of widespread voter fraud were untrue.