LONDON (AP) – Britain is taking another small step out of the blockade as it looks nervously at a new wave of the virus that has plagued its European neighbors.
As the coronavirus vaccine level in the UK exceeds that of the European Union, Prime Minister Boris John Onson has been easing a sharp “stay at home” message for almost three months, shortening daily life to control the virus.
From Monday in England it will be replaced by a message to stay local. People will be allowed to meet in groups of six outside; they can resume outdoor sports such as basketball, tennis and golf.
Other parts of the UK, such as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are taking similar steps. In Wales, thousands of people flocked to beaches and mountains on Saturday after authorities lifted travel restrictions that had been in place since December.
Most unnecessary businesses remain closed: pubs, restaurants, gyms, cinemas, theaters, museums, stadiums. Millions of workers are in a rage, the government pays most of their salaries.
The UK has recorded more than 126,000 COVID-19 deaths, the highest in Europe.
In England, the medical director of the National Health Service, Stephen Powys, urged people to continue to follow the rules, to limit contact with others, saying that mitigation “does not mean work done”.
“We have made tremendous progress that we must make, not waste our achievements,” he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.
The severe restrictions imposed during the three blockades last year have been widely supported in business and social life, although they have alarmed some lawmakers in the Son Onson Conservative Party who argue that economic, democratic and human costs outweigh the benefits.
As many European countries see a new wave of the epidemic, Britain is counting on a rapid vaccination program to help end the blockade. More than 30 million people, 57% of all adults in the UK, have received the first dose of the vaccine so far, the government said on Sunday. Almost 7% of adults had two doses.
Britain aims to deliver the first blow to every second over the age of 18 by July, 12 weeks after the first shot.
Health officials say the program will slow down due to supply cuts in April, in part due to a delayed order from India. The EU has also threatened to block the delivery of vaccines from allied companies until pharmacists, particularly the Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, send more staff to EU countries.
Some European politicians, who are facing slow vaccination plans, say Britain has not been able to export any doses of the vaccine to the mainland, while millions have gone the other way. Britain disputes that description, saying vaccines have complex supply chains and that some components of European personnel are made in the UK
British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the government was confident it would meet its vaccination targets. He said that the first doses of the vaccine made by the American company Moderna will arrive in the UK in April, joining the shooting of AstraZeneca և Pfizer-BioNTech.
“We are confident that we will be able to deliver it. We are confident that the vaccines will not need to be mixed,” Dowden told the BBC.
Under the government’s “roadmap” to end the cut-off, shops, hairdressers and open-air dinners in England are due to reopen on April 12, followed by closed areas on May 17. A new wave of virus.
Anthony Harden, deputy chairman of the British Joint Vaccination Committee, said people who have received the vaccine may need to be careful.
“It’s really important that vaccinated people can remember that they are not completely protected,” he told the BBC.
“They are protected from serious illness, hospitalization or death, but they may not be protected from infection after one dose. The onset of the vaccine effect is three to four weeks, they may still be transmitted.”
Follow the AP Epidemic Coverage: