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The UK is ready for a major reopening, but the new version worries

LONDON (AP) – In England, travelers packed their bags, bartenders polished their glasses and performers warmed up as Britain prepared for a big step out of the blockade on Sunday, but with clouds of anxiety on the horizon.

The excitement of the travel reopening անում hospitality was worrying that a more contagious version of the virus found in India was spreading rapidly և could delay further reopening plans.

The number of cases in the UK has more than doubled in a week, contradicting a nationwide sharp decline in the number of deaths due to infection, deaths due to hard-earned months, and the rapid vaccination campaign. In the northern parts of England, in areas most severely affected by this variant, a wave test was conducted – an enhanced vaccine test.

Health Minister Matt Hancock said the version, officially known as B.1.617.2, was more transmissible than the UK mainstream, “it is likely to become the dominant version.”

“This is not over yet,” Hancock told the BBC on Sunday. “The virus has gained momentum, we all need to be more careful.”

On Monday in England, for the first time in months, people will be able to eat at a restaurant, drink in a tavern, go to a museum, hug friends and visit each other’s homes. The ban on foreign vacations will also be lifted, as travel to a short list of countries with a low rate of infection is now possible. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland follow similar but slightly different reopening routes.

Patrick Dardis, executive director of Young’s Brewery անդ Inn, said the enclosed area, which follows the reopening of open-air beer gardens last month, was “a big step towards normalization”.

“The weather was terrible, people are resilient, but we really needed this next step,” he said.

But entertainment venues say they will not be able to make money until they can open at full capacity. This should take place on June 21, the date set by the government to lift its remaining restrictions on COVID-19, including the rules of social distance և wearing a mask.

Prime Minister Boris John Onson said that if the new version causes a big wave of events, it could disrupt the program.

Britain has recorded almost 128,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest in Europe. But new infections fall to an average of about 2,000 a day, compared with nearly 70,000 a day during the winter peak, and deaths reach a single day.

Nearly 70% of adults in the UK have received the first dose of coronavirus vaccine, and more than 37% have received both doses.

Health officials, with the support of the military, are conducting wave testing in the towns of Bolton եք Blackburn in the north-west of England, where new cases are being collected, and vaccine leaflets have been set up to speed up the vaccine engine. Across the country, the government is cutting the gap between doses for people over the age of 50 for 12 to eight weeks to give them more protection.

Hancock says scientists have a “high degree of confidence” that current vaccines work against a version discovered by Indians.

Critics of the British Conservative government say the careless border rules allow a new version to enter the country. They accuse the government of delaying the ban on visitors from India, which is experiencing a devastating coronavirus outbreak, as it seeks a deal with a vast country.

India was added to the UK’s high-risk “red list” on April 23 by neighbors Pakistan and Bangladesh weeks later.

“We should not be in this situation,” said Yvette Cooper, a Labor lawmaker. “This was not inevitable.”

The government denies that its health policy has been influenced by political or commercial considerations.

Mark Walport, a member of the government’s emergency scientific advisory group, said Britain was in a “dangerous moment” and that people should be careful about their new freedoms.

“My advice is that just because you can do something does not mean you have to,” he told Sky News. “Communicate outside as much as possible, maintain social distance. If you are going to hug, hug carefully. ”

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Follow AP epidemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic և https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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