The UK's plans to scrap Covid restrictions

As of 19 July, virtually all remaining Covid restrictions are to be lifted in the UK. Although infection numbers have surged, with the seven-day incidence reaching 259, the number of hospital admissions and deaths has remained relatively low. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "We need to learn to live with the virus." Is the British government doing the right thing?

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The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Unmasked optimism

It's time to drop mandatory masks, the Daily Telegraph thunders:

“Last week a study led by Cambridge University found that mass vaccination had lowered the fatality rate of Covid to an estimated 0.085% - lower than influenza. And we have never required masks to be worn to control that infection. More importantly still, maintaining compulsory face covering on transport networks in big cities sets a mood and a tone that is far from conducive to the restoration of optimism and confidence. Millions of people who were bombarded with doom-laden public health warnings during the height of the pandemic could find themselves irrationally clinging on to a traumatised mindset rather than embracing the new post-vaccine paradigm.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Morally indefensible

Boris Johnson is risking everything that has been achieved, The Irish Times writes in despair:

“Many people in England remain unprotected. And no vaccine offers total protection, which means that vulnerable people could fall ill and die in very high numbers if transmission continues at current rates. A government scientific adviser has warned that the plan is akin to building 'variant factories'. In effect, it is now British government policy to let Covid-19 rip through the population. It is a morally indefensible position that will cost Britain – and its neighbours – dearly.”