If there is one place in the world at the moment that you should be watching it is the UK.
It has the world’s highest full COVID vaccination rate:
And on Monday the UK declared ‘Freedom Day’, which lifted remaining COVID restrictions, including:
- face masks no longer legally required;
- work-from-home guidance ended;
- social distancing rules axed; and
- limits lifted on the number of people attending theatre performances or big events.
Over the past several days, large crowds have gathered across the UK from nightclubs:
To music festivals:
The gatherings have prompted warnings from health experts that the UK faces an explosion in COVID infections that could overwhelm its hospital system.
So far so good, with new COVID cases actually declining over the past several days; although it is obviously too early to draw definitive conclusions:
Nevertheless, active COVID cases continue to climb:
The hope is that because the UK is highly vaccinated, COVID hospitalisations won’t rise to such an extent that the health system becomes overwhelmed:
And that COVID death rates remain low:
If the UK successfully reopens without spiking hospitalisations and deaths, then it will show other nations that it is safe to reopen once the majority of the population is vaccinated.
It is early days, but so far so good.