On 19 July, ‘Freedom Day’ was declared and the United Kingdom lifted almost all remaining COVID restrictions. Bars, nightclubs, music festivals and other crowd-based activities opened and Britons partied.
Contrary to the predictions of experts, reported COVID infections have almost halved:
Hospitalisations remain way below prior peaks:
As are COVID deaths:
The reason for the good outcomes is obvious: the UK is one of the most highly vaccinated nations in the world:
Now, the UK Government has also further eased travel restrictions to allow more Britons to travel abroad without needing to quarantine on their return:
As the UK’s vaccination rollout steams ahead, the government has updated its traffic light system for arriving travellers, with countries assigned to green, amber and red lists based on their Covid-19 risk… More countries were added to the green list…
“We are committed to opening up international travel safely,” Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement overnight…
Countries on the green list are considered “low risk” and arrivals in the UK don’t have to quarantine. They must produce a negative test before they enter, and be tested two days later.
Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway are the countries that will be added to the green list from Sunday…
They join a host of other countries including Croatia, Malta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand and Australia.
Arrivals from amber list countries need to test negative before they enter and have two tests on days two and eight. If arrivals are unvaccinated, they have to self-isolate at home for 10 days.
India, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar have been added to the list, joining the United States, Canada, Thailand, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Japan and others.
With Victorians again joining NSW and QLD in lockdown, UK-style freedom seems a million miles away.
While Australia last year won the COVID battle, it now feels like we are losing the war.