As Aussies lock down harder, Britons enjoy more freedoms

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:

UK COVID cases

Almost cut in half.

Hospitalisations remain way below prior peaks:

COVID hospitalisations

COVID hospitalisations at manageable levels.

As are COVID deaths:

UK COVID deaths

UK COVID deaths remain low.

The reason for the good outcomes is obvious: the UK is one of the most highly vaccinated nations in the world:

COVID vaccinations

UK is highly vaccinated.

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.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. They have all been holidaying in the country and overseas…….we will see how they go when they are back at work and school and uni go back in September. The virus marches to its own drum.

    • Yes, covid will make fools of loads more people. The Poms have just declared Mexico a red zone so they are now all scrambling to get back by tomorrow, possibly Spain also. But India now down to orange.

      • Am in the UK now and as it stands only relatively few people are leaving the county for travel. Most dont trust the ever changing rules and cant afford or dont want to pay for testing which has been allocated to approved cronies to profiteer from. For wife and I would be about £ 300 between us to go to Greece and far more of course if test positive. Most people are still wearing masks and avoiding places like crowded pubs etc, I am waiting to get back to Aus for a few months and Cheapest fare yesterday was close to £10,000 and that involved changing airlines with the almost certainly of one or more flights cancelled or delayed with potential quarantine in a 3rd country and on return to the UK.

        • What’s not covered is that UK is still in semi-official lock down with the real opening happening on Saturday according to news reports. There is still a “unofficial” lockdown, people are still mask wearing, avoiding crowded places/venues and such. There will always be a young crowd that uses their freedoms of course at risk. But they can probably – they at least at risk as well.

          They still have very large cases given their population size relative to us (2 a bit times our population) despite their vaccine numbers. They also have more Pfizer doses than us with higher efficacy.

          I think a small kink down does not make a trend. We will need a few months data to see the long term implications of their policies. Long term variants, especially while the world’s population isn’t vaccinated and how quickly they spread without closed borders (days of a variant existing) yo yo lockdowns IMO are still more likely than not over the years coming.

  2. Testing is down something insane like 25%

    Lets talk about this starting August 19th – “reported deaths” are minimum 4 weeks behind.

    • Certainly interesting to note that as at 1st July, the 7 day average tests was 1 million tests per day yielding 20k positives per day 7- day average at 2% positive rate, and by 1st August 7 day average tests had dropped to 800k but positives had risen to 26.6k giving 3.4% average positive rate.

        • kannigetMEMBER

          Its ‘Cases’ up until you hit the “herd immunity” rate of vaccination, but no one knows what that rate is. Maybe the UK has reached it.
          But hospitalisations and deaths are a pretty good measure, and as far as the UK goes 86 Deaths yesterday and 119 the day before… Not sure I would feel proud of a country that thinks losing 100 people a day was acceptable when things could be done about it.

          They are also projecting for the death rates to rise.. worldometer

          • Herd immunity is nowhere near being achieved in Britain on the basis of these figures.

            This is wishful thinking at best and dangerous stupidity at worse if the plan is to let this mutating coronavirus rip.

          • kannigetMEMBER

            Personally I think it’s pretty obvious but then again I am not suffering through lockdown after lockdown so I am not feeling the drive to open it up and let er rip like some people…

          • Even StevenMEMBER

            Robert, where did you get the 1300 deaths since 19 July? I can see 392 for week ending 23 July but that’s it. Not suggesting it’s way off just curious.

      • Covid by the numbers 777
        Thanks for update. Where would we be without the numbers.
        Today’s Covid update brought to you by the number 7.
        7 7 7 The Magnificent 7

  3. Anders Andersen

    “Contrary to the predictions of experts, reported COVID infections have almost halved:”

    If the above is the case what happened with the Netherlands & Israel, why cherry pick countries to support your argument?

    “While Australia last year won the COVID battle, it now feels like we are losing the war.”

    I can’t disagree with this comment; feel like all the pain of lockdowns and border closures will have turned out to have been in vain because of a stupendously bungled rollout.

  4. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I love that party scene and it gives me hope that not everyone out there is a chicken sh1t!

  5. Thread
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    Bob Wachter
    Aug 4
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    To me, the most confusing time in the pandemic was May 2020, as we exited lockdown and nobody quite knew what they should & shouldn’t do (clean the mail? touch the dog?).

    But now is giving May 2020 a run for its money. (Thread1/25)
    Bob Wachter
    Aug 4
    Today, a smorgasbord of some of the most confusing issues: Delta, masking, vaccine efficacy, vax mandates, boosters.

    Bottom line is that my thinking has changed. Six months ago, I felt like I understood all of the key variables when it came to the virus & vaccines. And… (2/25)
    Bob Wachter
    Aug 4
    …when I learned that a variable had changed w/ Delta, I assumed nothing else had.

    But now I see that it’s best to assume that nearly every parameter is different – usually for the worse. That creates cognitive vertigo, but it matches the facts on the ground. (see below.)(3/25)