- Most of England’s coronavirus restrictions ended Monday, dubbed “Freedom Day” by some.
- All the same, anti-lockdown protesters took to the streets as they have for months.
- Infections are spreading fast in the UK, forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson into self-isolation.
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Anti-lockdown protesters gathered in England on Monday, even after most of the restrictions they argued against had been lifted.
Videos show people in London clashing with police officers and holding signs with slogans like “freedom” and “enough is enough”:
-Politics For All (@PoliticsForAlI) July 19, 2021
-Karla Adam (@karlaadam) July 19, 2021
The Telegraph described the event as an “anti-vaccination demonstration.”
The Metro reported that some people there said they were calling for fines and court orders issued for previous lockdown breaches to be rescinded.
“We are responding to a demonstration in Parliament Square this afternoon,” London’s Metropolitan Police said. “A group have blocked the road which is causing traffic disruption.”
Most remaining coronavirus restrictions in England were lifted Monday. Some commentators have dubbed it “Freedom Day.”
There are no longer any limits on how many people can meet, meaning venues like nightclubs can reopen. Face coverings are no longer required by law, though businesses and agencies are free to make their own rules.
The government characterized the changes as a shift in responsibility from the state to individuals.
People are still encouraged to work from home, to meet outdoors if they can, and to wear face masks in crowded areas. There are also isolation requirements when traveling from many countries.
And people are still told to isolate if they have been exposed to someone who has been infected, after being informed by the country’s coronavirus-tracking app.
Experts have criticized the change. The lifting comes despite a huge spike in coronavirus cases, driven by the Delta variant.
This graph shows how cases have surged in the UK:
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is isolating, as is the chancellor of the exchequer, after both spent time with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive for COVID-19.