The Daily Telegraph
July vs July UK has no more freedom a year on despite vaccine rollout
Despite the success of the vaccination rollout, Britons appear to have no more freedom this summer than last.
An analysis by The Daily Telegraph shows the delay in lifting restrictions will mean Covid regulations will be in place this July similar to those a year ago. If anything, Britons had more freedom to travel abroad last year than under the current system – but local social distancing restrictions put in place last summer largely remain in force.
Cases may be on the rise, but the vaccination programme shows almost 30million people have had two jabs and 41.7 million have had at least one jab. Cases for the seven-day average show almost 7,500 daily new cases of coronavirus over the past week compared with just 1,313 cases in the same week a year ago.
But hospital admissions are down from 416 cases to 144 while deaths are now averaging seven a day, compared with 86 a day last July.
This time last year, there was regular lifting of lockdown restrictions with indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities all being reopened in July 2020. Weddings were allowed with up to 30 guests and a maximum of two households could meet indoors. One year on, up to six people or two households can meet indoors and 30 people outdoors.
By July last year, shops had reopened along with pubs, bars and restaurants but only with table service. Largely the same rules are in place today. Hotels, holiday lets, campsites and caravan parks had all reopened along with outdoor theatres.
Face coverings, now mandatory in shops and other settings, were voluntary a year ago.
Robert Mendick and Ewan Somerville