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  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 71 Pinged

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 71 Pinged

    Week 71 of the coronavirus pandemic is the second week of freedom from COVID-19 restrictions. But the pingdemic continues to wreak havoc. Despite very vocal opposition the government stubbornly sticks to 16 August as the date when the double-jabbed will no longer have to self-isolate following contact with anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. The vaccine roll-out continues across the UK but the take up rate is slowing down prompting a government plan to offer incentives to young people to be vaccinated. And the Prime Minister comes under fire for increasingly complicated travel restrictions meaning many people will have to forgo a summer holiday abroad this year.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 70 Pingdemic

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 70 Pingdemic

    As the coronavirus continues to ebb and flow across the world and has been doing so in the UK for 70 weeks now our Prime Minister goes ahead with his promise to lift all COVID-19 restrictions in England on 19 July. Dubbed Freedom Day this day marked the end of a legal requirement to wear face masks in public places and adhere to rules of social distancing. Nightclubs are among many venues that can now open or operate without restrictions on numbers. Only time will tell if this was a wise decision and we will not have to face any more lockdowns. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are taking a more cautious approach and slowly easing restrictions.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 69 Last Week of Lockdown

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 69 Last Week of Lockdown

    Week 69 of the coronavirus pandemic will be the last week of lockdown in England which will be celebrated by Freedom Day on Monday 19 July. But how free will we be? Some places will still require face masks to be worn. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, tells millions of most vulnerable to shop at quieter times of the day. International travel remains in chaos. Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca are going back to the amber travel list a fortnight after they went green. And holidaymakers are warned the could face 4-hour queues at airports when foreign travel resumes next week. Many people, including medical experts, view this removal of restrictions as too much too soon as European Union nations re-impose Covid measures due to an alarming surge in cases.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 68 Amber to Green?

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 68 Amber to Green?

    Despite the continuing large increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases throughout England the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is clinging obstinately to his promise that July 19 will be Freedom Day. But with two weeks to go the emphasis is changing to individual choice regarding the wearing of face masks and social distancing. The rest of the world doubts the wisdom of Johnson gambling on trusting the public’s judgement and the “wall of immunity” offered by vaccines. Leading scientists in England are predicting a fourth lockdown. But will this jeopardise international travel regarding the willingness of other countries to accept travellers from England whether vaccinated or not?

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 67 Blenheim Palace

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 67 Blenheim Palace

    Excitement is mounting in England during week 67 of lockdown due to the coronavirus for two reasons The first is England’s success in the European Cup 2020. And the second is Boris Johnson’s assurance that all COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted on 19 July. A date he refers to as Freedom Day. The other three countries in the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are more cautious regarding the lifting of restrictions.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 66 Vaccines for all Adults

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 66 Vaccines for all Adults

    Vaccines are now being offered to all adults over the age of eighteen during week 66 of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pop-up vaccine centres in large venues including football stadiums are offering walk-in jabs and thousands are taking advantage of this. The policy is now clear – Pfizer jabs for the under forties and Oxford AstraZeneca for the over forties. But international travel is still limited and although Europe is beginning to open its borders again travellers from the UK are not always welcome due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 which continues to spread apace.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 65 Glamping in Somerset

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 65 Glamping in Somerset

    During week 65 of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic the Prime Minister announces that lockdown will not end on 21 June as expected due to a surge of Delta variant. It is expected to be delayed for another four weeks. International travel will also remain on hold as Portugal is removed from the green list and no new destinations are added. But, whatever happens in the UK a growing number of countries are imposing restrictions on travellers from the UK in an attempt to control the spread of the Delta variant.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 64 Delta Variant Surges

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 64 Delta Variant Surges

    Hopes of popular holiday destinations like France, Spain and Italy being added to the green list end during week 64 of lockdown in England. And the really bad news is that Portugal will come off the green list. This prompted a mad dash home to avoid the need to go into self-isolation when Portugal returns to the amber list. The Delta variant continues to spread at an alarming rate and now accounts for the majority of new cases in England. The lifting of all lockdown restrictions on 21 June is looking doubtful. As the green list shrinks and the red list gets longer a staycation seems to be the only option for a summer holiday this year. And now there are reports that many essentials for outdoor activities and holidays are in short supply.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 63 A Walking Weekend

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 63 A Walking Weekend

    The thought of leading my first tour for over a year keeps my spirits up during week 62 of the coronavirus pandemic. This week brings more bad news as the Indian virus – now referred to as the delta virus that originated in India – is spreading quickly and has become the predominant COVID-19 mutation in the UK. England’s exit from lockdown forecast for 21 June is now looking unlikely. With no new destinations on the green list and the removal of Portugal from that list a staycation seems to be the only option for a summer holiday this year.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 62 A Trip to London

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 62 A Trip to London

    This week my diary records the events of week 62 of the coronavirus pandemic. It is good news for me as I finally have some dates for work in my diary. But it is not good news in England. New cases are now increasing at a rapid rate and the majority of these cases relate to the Indian mutation of the virus. Initially the main areas affected were in the North East of the country but other hotspots start to emerge this week. The lifting of all lockdown restrictions on 21 June is now in doubt. But our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has other things on his mind, his secret wedding and a volley of accusations from his former aide Dominic Cummings.

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