The world will be watching when England’s covid-19 restrictions lift

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SOME call it a calculated risk, others a reckless gamble. Earlier this week, UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced that almost all remaining covid-19 restrictions in England are set to be lifted on 19 July, now called, by some, “freedom day”. This may be good politics, but is it good public health policy?

Scientific opinion is divided. The UK’s vaccination programmes are hitting one of their goals: to decouple infection from severe disease and reduce the need for masks and distancing. Even in the face of the highly transmissible delta variant, cases are rising but hospitalisations aren’t going up too much. That is good, given that …

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