Your morning briefing: What you should know for Monday, July 19

·3-min read
News briefing (ES Composite)
News briefing (ES Composite)

Freedom Day: England unlocks amid soaring Covid cases as ‘pingdemic’ threatens to cripple economy

From midnight, all remaining legal lockdown restrictions were lifted in England in a move that has been dubbed “Freedom Day.”

That means the last remaining businesses still closed, including nightclubs, can finally reopen - some for the first time since March 2020.

Critics say the strategy will not only cause deaths but also debilitating long COVID in many, while increasing risks to the clinically vulnerable.

It comes amid soaring Covid cases in England with data showing on Sunday there had been 48,161 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, with a similar figure recorded on Saturday.

Furthermore, it has been predicted that millions of people will be forced to isolate due to the so-called “pingdemic” - or people being ordered to isolate by NHS Track and Trace.

London clubbers celebrate Freedom Day as Boris Johnson urges caution

Excited revellers have partied through the night in London as England unlocks for Freedom Day.

Social-distancing rules which have governed people’s lives for more than a year finally ended on Monday morning at one minute past midnight.

Face masks are no longer mandatory in shops but remain a condition of carriage on public transport in the capital, limits on gathering have gone and the work from home guidance has ended. Nightclubs, theatres and restaurants can fully reopen, while pubs are no longer restricted to table service only.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has, however, appealed to people to exercise their new freedoms with caution.

Hot spell here to stay as Londoners enjoy hottest day of the year

Londoners enjoyed glorious sunshine for the second day in a row on Sunday as forecasters predicted the warm weather would last well into next week.

People flocked to London parks and green spaces such as Primrose Hill - while others made their way to nearby beaches such as Weymouth and Bournemouth in Dorset.

Weymouth beach was packed this afternoon with families enjoying the unbroken sunshine.

The Met Office confimed Sunday was the hottest day of the year so far in both England and Wales with both countries recording temperatures higher than 30C.

The temperature reached 31.6C (88.9F) at Heathrow and 30.2C (86.4F) in Cardiff.

It said that record could be beaten in coming days.

Australia orders deportation of Katie Hopkins for flouting quarantine rules

Right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins is to be deported from Australia after a “shameful” boast about breaking Covid-19 quarantine measures while in the country to appear on Big Brother VIP.

The former Apprentice star arrived in the country last week and was immediately placed under two weeks of quarantine in a government-mandated hotel, as part of the nation’s pandemic regulations.

But over the weekend, the 46-year-old reportedly said, in a since-deleted Instagram live video, that she was deliberately disobeying quarantine rules by taunting guards and opening her hotel room door without a mask.

The regulations state that people in quarantine are not permitted to open their door until 30 seconds after their meals have been delivered, and must wear masks when their doors are open.

Man, 20, arrested following fatal e-scooter crash that killed a 16-year-old in Bromley

A man has been arrested after a 16-year-old boy was killed in a hit and run incident while riding an e-scooter.

Officers were called to Southborough Lane, Bromley, in the early hours of Sunday morning following reports of a collision involving a car and an e-scooter.

The Metropolitan Police attended with members of the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and found the teenager, who had been riding the scooter, with serious injuries.

He was taken to a central London hospital where he later died.

The Met said the boy’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

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Your morning briefing: What you should know for Friday, July 16

Your morning briefing: What you should know for Thursday, July 15

Your morning briefing: What you should know for Wednesday, July 14

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