Vaccine success – but no more freedoms this summer than last

Despite the success of the vaccination rollout, Britons appear to have no more freedom this summer than last.

An analysis by The Telegraph shows that the delay in lifting restrictions will mean similar Covid regulations will be in place this July to those that were there a year ago. 

Britons had more freedom to travel abroad last year than under the current system – but the local social distancing restrictions put in place last summer largely remain in force now.

Covid cases may be on the rise, but the vaccination programme shows that almost 30 million people have had two jabs – almost 53 per cent of the adult population – and 41.7 million have had at least one. 

The seven-day average shows almost 7,500 daily new Covid cases over the past week compared to just 1,313 in the same week a year ago.

But hospitalisations are dramatically down, from 416 to 144, while deaths are currently being recorded at an average of seven a day compared to 86 a day a year ago.

How many people have been vaccinated?

This time last year, the Government was announcing regular lifting of lockdown restrictions with indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities all being reopened last July. 

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 last July, shops had reopened along with pubs, bars and restaurants – but only with table service. The same rules, or largely the same, are in place today. 

Hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and caravan parks had all reopened along with outdoor theatres. Cinemas were able to reopen with social distancing on July 4 last year and theatres followed on Aug 1. 

The social distancing rules then meant theatres opening at between 25 per cent and 40 per cent capacity. Attendance is now restricted to 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 theatregoers, whichever is the lower, meaning larger auditoria are still not financially viable for the more expensive productions.

Sports events such as Test cricket and football matches took place behind closed doors, whereas now the largest venues can allow in restricted numbers of spectators. Face coverings, now mandatory in shops and other indoor settings, were voluntary a year ago. 

But Britons had much greater opportunities for international travel a year ago, with more than 70 countries, including most popular destinations, open for holidays without the need for self-isolation on return or expensive PCR Covid tests both before departure and on return.

The UK has since switched to a traffic light system with no popular tourist destinations currently on the green list which allows tourists to enter without being forced into a quarantine. 

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