The second lockdown in England, which closed down all non-essential stores and restaurants again, is over after four weeks. Instead, a three-category system has been in place since Wednesday, imposing mild to very severe restrictions on English regions based on the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions. The land parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland choose their own measures.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposes the staged system as a relaxation – all shops did indeed open again – but in the south-west corner of Cornwall and the islands of Scilly and Wight, 99 percent of the English territory are still in the top two categories. A family can only have one ‘hug contact’ there. In Category 2, including London, pubs can only reopen if they also offer meals. In Category 3, with major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds are completely closed.