UK opens as Sydney and Melbourne lockdowns continue

As the Melbourne lockdown is extended and Sydney watches the barrel of at least a fortnight of restrictions, Britain has emerged from an 18-month lockdown on what is dubbed ‘Freedom Day’.

But the easing of restrictions around the UK comes as the country experiences a third wave of COVID-19, this time from the deadly Delta strain. The decision to open has come under review as the country registers tens of thousands of new cases every day.

Freedom Day has already faced its first challenge, with the first big new production to open in London – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella – the announcement of the opening night would be delayed, following the positive COVID-19 result of an actor.

Meanwhile, the government’s contact tracing app sent thousands of people into isolation when they came in close contact with a confirmed case, causing chaos in workplaces and forcing some pubs and stores to close. .

Today the Please explain, European correspondent Bevan Shields joins Nathanael Cooper in speaking about the first day of so-called freedom.

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