No face masks, no social distancing: England removes Covid restrictions
The UK government on Monday lifted daily pandemic restrictions in England, scrapping all social distancing in a step condemned by scientists and opposition parties as a dangerous leap into the unknown.
From midnight (2300 GMT Sunday), nightclubs were able to reopen and other indoor venues allowed to run at full capacity, while legal mandates covering the wearing of masks and working from home were scrapped.
The final phase of the gradual easing of restrictions in England– population 56 million–was delayed from June 21, because of concern about spiralling infection rates.
Most conspicuously, along with the scrapping of social distancing rules, all mandatory facemask-wearing will end.
London's Mayor Sadiq Khan, though, has said masks will still be required on public transport and the UK's biggest supermarket groups will also retain COVID-19 safety measures and encourage customers and staff to keep wearing face coverings.
As the government pursues a transition from enforceable rules to personal responsibility, nightclubs and other venues like theatres, cinemas and galleries will be allowed to reopen to maximum capacity.
London clubbers on Monday flocked to one of the first rule-free live music events since the pandemic began last year, dancing through the night and rejoicing in human interaction as England lifted most COVID restrictions at midnight.