'The Lambda variant says hello': SA reacts to UK's plan to end lockdown

07 July 2021 - 12:00 By cebelihle bhengu
Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson. File photo.
Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson. File photo.
Image: Ben Stansall/Pool via REUTERS

The announcement by Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson that he will end the lockdown in the country amid the global Covid-19 pandemic has been met with shock from South Africans. 

During a media briefing on Monday, Johnson detailed the plan, set to take effect on July 19 after a final decision is made on July 12, to end the lockdown and “return to normal”.

He said the restrictions, which see people wear masks, limit social gatherings and travel bans, among others, are taking a toll on people's mental health.

“We will move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus. We will remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors.

“We will allow businesses to reopen, including nightclubs. We will lift the limit on visits to care homes and on numbers attending concerts, theatre and sports events,” said Johnson.

Social distancing and face masks will also be done away with but the government will issue suggestions on where they can be worn and when there is a surge in infections.

Johnson praised the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, saying they have helped “break the link between disease and death”.

He said by July 19, every adult will have received a first dose of the vaccine and two thirds will have received their second dose. 

By Monday, the UK had vaccinated more than 45 million people with their first Covid-19 dose and over 33 million had received both jabs. 

SA users weighed in on the decision, taking to social media to predict that it could "end in tears".