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England lifts all COVID-19 restrictions amid rapidly rising cases

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LONDON:England has lifted almost all its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, according to its roadmap out of lockdown.

As the number of daily infections continues to rapidly increase, the final stage of easing coronavirus restrictions came with a note of caution.

The detailed arrangement of the final step out of lockdown includes: no more limits on social contact to allow people to gather in groups of any size; removing the "one meter-plus" rule in almost all settings, except for specific places such as airports; no capacity caps on large scale events; and people are no longer required to work from home, among other changes. Face coverings will be recommended in some spaces, but not required by law.

The government said the removal of restrictions is the right step, despite the rising number of infections in much of the country.

Recent swab tests show that one in every 95 people has the virus in England, up from one in every 160 from the previous week, and the more infectious Delta variant accounts for almost every case.

All adults in the UK have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the planned lifting of restrictions on Monday, the government said.

The latest figures showed that 46.2 million adults, or 87.8 percent of the population, have had a first dose of a vaccine, and 35.7 million are fully vaccinated.

Still, medical experts were reminding the public to exercise caution.

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