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Businesses reopen in UK as COVID-19 restrictions loosen

CA, 12 Apr 2021
From shops, to hairdressers, to pubs and even the zoo – businesses in the United Kingdom reopened April 12 as COVID-19 restrictions were loosened after three months of lockdown.

After imposing the most heavy restrictions in Britain's peacetime history, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the reopening was a "major step" towards freedom but urged people to behave responsibly as the coronavirus was still a threat.

Getting people spending again is crucial for Britain's recovery after official data showed that 2020 was the worst year for its economy in more than three centuries with a 9.8 per cent decline in gross domestic product.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses have been closed since early January when England entered a third lockdown to stem surging infections driven by the B.1.1.7 or "Kent" variant of the virus.

A vaccination campaign that has delivered a first shot to well over half of adults and lockdown measures have cut deaths by more than 95 per cent and cases by over 90 per cent from the January peak.

Non-essential stores, such as home and fashion chains, will reopen in Wales as well as England on Monday, although those in Scotland need to wait until April 26.

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