England's new date is July 19th (🤞) | Uns uns uns | The Olympic torch is on the final stretch
England's new date is July 19th (🤞)
Full capacity events are back on the docket in England (so the rumors say). The official announcement on July 12th is expected to confirm the relaxation of all COVID restrictions beginning on July 19th. Despite the recent surge in infections due to the Delta variant, the prime minister commented, "If we don't go ahead now when we've clearly done so much with the vaccination programme to break the link... when would we go ahead?"
The government is confident that the progress made with vaccinations will allow the NHS sufficient bandwidth to treat admitted patients without becoming overwhelmed. Additionally, experts are worried that by not opening now and pushing the reopening until the fall, coinciding with schools reopening, cooler temperatures and flu season, the risk of infections would be significantly higher.
In addition to the removal of the mask mandate, the elimination of social distancing rules and the return of full capacity events and nightlife, there is talk of doing away with the NHS Track and Trace app. Isolation requirements for those that come into contact with infected individuals will still be in effect after July 19th which has resulted in many people deleting the app thus rendering it more ineffective than it was before. Alternative reports state businesses will still be encouraged to use the QR code check-in system but it will no longer be legally required and the app will be modified to be less sensitive.
Uns uns uns
Stereo Sunday kicked off the full-scale, no restriction summer festival season in the Netherlands this past weekend. 20,000 domestic and international fans danced their butts off for two full days to a stacked lineup of electronic artists. The Dutch government has been working in tandem with Fieldlab Evenementen since January to ensure events could come back safely and it seems all the hard work has paid off.
There were some requirements to gain access to the event which included ID checks and negative COVID tests or full vaccination status. Tests had to be taken less than 40 hours before the start of the shows on each day (one test could be used for access on both days if taken within 40 hours of the Sunday start). Seems like a small price to pay to be able to dance and sing until your heart’s content.
The Olympic torch is on the final stretch
The Tokyo Olympics 2020 are back in the headlines. Monday will mark the 4th time the Japanese Prime Minister has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo during the pandemic. As a result, the Olympic Committee has banned all spectators from attending most of the Games (read: all events that will take place in the city of Tokyo and the surrounding areas).
In our last olympic update, in mid-April, it was confirmed that international spectators would not be allowed to enter Japan for the Games and a somewhat hazy health and safety plan had been revealed (albeit with some big pieces of the puzzle missing). As the health of the public is the number one priority, it seems like a wise decision and short of canceling the Olympics altogether, sans fans is the only option if the Games must go on.
With only 14 days to go until the first event, now all eyes are on the arriving athletes. At least 4 people have tested positive so far and everyone is waiting with bated breath to see if the Tokyo Olympics are a success or just the next thing to blame for the continuing COVID crisis.