More nations are easing their COVID restrictions: 'Time for us to take back our everyday life'
The moves to relax such restrictions evoke a new turning point in a two-year pandemic that has been full of them. But WHO has warned about underestimating the omicron variant.
Many countries that have been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus are easing their tough and often unpopular restrictive measures to fight COVID-19.
There is a resumption of late-night disco partying, elbow-to-elbow seating in movie theaters and people not wearing masks in public.
“Now it’s time for us to take back our everyday life,” said Norwegian Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol. Among his country's changes are lifting a ban on serving alcohol after 11 p.m. and a cap on private gatherings of more than 10 people.
The moves to relax such restrictions evoke a new turning point in a two-year pandemic that has been full of them, but the World Health Organization has warned about underestimating the omicron variant.
The most pronounced pullbacks are popping up in Europe, South Africa and the United States:
South Africa announced sweeping changes to many of the remaining regulations. From now on, anyone without symptoms can continue to live life as normal.
Britain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and several Nordic countries have taken steps to end or ease their restrictions. In England, masks aren’t required in public and vaccine passes are no longer needed to get into events or other public venues, and the work-from-home order has been lifted.