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Why are the British so much more relaxed about Covid than the Europeans? | Coronavirus


VSCompared to some other countries, as well as a high number of Covid cases and deaths, the UK has relatively relaxed Covid restrictions, with no mandatory vaccination passport, no social distancing measure and no mask warrant in England.

Four people from the UK and Europe share their take on the country’s approach to Covid restrictions compared to other people they visit or live in.

“The British seem to think this will not happen to them”

Liz, 60, who is in Turkey, said people there are “excellent at wearing masks” which makes her “feel safer” than in the UK. “I was in the Newcastle underground before I left and I was a nervous wreck because people weren’t wearing them,” she said.

Liz, who is retired and lives in north-east England and is in Turkey to help care for a sick friend, said people wear masks almost all the time indoors and about 50% do it outdoors.

“A lot of older generations here live with their families, so I think people are more aware of not bringing germs home to their parents and grandparents.”

She believes that much of the complacency in the UK “stems from the example set by the government” and that the message to the public is “not clear and consistent”.

“I have the impression that the government’s policy is deliberate and concerns collective immunity. I also think it’s partly cultural. The British seem to think, ‘It won’t happen to me, we know that better’, as if they were invincible. Unfortunately, I think it has been proven not to be.

“The difference in attitude in France was immediately evident”

When Jimmy, 40, a video producer from Leeds, spent four days watching the Paris Roubaix cycle race in France earlier this month, the difference in people’s attitudes towards Covid compared to those in the UK was “Immediately apparent,” he said.

“When you go to a bar or a restaurant, you have to show your vaccination card and you wear a mask,” Jimmy said. “In the UK everything is just a game for everyone. If the restrictions here were a little tighter, I think it would lessen the impact on all of us. “

Jimmy believes the UK should follow France’s lead, with tighter restrictions in the short term. “I fear that if we continue as we are, the Covid will continue to disrupt our daily lives. I have to work overtime this week because my colleagues are self-isolating.

The UK government likes to think it gives people a choice, and people embrace this idea of ​​free thinking. But I think there is nothing wrong with having basic public health rules. It doesn’t inhibit people’s freedom of thought, it just makes sense, does it? “

“There is no rejection of face masks in Spain”

Lucía says she feels very limited in where she can go in the UK due to the lack of mask wearing.

Lucía, who is in Zaragoza, Spain, looking after her 90-year-old mother, said she believes the government has let people down in the UK. “I am clinically extremely vulnerable and I feel totally limited in what I do and where I go because people don’t consider it important to protect yourself and others,” said the semi-retiree from 60 years.

Living normally in London, Lucía said she was “in no rush” to return to the UK. “I haven’t done it yet, but I had planned to see a movie, and when I looked at the reservation online, I saw that once you reserve your seat, the ones next to you are also reserved, so they are empty. “

She believes that there is “no rejection of face masks” in Spain and that they are considered “a protection, not an imposition”. On the other hand, she believes the image the UK government projects of holding meetings without a face mask tells people that they don’t need to wear them. “Since the start of the pandemic, I think the government has given people the wrong idea of ​​freedom instead of showing precautions as something positive. “

“We have more restrictions, but I feel so much more free here”

Nigel ross
Nigel Ross says Italy has “more restrictions, but I feel so much more free”.

In Milan, Italy, Nigel I Ross, a university professor, said the restrictions were still in place, with green passes required to enter public buildings. Starting today, all employees will also need a pass to access their workplaces.

“It’s far from perfect, but it’s going extremely well,” said Ross, who is British and has lived in Italy for over 30 years. “There are around 2,000 new cases a day, which is in part due to the fact that we have some of the toughest restrictions in Europe.”

He believes it is “the message from above” that reflects the jaded approach of Covid in the UK. “My sister works in a school and with some family members who are extremely susceptible to infection, it’s like living in semi-terror in some ways. It feels like people are dying needlessly, and it’s no wonder Britain is seen as the sick man of Europe. I was there this summer for a few weeks and really noticed the difference. It’s a real contradiction because we have more restrictions, but I feel so much more free here.

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