UK National Health Service abandons social distancing and other COVID restrictions

There is scarcely a single COVID restriction left in Britain, as the Johnson government ruthlessly implements its “Living with COVID” policy.

On Tuesday, the National Health Service (NHS) was told by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to “return to pre-pandemic physical distancing in all areas”. This occurred less than two months after Johnson addressed parliament on his “strategy for living with COVID.” With that February 21 speech Johnson ended almost all remaining restrictions in non-NHS settings, including the ending on February 24 of the legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive test, routine contact tracing and self-isolation support payments.

This allowed the virus to spread unhindered for the next two months. The clearest indication of the government’s herd immunity agenda was the announcement this week that the deadly disease would now be allowed to spread through the NHS. Simply put, if there are no restrictions in the NHS there can be none anywhere else.

A patient is pushed on a trolley outside the Royal London Hospital in east London, January 12, 2021, during England's third national lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak began. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The NHS was issued by the UKHSA with new “stepping down” rules applying to “all areas”, including emergency departments and other hospital settings, ambulances, patient transport services and GP surgeries.

In an April 19 letter to health service leaders, NHS England declared, “With the pressure from COVID-19 continuing, we are setting out a way forward on a number of areas where guidance has evolved throughout the pandemic; adapting the way that the NHS operates with COVID-19 in general circulation and with the virus likely to remain endemic for some time to come [emphasis added].”

The new rules will ensure that hundreds of thousands will get COVID, as patients in waiting rooms surgeries, emergency departments and even ambulance services in England are no longer required to socially distance. Patients with COVID symptoms will still be isolated from other patients, but NHS England now advises, “Virus patients can be released from isolation wards after a week, if they produce two negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven.” However, any inpatient exposed to the virus from other patients, or from family, but without symptoms, will not have to isolate at all.

NHS England also instructed a return “to pre-pandemic cleaning protocols outside of COVID-19 areas, with enhanced cleaning only required in areas where patients with suspected or known infection are being managed.”

This criminal set-up was announced on the same day as almost 18,000 people were in hospital with COVID. According to Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers representing hospital trusts, 70,000 NHS staff are currently off sick, a staggering 40 percent of them with COVID-19. While Hopson has opposed bringing back all restrictions, saying “Nobody is arguing we should go back to draconian lockdown restrictions,” he warned, “but this is not all or nothing.”

He continued, “There is concern across the NHS that the government doesn’t seem to want to talk about coronavirus anymore. But we think we need a proper grown-up national debate about what living with COVID actually means.” Hopson said the government was pretending that the virus “doesn’t exist anymore and that nobody needs to take any precautions” and this was one of the main reasons why the virus remained widespread in the population.

Since the end of all major public health measures outside the NHS on February 24, over 3 million more people have registered positive tests, taking total recorded infections to almost 22 million. This is under conditions in which there is no longer any universal free testing.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 15,861 deaths in Britain from COVID in the 14 weeks from January 1 to April 8. But the figures in the two weeks since have been even more brutal. In the week to April 14, the UK saw almost 2,000 deaths and well over 1,500 deaths have been recorded in just the last three days (Tuesday, 482; Wednesday, 508; Thursday, 646). It is likely that Friday’s figures will mean another 2,000 dead in a week.

Such figures spread out annually would mean 100,000 plus deaths a year. At least 172,000 people are already dead from COVID in Britain, according to the government’s own manipulated figure tallying those who die within 28 days of a positive test. The real figure is above 192,000, as defined by the Office for National Statistics counting instances of COVID being recorded as a cause on a death certificate, and will shortly hit 200,000.

The absence of any systematic testing means there can no longer be any accurate daily figure for the number of COVID infections. This accounts for the 19,482 new positive tests recorded by the UKHSA on Thursday, an absurdly low figure when compared to a surging death toll under conditions in which Omicron and its variants are not as deadly as previous variants, particularly in vaccinated populations.

Another clear indication of the state-sanctioned cover-up of the scale of COVID is that thousands of care home residents continue to die from the disease, despite some restrictions still being in place in these settings. In the 15 weeks from January to April 14 this year, 3,242 care home residents died in England from the disease (2,372 in homes, 826 in hospitals and 44 elsewhere). According to an April 18 article on the Leicestershire Live website, information not available on any national news source, there are “Covid outbreaks in a quarter of the 18,000 care homes across the UK.”

Recent figures on infections and deaths cover the two-week period of the Easter school holiday from April 4-18. At every other stage of the pandemic, children and educators returning to the classroom has sent COVID case numbers rocketing. Last term, on a single day—March 17—the Department for Education recorded over 200,000 pupils off school for reasons relating to COVID. Some 202,000 state school pupils in England were not in class, and nearly one in 10 teachers were off due to COVID.

Among Thursday’s fatalities were the tragic deaths of another three children; two boys aged 0-4 and a boy aged 15-19. Child deaths from COVID stand at 174.

On Wednesday Safe Education for All campaigner Lisa Diaz, a parent of two from Wigan, tweeted a photo of a 10-year-old child in hospital, explaining, “This is my friend @cocobelladoodle’s daughter. She is 10 years old. After protecting her little girl for 2 years, omicron has finally got her. She is now in hospital with PIMS [Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome], on an intravenous drip and faces multiple organ damage.”

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The horrific impact of COVID on the human body only appears to worsen.

Twitter user @HRHMHowler, a critical care nurse, posted Sunday a tweet with over 11,000 shares and nearly 48,000 likes including the following harrowing observation: “Last night, we palliated a COVID patient in his 30s. All treatment has failed. We held his hand as we gave him morphine for the pain from the pieces of lung he was coughing up. No family. No friends. Just us. It’s real. Not talking about vaccination - talking about reality.” A subsequent tweet in the thread from the nurse read, “Our patient is dying. Not dead yet. He has no family or close friends. It’s our job to be there for him. For those who have tweeted love - thank you.”

None of this finds any reflection among Britain’s compliant media. The fact that over 500 people died from COVID in one day this week was hardly mentioned. It was afforded one sentence on the BBC website under the subhead, “Daily deaths remain low”. Many Twitter users responded with anger that the BBC devoted an analysis to three deaths reported in the Chinese city of Shanghai, while passing over hundreds of deaths in Britain as not worthy of any coverage.