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England Reopens, but Businesses Lift Restrictions More Slowly

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After 16 long months, the British government lifted nearly all of its pandemic restrictions across England on Monday including its guidance to work from home.

But as the so-called Freedom Day arrived, the nation is reporting nearly 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day in a population that is about two-thirds fully vaccinated. And now, a “pingdemic,” in which hundreds of thousands of people are being pinged by the National Health Service’s track-and-trace app and told to self-isolate because they were near someone who tested positive, is causing staff shortages in all industries.

Rather than a stampede of workers returning to their offices, many large companies are approaching the reopening cautiously as the government says there needs to be “personal and corporate responsibility” over some measures. By 10 a.m. on Monday, travel on the London Underground was 38 percent of normal demand, no higher than the same period last week, and the vast…

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