‘It is too early’ – Sunderland has its say as Covid restrictions relax on Freedom Day

Members of the public in Sunderland City Centre have had their say as most coronavirus restrictions across England ease on Monday, July 19.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 3:21 pm

Branded as ‘Freedom Day’, after months of pandemic-related constraints, England has reached the latest step on the Government’s unlocking road map.

Face masks are no longer mandatory in shops and on public transport, limits on gatherings have gone, the work from home guidance no longer applies and social distancing rules ended at one minute past midnight on Monday, July 19.

Despite restrictions easing, many in Sunderland city centre on ‘Freedom Day’ think that it is too early to relax things.

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People in Sunderland city centre have been sharing their thoughts about restrictions easing on 'Freedom Day'.

Husband and wife Julie, 56, and Raymond Green, 63, from Hendon, both think that the Government should have delayed easing restrictions and highlighted that they will both still be wearing their masks indoors.

Raymond commented: “There is around 60,000 cases a day at the moment and they have decided to lift restrictions, it is definitely too early.”

Julie added: “We are still wearing our masks and still being cautious despite things being lifted. There is actually loads of people being sensible and wearing masks today.”

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June Keen thinks that it is too early to be easing restrictions, especially as hospital admissions increase.

Self-employed Chris Whalen, from Humbledon, thinks that the easing of restrictions won’t make much of a difference to everyday life.

The 38-year-old said: “I don’t think that loads is particularly going to change, I think people will probably have their own regulations and rules for a while, especially with everything that it going on.

"It doesn’t seem that it is working, I think now it is down to people’s personal responsibility or their own opinion if they think that they don’t need to wear a mask.

“I think that alongside that, the Government have brushed it off and now have reason to blame the public.”

Student Will Clasper thinks that the reopening of venues such as nightclubs will only add to the positive cases.

The 41-year-old from New Herrington said: “I think it is too early with all the new variants rising but at the same time, we need to start getting things open in this country to get money flowing again.

“You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t really.”

The easing of restrictions means that England’s nightclub industry can finally reopen, with student Will Clasper, 16, thinking that it will just add to the number of positive cases.

Hilda Pearson said that even though she is exempt from wearing a mask, she will continue to do so when using public transport.

The teenager from Washington commented: “It’s too early, especially with the easing of wearing masks and the opening of things like nightclubs.

"Even when schools and colleges reopen in September it will start to spread quickly again, it is stupid to think that it won’t stop spreading.”

The 67-year-old said: “Restrictions shouldn’t be lifted really, there is still a lot of people with different conditions. Hospitals are inundated again and they should have closed the airports.”Her 71-year-old sister, Hilda, added: “I’m exempt but when I’m on the bus I still wear one. I wouldn’t begrudge anyone a pint but I think that pubs were opened too early as well.”

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Chris Whalen doesn't think that an awful lot will change in everyday life.
Husband and wife Julie and Raymond Green say that they still will be taking precautions when out and about.
Armed forces veteran Paul Hampton said he can see both sides of the argument for easing restrictions or not.