The epidemic is raging in the UK. In the last 24 hours alone, more than 62,000 new infections have been registered, and never have as many people died from coronavirus complications as on Wednesday. The effects of the lockdown, the virus mutation, and Brexit are plaguing the country all at the same time.
On Monday, Boris Johnson sought to avoid a collapse in British healthcare by ordering a full lockdown. On Tuesday, Hungary unexpectedly lifted the ban on flights from the United Kingdom landing in the country. With the end of the airspace block, a WizzAir flight was launched from Budapest to London on Tuesday and Wednesday each. RyanAir also planned to send a plane to Britain, but they eventually decided not to. EasyJet cancelled their flight, writes Index.
The fact that the Hungarian-owned budget airline launched only one plane to London on its most used route, instead of the usual three flights per day, shows that only those who really needed to travelled to Great Britain, said aviation expert Gábor G. Varga. According to him, lifting the ban does not pose any risks because Hungarians working abroad would be willing to go through with the trip even with several transfers.
Business or pleasure visits are made almost impossible by the mandatory 10-day quarantine in Britain.
WizzAir also warned its passengers about the tightening of the conditions for entering the country. According to Index‘s information, there were no disruptions at either London-Luton Airport or Budapest Airport.
Schools were open for just one day when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced total lockdown. Hungarians living in Great Britain unanimously claim that the epidemic situation is out of control and that this is mainly due to the too loosely managed quarantine. As a result of the current tightening, it is only possible to leave your house for work and food.
A Hungarian living in the area of London reported that while in Hungary, the authorities strictly monitor compliance with home quarantine rules, in the UK, they do not pay as much attention. However, the streets of Basildon, a small town east of London, are already showing the effects of the rigour. Public spaces are empty, and there is little to no traffic on the roads. Although now, the shops’ stocks have not been emptied as they were in the spring, the accumulation of food at home began. Britons are buying non-perishable food, especially frozen goods. There is no shortage of toilet paper as of now.
According to Tamás, a reader of Index, during the holidays, young people did not comply with the protective measures at all. A lot of parties took place in Basildon, with a population of 107,000. Due to the total lockdown and the aggressive spread of the virus, people seem to take the restrictions more seriously.
Andrea, another reader of Index, has lived on the outskirts of Glasgow for 14 years. Although she lives only 5 minutes from her workplace, she could not enter the office even before the current restrictions were ordered. She has been working from home since the first wave of the epidemic. In Scotland, since the spring of 2020, the majority of office workers have switched to full-time home office work. Because of this, they find it increasingly difficult to withstand the lockdown. Andrea said the Scottish government reacted very consistently to the alternating waves of the virus, while London took confusing, belated, and ill-considered measures.
The number of infected people is so high because the English government did nothing when the spread of the virus mutation started during the holiday season.
Andrea finds it shocking that while the entire UK is under lockdown, the borders have remained open. And with air traffic, the new variant can spread easily. Moreover, the lockdown does not curb the British love of tourism. Overseas popular tourist destinations allow unrestricted vacations.
Andrea said that the rampant shopping fever before Christmas would have significantly worsened the epidemic situation even without the virus mutation. It was expected that following the holidays, hospitals would fill up, and the country would be closed down again. In Scotland, things are handled in a much more orderly fashion than how London is handling the epidemic situation nationwide. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are in control. In these three parts of the country, it was decided earlier and in a coordinated manner to take measures to slow down the spread of the virus.
Zoltán, another reader of Index, who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, says that people understand the restrictions and follow the rules, but it is very annoying to be locked in again. For those who had to be placed on leave due to lockdown, the state pays 80% of their wage. Although the Johnson government would, in principle, only maintain the current lockdown measure until the end of January, Zoltán said that everyone in Scotland is confident that this will drag on at least until the spring, and the only way out will be through vaccination.
Although the British were the first in the world to receive the vaccine, the vaccination plan is modified day by day by the London government.
It is not known who will be vaccinated after the elderly, and it is also unknown whether the vaccination will be repeated after 6 or 12 weeks. Politically, Brexit and the epidemiological situation reached their peak at the same time. And the two historic crises have given new fuel to Scottish independence aspirations.