No, It Will Not Be ‘Freedom Day’ For Those With Disabilities

“Just the use of the words ‘Freedom Day’ upsets me,” says Natasha Coates, a 26-year-old from Nottinghamshire, who shielded for 14 months earlier in the pandemic. “What freedom is there for people like me? If cases continue to rise I will have go back into shielding, so if anything I am loosing freedom, not gaining it.”

Coates has autism and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), which causes regular symptoms of anaphylaxis. She was “terrified” by the announcements made during Boris Johnson’s press conference on Monday evening, in which he set out plans for the country’s grand unlocking in a fortnight’s time.

The prime minister confirmed that he intends to lift social distancing and face mask laws in England on July 19. The instruction to work from home where possible will also be scrapped, as will the “rule of six” inside private homes. Night clubs will reopen and large-scale events will not legally require certification. Staying Covid cautious will be left to personal discretion.

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