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U.K. reopens after three months of lockdown

Major step towards freedom: Johnson

Crowds queued up outside shops, pubs started selling pints at midnight and hairdressers welcomed desperate customers on Monday as England started to reopen its economy after three months of lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the reopening was a “major step” towards freedom but urged people to behave responsibly as the virus was still a threat.

Mr. Johnson, whose unruly hair style has become a trademark look, was one of thousands who flocked to hairdressers and barbers to have a hair cut on Monday, having waited since early January when the latest lockdown was introduced.

Some folk lined up at bars after midnight or in the morning to raise a pint with fellow revellers.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses have been closed since January when England entered a third lockdown to stem surging infections driven by the “Kent” variant of the virus.

Getting people spending again is crucial for Britain’s recovery after official data showed that 2020 was the worst year for its economy in more than three centuries with a 9.8% decline in gross domestic product.

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