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A cyclist rides with a friend along Regent Street as non-essential shops reopen in London on Monday. Photo: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

People in England are enjoying some semblance of normalcy — and pouring their first pints in public — after COVID-19 restrictions eased at midnight Monday, allowing non-essential locations like salons, gyms and pubs to reopen for the first time since January.

Why it matters: Britain's partial reopening has come amid one of the world's most successful vaccination campaigns, sharply curbing a COVID-19 outbreak that has killed more people than in any other country in Europe.

  • 40 million doses have been administered in the U.K., with over 48% of people receiving at least their first dose, according to Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.
  • The next phase in England's reopening roadmap will see the return of indoor entertainment and possibly international travel on May 17, assuming certain criteria are met. The government is aiming to lift all restrictions on social contact on June 21.
In photos
Shoppers carry bags in central London Monday. Photo: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer drinks in an outdoor seating area in Warwick, U.K., on Monday. Photo: Darren Staples/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
Terry Morris, mayor of Warwick, right, and Mandy Littlejohn, cheers with their drinks in an outdoor seating area set up in the car park of The Old Fourpenny Shop Hotel in Warwick, U.K., on Monday Photo: Darren Staples/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A shopper on Oxford Street in London. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers at the reopening of the Figure of Eight pub, in Birmingham, U.K. Photo: Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images
Customers enjoy a drink at an outside table after the Half Moon pub re-opened in east London Photo: Niklas Hallen'n/AFP via Getty Images
John Witts enjoys a drink at the reopening of the Figure of Eight pub, in Birmingham. Photo: Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images

Go deeper

Apr 11, 2021 - World

In photos: Egypt unveils 3,000-year-old "lost golden city"

A view on Saturday of the city, dating to the reign of Amenhotep III, uncovered near Luxor. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images

A top Egyptian archaeologist on Saturday outlined details of a newly rediscovered "lost golden city" near Luxor that dates back more than 3,000 years.

Why it matters: Zahi Hawass told NBC News the large ancient city, unveiled Thursday, tells archaeologists for the first time "about the life of the people during the Golden Age." Johns Hopkins University Egyptology professor Betsy Brian said in a statement it's "the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamen."

Apr 12, 2021 - Health

The warning signs of a longer pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

All the things that could prolong the COVID-19 pandemic — that could make this virus a part of our lives longer than anyone wants — are playing out right in front of our eyes.

The big picture: Right now, the U.S. is still making fantastic progress on vaccinations. But as variants of the virus cause new outbreaks and infect more children, the U.S. is also getting a preview of what the future could hold if our vaccination push loses steam — as experts fear it soon might.

Secretary of State Blinken slams Chinese government for "failure" to cooperate on COVID

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken criticized the Chinese government for its lack of transparency in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic on Sunday's "Meet the Press," and called for a more thorough investigation into the of the origins of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Investigating the origins of the virus has been hallmarked by geopolitical tensions, and U.S. officials have expressed skepticism about a report assembled by the World Health Organization and China.