During the past year of the Covid pandemic, Briton’s have spent much of that time under strict lockdown rules, with Government guidance forcing tens of millions of people to stay at home in the fight against rising coronavirus infections. Schools have been closed, meaning schoolchildren have had to stay away from their closest friends and participate in home learning, with exams across the board postponed and cancelled. Thousands of shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms have closed, while major music concerts have been cancelled and outdoor sports have been banned.
The elderly have also faced similar circumstances during lockdown, with some confined to care homes and shielding for several months because of pre-existing medical conditions.
Former footballer and BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted to his 7.8 million followers: “The vast majority of young people have been incredibly diligent during the pandemic.
“They’ve sacrificed a year of what should be the time of their lives so that the elderly and vulnerable have a chance to live an extra year or more of their lives.
“We should thank them.”
But those comments have sparked a furious backlash from Express.co.uk readers, with one person reacting to our initial story raging: “Lineker is so out of touch with public opinion it’s getting embarrassing.
“He should focus on selling himself to young people who don’t buy TV licences or have much disposable income.”
A second Express.co.uk reader fumed: “Lineker should shut his trap.
“It’s the young who should be thanking the old, particularly the WW2 generation.”
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More than half of the UK population now receiving the jab and the country on course to vaccinate every adult by the end of July.
The exit from lockdown began on March 8, when all youngsters began returning to schools and colleges while last week, people were allowed to meet up to six people, or two households, outdoors.
Next Monday, non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, gyms and swimming pools will reopen, with table service allowed at beer gardens and outdoor seating at restaurants for groups of up to six or two households.
May 17 will see the Rule of Six lifted outdoors, with gatherings of up to 30 people allowed, while indoor mixing will be allowed for up to six people or two households.
Cinemas, indoor restaurants and hotels will reopen, while thousands of spectators will be allowed at outdoor sports events and performances.
June 21 is a key date as all legal limits on social contact will end, with restrictions also lifted on performances or sports venues.