The UK’s lockdown has been more stringent than France, Germany and the US, according to recent research carried out by the University of Oxford. Each country has been given a score from one to 100, with 100 being the strictest, and takes into account workplace and school closures, restrictions on public gatherings, international travel controls and stay-at-home orders, among other factors. Brits have been found to have experienced the highest level of lockdown life compared to other countries in the West, emerging with a daily score of 86.11 compared to 83.33 in Germany, 82.41 in Italy and 63.89 in France.
The UK’s approach has been so strict that only two other countries recorded a higher number – Venezuela (88) and Lebanon (87).
The most recent round of school closures in force has been a key factor to the UK’s elevated score, according to Thomas Hale, lead researcher on the Covid tracker project.
In April 2020, the country’s score was 79.63, but by August, when the rules were relaxed, the figure had dropped to 66.2.
Mr Hales said: “The UK has done a lot in this third lockdown and introduced some stringent measures. One of the main factors is the s school closures, whereas most of Europe have tried to keep school open.”
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How the Covid rules compare in the UK
Out of countries within the UK, England has the toughest lockdown measures when compared with Scotland and Wales.
The Government in England issued a ‘stay at home’ order in January, whereas Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon didn’t, and neither did Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford.
But in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon closed all nurseries and early years learning settings, whereas they were allowed to continue operating in England.
Wales also kept nurseries and childcare services in operation throughout their portion of the country.
When it comes to hospitality and leisure, all three countries have kept along the same sort of line, with pubs, bars, restaurants, gyms and sports centres closed to the public.
Meeting outside with people not in your household is also a variable rule among the three nations.
England has said no meetings outdoors with people not in your household or support bubble, but exercise is permitted with one person outside the household.
These rules were lifted on March 8, after which those residing in England can meet one other person for recreational purposes.
In Scotland, the whole of which was plunged into Level 4 restrictions, two people from up to two households can meet outdoors.
In Wales, since February 20, four people from two different households have been allowed to meet outside for socially distanced exercise, but the meetings aren’t permissible in private gardens.
Meeting people outside your household or support bubble inside hasn’t been allowed in any of the three nations, as scientists and experts recognise the heightened risk of transmission in an indoor setting.
England’s rules are likely one of the most stringent as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has inevitably learned from mistakes of lockdowns past.