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COVID-19

UPDATE: Video of Australian Woman Shows Balcony She Cannot Leave at COVID Detention Facility

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On Friday we reported on a young Australian woman who described how she was forcibly stripped from her home and taken to a COVID detention facility. A longer clip of her interview is now circulating, which includes some cell phone video she took while at the facility.

The video shows her receiving an “official warning” that she is not allowed to leave what seems to be some type of porch balcony in front of where she is being held. The girl explained in her interview that she was forcefully held in the detention center alone for 14 days.

In the video taken from the facility, she is being warned by a man and a woman wearing full protection including rubber gloves, masks and protective eyeglasses who state “you have to stay on your balcony and obey the rules while you’re here.”

When she asks if she can go to the laundry they say only if she is wearing a mask. But other than that she is unable to cross a literal line placed on the balcony floor. “You definitely can’t go up the fencing rails,” the man tells her. She then moves the camera to show the line and the fence virtually right next to it. “It makes no sense,” she says pointing at other individuals right next to the fence as she has been instructed not to be.

“You can’t leave your balcony to go to the fence to talk to somebody else. That’s just obvious” he tells her with increasing frustration. He then attempts to act like he’s doing her a favor by issuing just a warning because her “crime” is actually deserving of a $5,000 penalty which he threatens to issue her the next time she disobeys the rules.

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COVID-19

Freedom in the UK: Johnson ends ‘all Covid measures’ including mask wearing

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Kid Mask

The United Kingdom is enjoying a huge announcement. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced “the end of all Covid measures introduced to combat the Omicron variant – compulsory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, guidance to work from home and vaccine certificates – from next week” reports The Guardian.

For those with coronavirus, the legal requirement for them to self-isolate will also be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on March 24. Johnson also announced an immediate end for students to wear masks at secondary schools.

“From tomorrow we will no longer require face masks in classrooms and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas,” Johnson told the Commons.

“In the country at large we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, but we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one.”

The Prime Minister said Covid data was “showing that time and again this government got the toughest decisions right” and that plan B rules that were put in place in December could all be lifted from next Thursday, the day after a pre-existing review point.

The Guardian notes Britain had expected Johnson would soon be ending work-from-home guidance and the mandate to show a certificate proving vaccination or proof of a recent negative Covid test. However, the immediate lifting of mandatory mask rules will “come as a surprise to some.”

Johnson is receiving some push back from some teaching and health unions. The general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said ministers would “regret sending the wrong signal to the public for political expediency”.

Joint general secretary of the National Education Union Mary Bousted said, “While the trend amongst secondary aged children is down, it is however uncertain, due to the short time schools have been back since the Christmas holidays, that this trend will continue. Such uncertainty could lead to a pronounced risk of increased disruption with children and staff having to isolate.”

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