Queen Elizabeth II makes public appearance amid rising UK COVID-19 cases

Queen Elizabeth II makes public appearance amid rising UK COVID-19 cases
© Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (C) speak with Gary Aitkenhead (L) in Salisbury, England on Oct. 15, 2020. (Getty)

On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II made her first public engagement outside of a royal residence since March, as coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom continue to rise.

The 94-year-old has been taking extra precautions since COVID-19 numbers began to skyrocket and England went into lockdown on March 23.

During her debut outing alongside grandson Prince William, the queen visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, located about 90 miles from London. She met with coronavirus scientists and participated in a plaque unveiling marking the official opening of England’s $39 million Energetics Analysis Centre, according to The Associated Press.

While neither the queen nor the prince wore protective face coverings during the visit, the duo followed social distancing guidelines. Additionally, the 48 people anticipated to be near the royals were all tested for the coronavirus ahead of time, the AP reports.

The queen broke from her strict coronavirus safety precautions just as London is about to face heightened restrictions. The British government’s new guidelines, set to go into place a minute after midnight on Friday, tighten restrictions and upgrade London and other cities from a tier one “medium” alert level to a tier two “high” alert level on the three-tier system.