UK government pressured to ease COVID-19 funeral restrictions after photo of queen sitting alone goes viral

UK government pressured to ease COVID-19 funeral restrictions after photo of queen sitting alone goes viral
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The British government is facing new pressure to ease COVID-19 restrictions on funeral attendance after photos of Queen Elizabeth II sitting alone at the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, were widely shared on social media.

The new calls for easing of COVID-19 restrictions come as the government has already allowed nonessential businesses including "close contact" shops such as nail salons and barbershops to reopen while requiring people to remain several feet apart at funerals.

Piers Morgan, a TV presenter who resigned from his spot at a top British morning news program last month over a controversy surrounding his comments regarding Meghan, the Duchess of SussexMeghan MarklePrince Harry announces memoir Meghan Markle announces animated Netflix series focused on 12-year-old girl inspired by historical women Naomi Osaka in op-ed defends withdrawing from French Open: 'Athletes are humans' MORE, tweeted prior to Saturday's funeral that the scene of the queen sitting without her family nearby would be "heartbreakingly sad."

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The issue was raised again Monday during a segment on "Good Morning Britain," where panelists debated easing funeral restrictions specifically and some spoke about their own experiences of being unable to be close to family members at funeral services for their loved ones.

The debate comes as the U.K.'s rate of COVID-19 cases remains far lower than it was throughout the first three months of 2021, and health officials have yet to see a resurgence of the variant that originated in the U.K. and appears to be more contagious than previous iterations of the virus.

Officials recorded just under 1,900 new cases of the virus across Britain on Sunday, one of the lowest single-day totals the U.K. has experienced since September.