Hospital appointments, flights and hotels canceled as Britain grapples with how to pay tribute to the Queen

Non-urgent hospital appointments across the country have been postponed due to staff shortages, resulting in an already unprecedented healthcare waiting list in the UK. Holidaymakers have seen their accommodation plans torn up, travelers have been warned flights are being disrupted to avoid noise over London and funerals and panels brace for disruption.

“It’s sad that the Queen is gone, but it doesn’t help to leave someone to make them worse off,” photographer Dan Lewsey told CNN after a cancer diagnosis was postponed from a hospital in Shropshire, western England . “Normal life should be able to go on to some extent.”

The confusion reflects a country that has wrestled with how best to honor the Queen. Despite decades of planning for Elizabeth II’s death, the government has refused to issue clear guidance on what should and should not happen during the period of national mourning, leaving many decisions to providers.

This has led to very different approaches from companies and service providers. Brits have been asked not to cycle or forego weather updates. Some, like a supermarket’s decision to reduce checkout beeping, have been ridiculed online. But others have left people resentful about essential provisions.

“The closure of basic services such as food banks, scheduled hospital appointments and funeral services shows no respect for the Queen. It’s a show of disrespect for the British public,” said Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a political activist and author of This Is Why I Resist.”

A picture of the Queen hangs on a bus stop in Edinburgh.

Hospitals and holidays suspended

The suspension of some medical treatments has sparked widespread concern. “It is of course very sad that the Queen has died and a funeral is important but we are asking people to refrain from potentially life-saving medical treatment for the aristocracy,” Marcia Allison, 39, told PA Media after she learned she is 69-year-old father had seen a dentist appointment canceled on Monday.

“It is abhorrent to ask people like him to lose their teeth for an unelected head of state in the 21st century. It’s not democratic,” she told the news agency.

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Holidays are affecting staffing levels across the country and have resulted in many hospitals being unable to keep their appointments. The health board at Aneurin Bevan University in south-east Wales has apologized for the “unavoidable disruption” and told patients it is postponing “all scheduled appointments and clinics” to Monday.

It comes at a particularly difficult time for patients. The UK National Health Service operates under heavy strain; A record-breaking 6.8 million people are waiting for treatment, according to the latest figures from the British Medical Association (BMA), and there are concerns Monday’s cancellations could further swell the queue.
The BMA’s junior doctor representation arm also expressed anger that the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (RCOG) postponed Monday’s exams. “Junior doctors spend months preparing for these exams. Delays take a significant mental toll and potentially hamper training progress.” said BMA.

An NHS spokesman said that “As with any bank holiday, NHS staff will work to ensure urgent and emergency services, including urgent dental and GP appointments, are available – and patients are contacted where necessary by their local trusts regarding their existing ones Events.”

But while missed hospital appointments are usually due to sudden staff shortages, numerous companies have also made the decision to cancel their regular Monday services, often leaving customers in the dark.

A record number of people are waiting for hospital appointments in the UK.

Center Parcs, a company that operates several resorts across the UK, drew criticism across the country on Wednesday after announcing plans to close on Monday, leaving guests without accommodation.

The company has since reversed its plan to remove guests from locations for a day, but continues to not allow customers to arrive and check into their accommodation on Monday, meaning some have been forced to find alternative places to stay at short notice.

“It came out of the blue,” said David Grierson, 33, who was planning to drive across England this weekend, arriving at Center Parcs in Cumbria on Monday. “We now need to find additional accommodation… we are looking at over £200 ($230) a night (and) around Center Parcs availability is very poor.

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“It’s a little bit disproportionate what they did,” Grierson told CNN. “I would totally understand if they made some changes that day, but shutting people out when they were already out stunned us.”

Center Parcs told CNN, “We believe this was the right thing to do and this decision was made as a show of respect, so that as many of our colleagues as possible can be a part of this historic moment.” A company spokesman added that news released by the Social -Media account of the company were sent, warn guests that they have to “stay in their boxes” on Monday is “a mistake”.

“Guests are of course allowed to leave their lodges,” the spokesman clarified.

‘Come with as you go’

The public space is now concerned with the question of how to honor the monarch and how not. Images and tributes to the Queen are practically unavoidable in British cities; Bus stops, train stations, shop windows and billboards bear her face. During her lifetime, the Queen became probably the most famous woman who ever lived – and yet she was even more visible in death.

However, some honors seemed more natural than others. Guinea Pig Awareness Week has been postponed to avoid conflict with the monarch’s funeral. A picture of the late Queen surrounded by cans of baked beans in a UK supermarket drew mild mockery online. Another supermarket chain, Morrisons, confirmed to CNN that it reduced the volume of the “beeps” when scanning an item at the checkout out of respect for the late Elizabeth II.
Numerous companies and groups have joined Center Parcs to offer amazing advice. British Cycling apologized after ‘strongly’ recommending no cycling during State Funeral; it has now removed that advice from its websites, admit “We got that wrong.”
The government has advised businesses that “organizations are not required to suspend their operations during the national mourning period on the day of the state funeral.”
McDonald's is closing all of its UK restaurants on Monday due to the Queen's funeral

Confusion also reigns over the other funerals due to take place across the country on the day of the Queen’s funeral. “If, for any reason, a selected crematorium or cemetery has made the decision to close, funeral homes will work with families to find an alternate date or location that they are comfortable with,” the National Association of Funeral Directors said (NAFD). in an opinion.

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“The NAFD and other professional organizations in the funeral sector have advised their members that these decisions should be guided by the needs and desires of the bereaved,” the group said. It added that reduced public holiday services could prevent guests from catching funerals.

Flights will also be affected; Heathrow Airport, one of the world’s busiest transport hubs, said it would cancel some flights on Monday to reduce noise pollution over London on the day of the funeral. The airport had previously suspended flights for a two hour period on Wednesday to “ensure calm” during a ceremonial procession of the Queen’s coffin.
“Most court hearings will not take place,” said the country’s court service on Monday said. driving tests does not take place. And food banks have been forced to reallocate staff to stay open; Wimbledon’s food bank in south-west London initially said it was closing but later clarified that would be able to walk on Monday thanks to “the overwhelming support” of last-minute volunteers.

Monday’s funeral will be watched by millions of Brits. It will be the “biggest single police event” ever conducted by London’s Metropolitan Police, the force’s deputy deputy commissioner Stuart Cundy said during a media briefing on Friday.

But it has shaken companies not involved in the event as they balance their services and staffing with the magnitude of the Queen’s death.

“It’s a moment of great national importance, whatever your opinion on the monarchy,” Grierson said, reflecting on the disruption to his furlough and the cancellations across the UK in general.

“(But) a lot of companies may not have government guidance on what to do — so they’re just trying to come up with something over time.”

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