Queen Elizabeth leaves COVID bubble to visit top-secret military lab

Queen Elizabeth II leaves her COVID bubble to visit U.K. It was a rare joint appearance with her grandson Prince William, who’s second in line to the throne. The U.K. Ben Stansall/WPA Pool/Getty

London — In her first in-person public engagement outside the safety of the royal residences since coronavirus measures were introduced seven months ago, Queen Elizabeth II formally opened a new analysis center at a highly secretive government science facility on Thursday. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II visits the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down science park, October 15, 2020 near Salisbury, England. Ben Stansall/WPA Pool/Getty

The royals also met scientists leading the U.K.’s response to COVID-19, and the members of the team that confirmed in 2018 that former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in the nearby city of Salisbury with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. The two royals were given a tour of the new Energetics Analysis Centre at the British military’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, about 90 miles outside of London.They saw demonstrations of weapons and tactics used in counterintelligence, met counterterrorism staff and toured a top-secret lab where scientists carry out research into chemical and biological weapons and deadly diseases including Ebola and Anthrax. Officials announced on Thursday that London residents would soon join a vast swath of northern England already under tightened rules on “Tier 2” of the government’s new COVID-19 alert strategy. Queen Elizabeth II through the years

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First published on October 15, 2020 / 9:43 AM Everyone who met the royals had to test negative for the new coronavirus before the visit, and social distancing guidelines were followed throughout the trip.”Specific advice has been sought from the medical household and relevant parties, and all necessary precautions taken.”Queen knights “national treasure” Captain Tom Moore

Captain Tom knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

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Photos of the visit show much of it was held outdoors, with no masks being worn, but the queen and others maintaining at least the recommended six feet of social distance. 

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It was the first time the monarch had seen Prince William in person since they were together over the summer at the royal family’s Balmoral Estate in Scotland.The queen’s first steps outside the royal bubble come as more and more Britons find themselves under strict anti-virus restrictions. later charged two alleged Russian agents, in absentia, with carrying out that attack. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox

The queen arrived at the facility by helicopter and Prince William by car. chemical weapons facility

By Imtiaz Tyab

Updated on: October 15, 2020 / 9:45 AM
/ CBS News

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, speak with Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead of the U.K. military’s top-secret Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down science park, during the royals’ visit on October 15, 2020 near Salisbury, England. 2nd round of COVID hits Europe and Southeast … 01:44

Thus far, only the city of Leeds has been placed on the highest level, Tier 3, which forces pub and restaurants to close for dine-in service and bans all mixing between households, among other restrictions.