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Plan B Covid Measures To Be Scrapped In England Next Week

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Plan B Covid Measures To Be Scrapped In England Next Week

Prime Minster Boris Johnson has announced that Plan B measures in England will be scrapped, with the number of cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant believed to have now peaked. 

Addressing Parliament, Johnson said rules would be relaxed from Thursday 27 January, meaning measures such as the compulsory wearing of face masks, work-from-home guidance and 'mandatory certification' will no longer be in place.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Face masks will no longer be required in schools, but are still 'suggested' in crowded and enclosed settings such as public transport.

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"After looking at the data carefully, the cabinet concluded that, once regulations lapse, the government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere," Johnson continued.

"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. 

"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 judgement of the British people, and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one."

Johnson added that mandatory status certification will also end, and that the government is 'no longer asking people to work from home'.

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"People should now speak to their employers about arrangements for returning to the office," he said.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Johnson also announced that restrictions on care home visits will also be eased, while confirming that self-isolation was still a ‘legal requirement’ for those who have tested positive for Covid.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 18 January), Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he was optimistic that measures could be scaled back next week as the number of cases and hospitalisations appears to have peaked. 

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A total of 94,432 new people had a confirmed positive test result reported on 18 January in the UK - a decrease of 38.9 percent compared to the previous seven days.

Javid said: “The action that this Government has taken in response to Omicron and the collective efforts of the British people have seen us become the most boosted country in Europe, the most tested country in Europe, and (have) the most antivirals per head in Europe. 

“That is why we are the most open country in Europe. 

“I have always said that these restrictions should not stay in place a day longer than absolutely necessary. 

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“Due to these pharmaceutical defences and the likelihood that we have already reached the peak of the case numbers of hospitalisations, I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to substantially reduce restrictions next week.” 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News

Jess Hardiman
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