British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly remove all remaining coronavirus restrictions in England as the country shifts toward planning on how to live with the coronavirus long-term.
“We will remove all remaining domestic restrictions in law. From this Thursday, the 24th of February, we will end the legal requirement to self isolate following a positive test,” Johnson told parliament. “We will end routine contact tracing, and no longer ask fully vaccinated close contacts and those under 18 to test daily for seven days. And we will remove the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate.”
“Until 1 April, we will still advise people who test positive to stay at home,” he continued. “But after that, we will encourage people with Covid-19 symptoms to exercise personal responsibility, just as we encourage people who may have flu to be considerate to others.”
The BBC reported:
Current coronavirus laws were due to expire on 24 March, but last week Mr Johnson suggested all of England’s remaining measures could end this month instead if the data remained encouraging.
Some 34,377 Covid cases were recorded on Saturday, with another 128 deaths within 28 days of a positive test. It brings the total number of deaths by this measure to 160,507. About one in 20 people in England had the infection in the week ending 12 February, according to the Office for National Statistics. Meanwhile, about 91% of people in the UK aged 12 and over have had a first dose of the vaccine, 85% a second jab, and 66% a booster or a third dose.
Johnson also said that starting April 1st, the British government will “no longer recommend the use of voluntary Covid-status certification, although the NHS app will continue to allow people to indicate their vaccination status for international travel.”
He said that government would also “expire all temporary provisions of the Coronavirus Act.”
Johnson’s remarks on the pandemic come as he deals with another looming crisis in Europe as Russia appears ready to invade Ukraine at any moment.
“I’m afraid that that is what the evidence points to, there’s no burnishing it,” Johnson said over the weekend when asked about whether a Russian invasion was imminent. “The fact is that all the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun.”
Johnson added, “I’m afraid to say that the plan we are seeing is for something that could be really the biggest war in Europe since 1945 just in terms of sheer scale.”
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This is a developing news story; refresh the page for updates.
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