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‘Plan B’ restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus will end in England on 26th January, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.
The move will see the end of work-from-home guidance, compulsory use of face coverings in shops, on public transport and in other indoor settings, and use of Covid vaccine certificates from 26th January.
Legal requirements for individuals testing positive for Covid-19 to self-isolate will also be allowed to lapse on 24th March; however, that date could be brought forward. Currently, isolation is a minimum of five full days with two negative tests on days five and six.
Organisations will continue to be able to use the NHS Covid pass should they choose, and the use of face coverings will still be suggested by government, but no longer mandated.
The Prime Minister announced the end of coronavirus restrictions speaking in the House of Commons today (19th January), where he advised MPs that it is ‘likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally,’ with daily new cases and hospital admissions now beginning to decline and stabilise.
Plans to end the use of face coverings and other mitigations against Covid-19 in schools are also set to lapse, and the Health Secretary is also set to announced an easing of restrictions on visits to care homes in the coming days.
Boris Johnson justified the end of Plan B restrictions and a return to Plan A by commending the success of the UK’s booster vaccine rollout. His full statement to Parliament is available from the government website.