With Omicron cases beginning to fall, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain said on Wednesday that coronavirus restrictions in England would be eased next week, a move likely to mollify critics in his restive Conservative Party at a time when he is besieged by career-threatening political scandals, APA reports, quoting New York Times.
After a raucous question-and-answer session in Parliament that was overshadowed by the prime minister’s own political woes, Mr. Johnson said that requirements for mask-wearing and show proof of vaccination would be lifted. The government is also no longer advising people to work from home.
“As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others,” Mr. Johnson said.
The prime minister has pointed to Britain’s robust vaccine booster program and widespread testing alongside a drop in coronavirus cases as the rationale for the policy shift, even as scientists and public health experts warn that it is too early to declare the virus merely a mundane part of everyday life.
Mr. Johnson also said the government planned to eventually end the legal requirement to self-isolate — which now expires on March 24 — and that he might bring forward that date, likening it to how people are not legally required to isolate after contracting the flu.
He said he had met with his cabinet on Wednesday morning to review the limited curbs now in place and to discuss the latest health data.