The UK prime minister has announced the end of England’s Plan B measures with Covid passports for events and work-from-home guidance dropped from next week.
Boris Johnson told the Commons that the Plan B measures introduced in December to combat the Omicron variant will be abolished from January 26, with England reverting to ‘Plan A’.
Covid certification passes for large events and nightclubs will no longer be mandatory, but businesses will still be allowed to use the NHS Covid pass if they choose.
Johnson said: “Our scientists believe it is likely that the Omicron wave has peaked nationally. Hospital admissions have now stabilised with admissions in London even falling.”
He added that the cabinet had concluded that the country could return to Plan A measures, which would bring an end to mandatory certification and work from home measures.
Masks and face coverings will no longer be mandatory anywhere in England – including in shops and on public transport – from next week. However, the government will continue to advise that people wear masks or face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when meeting strangers.
There will still be a legal requirement to self-isolate for anyone that tests positive for Covid. Johnson said that the government intends to trust the British people to make the right choices.
The winter Plan B measures were introduced in December in response to the emergence of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.
While daily case numbers in the UK remain high, they are falling fast, having reduced almost 40 per cent on the previous week. Hospital admissions are also showing a slight decrease in the last seven days.
Covid measures have been a devolved matter in the UK, with each country setting different rules and restrictions throughout the pandemic.
Most remaining Covid measures in Scotland are set to be lifted from Monday, when limits on indoor events will be removed and nightclubs allowed to reopen.
Crowds will return to sporting events in Wales from Friday 21 January, with nightclubs reopening the following week.
In Northern Ireland, nightclubs remain closed and indoor standing events are not allowed.
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