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COVID-19 restrictions and mandates coming to an end in the UK

On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will be returning to their Plan A COVID-19 measures beginning this week.

The country credits the success of their vaccination and booster program as many COVID-19 related mandates and restrictions come to an end.

During the booster campaign, 30.5 million boosters were administered in England.

“Today marks the start of the next chapter in this country’s fight against COVID-19,” said Sajid Javid, UK health and social care secretary, during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing.

<who> Photo Credit: UK Health Security Agency </who> Dr. Susan Hopkins, Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid.

Beginning on Wednesday the government will no longer be asking people to work from home if they can and businesses should follow the Working Safely guidance.

Starting on Thursday, masks are no longer advised in classrooms for staff or students.

Next Thursday, all venues and events will no longer be required by law to use the NHS Covid Pass, however, it can still be used on a voluntary basis.

As of Jan. 27, masks will also no longer by required by law in any public setting but it is still advised in crowded and enclosed spaces.

At that time, the UK’s Department of Education will remove national guidance on the use of masks and Directors of Public Health will be able to recommend the use of masks in education settings in their local areas when “judge the measure to be proportionate due to specific health concerns.”

“It is still a legal requirement for those who have tested positive for COVID to self-isolate,” said Johnson during his statement to the British House of Commons.

“On Monday, we reduced the isolation period to five full days with two negative tests. And there will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether – just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.”

The UK government is advising all residents to remain cautious and continue to consider the risk of COVID-19 as the country moves back to their Plan A.

“The recent decline in community case rates and individuals requiring hospitalization is encouraging and it’s thanks to the public, who have taken up vaccination and followed the Plan B measures closely, that we’ve got to this point,” said Dr. Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor for the UK Health Security Agency.

“However, we should not be complacent. The pandemic is not over yet and we will need to remain cautious to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

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