Wearing a mask, teleworking, health pass... Boris Johnson announces the end of many restrictions in England
Sylvie Claire / January 20, 2022
As of Thursday, January 27, wearing a mask will no longer be legally required, telecommuting will no longer be officially recommended and a health pass will no longer be required for access to nightclubs and certain large gatherings, the conservative leader announced in Parliament.
As Covid becomes endemic, we need to replace legal obligations with advice and recommendations, said Johnson.
He said he does not expect to extend the regulations requiring isolation for Covid-19 positive cases when they expire on March 24. That date could even be moved up.
We don't legally force people to isolate themselves if they have the flu, he explained.
More than 152,000 people have died in the UK from Covid-19. The latest available data show a nearly 40% drop in the number of new weekly cases, while the number of hospitalized patients has stabilized.
The number of intensive care patients, which remained low during the Omicron wave, is also decreasing.
This easing of measures considered liberticidal by part of the conservative majority comes earlier than expected, as the anti-Covid device is to be reviewed on January 26, and in a context of unprecedented crisis for Boris Johnson, mired in the scandal of the parties in Downing Street during the confinements.
In the UK, each nation decides its own health policy.
On Tuesday, the Scottish pro-independence government announced the lifting, from next Monday, of most of the restrictions in place, allowing the reopening of nightclubs and removing the three-household limit for indoor meetings.
Telecommuting is still recommended.
The Welsh government also announced last week that it was phasing out restrictions related to the virus. Wales has reached the peak of the Omicron wave and cases continue to decline.