Boris Johnson has been pressured by Tory MPs to come up with plans to relax Covid-19 restrictions and provide a vision for living with the virus.
Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi ruled out that universal free lateral flow tests would be scaled back, but suggested that the reduction in isolation times could be used to alleviate staffing problems.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak was also among the ministers who were interested in the economic benefits of reducing the isolation period from seven to five days Daily telegraph.
Former chief whip Mark Harper, an influential lockdown skeptic within the Tory party, called on Mr Johnson to end coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Harper warned the Prime Minister that he could suffer an even bigger rebellion than when he instituted his Plan B measures if he tries to expand them later this month.
However, it has been assumed that the Prime Minister will not come up with any further plans as long as the case numbers remain high and the NHS is under significant strain.
With an additional 141,472 laboratory-confirmed cases reported on Sunday (January 9), the number fell for the fifth straight day. However, this should be treated with caution as the reports usually fall on weekends.
Mr. Zahawi insisted that lateral flow tests be performed after the Sunday times reported that their provision could be massively reduced.
However, he did not specify how long they will remain free, and he formulated the ambition that Britain “be one of the first major economies to demonstrate to the world how to go from a pandemic to an endemic”.
He said the UK health authority would look into whether isolation time could be reduced to five days, and said Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday’s program: “It would certainly help ease some of the pressures on schools, critical workers and others.
“But I would absolutely let myself be carried away by the advice of the experts, the scientists, about whether we should switch from seven days to five days. What you don’t want is to get the wrong result with higher infection rates.”
Mr Harper, the chairman of the lockdown-skeptical Covid Recovery Group, warned the rebellion if the prime minister tries to implement Plan B over Jan.
“I think there will be more people against it,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. “I think the intellectual argument is even weaker now.”
When asked when Mr Johnson should officially end the restrictions, the MP said, “If this is not now, then when?”
Dr. Clive Dix, former UK Vaccine Taskforce Chair, said mass testing and vaccination for all but the most at risk should end after the booster campaign is over.
“There’s no point trying to stop the infection with what bulk vaccination is about because they don’t. We’re seeing a lot of infections, ”he told Channel 4 News.
Dr. Dix added, “I think this is a little bit controversial but let’s see a couple of months we shouldn’t be doing mass testing. I think mass testing doesn’t help anyone.
“I think we have to get to the point where we know that a young person who gets Covid after they have been vaccinated has a high level of protection but just like they would with a very bad cold or flu, stay at home … and when they feel better they go back to work. “
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