No new Covid rules for at least another three weeks in England, Boris Johnson confirms

Boris Johnson has insisted he was right to stick to England’s Plan B coronavirus measures despite rapidly rising hospital admissions, rising case numbers and staff shortages at the NHS.

The restrictions will be re-examined before they expire on January 26th.

Plan B measures include wider use of face masks and instructions for working from home.

He also confirmed plans are being implemented across the UK to remove the requirement for confirmatory PCR testing for asymptomatic individuals who test positive with a lateral flow device (LFD).

The aim of the revised test procedures is to free up laboratory capacity for PCR testing, with the requirement for confirmatory testing in asymptomatic individuals to be suspended until the current high infection rates have subsided.

The change was introduced in Northern Ireland on Wednesday, Scotland and Wales on Thursday, and England from January 11th.

An estimated 3.7 million people in the UK had Covid-19 in the week ending December 31st, up from 2.3 million in the week ending December 23rd and the highest number since comparable numbers began in fall 2020, the Office for National said Statistics (ONS) with.

In England, according to ONS estimates, around one in 15 people in private households fell ill with Covid-19 – in London this figure rises to one in ten.

In the UK, an additional 194,747 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, while 334 more deaths were recorded – although that number includes a backlog of hospital data from England since January 1.

Government data also showed a total of 17,276 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in the UK as of January 4, up 58% from the week – albeit well below the high of nearly 40,000 in January 2021.

In the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said hospital admissions would “double roughly every nine days” and “we are seeing the fastest growth in Covid cases we have ever known.”

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