The pandemic is not over, but we must learn to live with it, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
He is to reveal his Living with Covid plan on Monday that will see all regulations that restrict public freedoms repeated towards the end of next week – with vaccines as the first line of defence.
This would mean there would be no legal duty to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus from next week.
It comes after ministers said new variants of the virus are expected to follow a similar pattern to Omicron in being more mild than early Covid-19 mutations.
Defending lockdowns and other interventions as necessary to save lives, the Government said such restrictions took a significant toll on lives and livelihoods.
And the Living with Covid plan will focus on four key areas:
- Removing regulations and requirements while emphasizing public health advice, in line with long standing methods of managing a range of infectious diseases
- Protecting the vulnerable through pharmaceutical interventions and testing, in line with other viruses
- Maintaining resilience against future variants with ongoing surveillance capabilities
- Securing innovations and opportunities from the Covid response
Speaking ahead of outlining his plan, the Prime Minister said: “Covid will not suddenly disappear, and we need to learn to live with this virus and continue to protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.
“We’ve built up strong protections against this virus over the past two years through the vaccine rollouts, tests, new treatments, and the best scientific understanding of what this virus can do.
“Thanks to our successful vaccination program and the sheer magnitude of people who have come forward to be jabbed, we are now in a position to set out our plan for living with Covid this week.”