England is set to see the biggest easing in measures since the start of the pandemic, with Boris Johnson eager to progress his ‘living with Covid’ plan.
All remaining restrictions in England are set to be scrapped according to the Prime Minister.
On bringing forward his plans by a month, the Prime Minister said it “shows that the hard work of the British people is paying off”.
However, his plan has not received universal praise.
It has been subject to major push back from scientists and his own MPs.
Doctors have warned that Mr Johnson risks broadcasting to the nation that the pandemic is over, unions have said he is “going too far, way too soon”, while charities say the move risks isolating the clinically vulnerable.
It has also been reported that no one in the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and Nervtag is aware of any scientific advice given to Johnson that would suggest he can end all restrictions.
The PM’s intention puts England on a different course to the rest of the UK, who still wears back face mask and self-isolates after a positive test.
152,338 people in England have died of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, while combined deaths between Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland total 25,561.
When do self-isolation rules end?
the legal need to self isolate after a positive Covid-19 test will most likely end on 24 February, three days after MPs return from parliamentary recess.
The previous date earmarked for self-isolation to be eased, which was a month later in March.
“It is my intention to return on the first day after the half-term recess to present our strategy for living with Covid,” Johnson said speaking to the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions.
What are the new self-isolation rules?
Under new rules, although you are not legally obliged to self-isolate following a positive test, you will be expected to isolate from settings such as the workplace. Though you will not be legally mandated to do so.
Currently, people who develop Covid symptoms or test positive must self-isolate for 10 days (or five full days following two negative lateral flow test results).
If you are caught not isolating, you can receive a fine reaching up to £10,000, but this is very rare.
Do the new rules apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
The new self-isolation rules will not apply to countries in the UK other than England.
ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland are all adhering to their previous rules and are yet to comment on any further easing.