Boris Johnson should lay out how England will “live with Covid” today as he considers lifting all remaining restrictions.
The prime minister said he intends to lift the legal requirement for self-isolation after a positive test, instead the rules will be replaced by management.
The plan to “live with Covid” will shift the balance away from the “government mandate” to bring the country “toward a return to normal life.”
When will Boris Johnson announce his Covid plan?
Johnson will meet with his cabinet on Monday (February 21) morning to agree on a plan for living with the virus after nearly two years of restrictions, Downing Street said.
He is then expected to brief Parliament on his plan to exit the pandemic in the afternoon.
Then after 2:30 p.m., a press conference is due to be held tonight to announce the details of the plan to the public.
The time of the press conference has not yet been confirmed, but previous Covid announcements were usually held at 5:00 pm.
Speaking before his announcement on Monday, the prime minister said: “Today will be a moment of pride after one of the most difficult times in our country’s history as we begin to learn to live with Covid.
“This would not have been possible without the efforts of so many people – the National Health Service, which has introduced a life-saving vaccine with phenomenal speed, our world’s leading scientists and experts, and the general public for their commitment to protecting themselves and their loved ones.
“The pandemic is not over yet, but thanks to the incredible introduction of the vaccine, we are now one step closer to returning to normal and finally returning people to their freedoms while continuing to protect themselves and others.”
What rules are expected to change?
As announced on Saturday (February 19), the UK government has confirmed that people who test positive for coronavirus and their close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate by the end of this week.
The requirement will be lifted by Thursday (February 24), according to the Mail On Sunday.
The government has not said whether the changes will mean people will be able to return to work after testing positive, but a prime ministerial spokesman previously said “there will be guidance that we do not recommend.”
Along with lifting the legal requirement to self-isolate, the £500 testing and tracing fee is expected to be waived by February 24th.
The payment is currently available to low-income people, parents and caregivers of children who test positive and are forced to self-isolate and are left without a livelihood as a result.
Health experts have criticized the plan to end the lockdown rules, with British Medical Association Board Chairman Dr Chaand Nagpol calling it a “strange decision” with “more people dying, more people in the hospital”. than before the Plan B measures were introduced last year in response to the Omicron outbreak.
Dr. Mike Tyldesley, a member of Sage’s modeling subgroup, told Times Radio there was “real concern” that breaking the rules would lead to more workplace infections.
Free Covid Tests
The prime minister is also expected to set a timetable for reducing the availability of free Covid tests, although the elderly and vulnerable will reportedly still have access to them.
Mr Johnson told the BBC’s Sunday Morning program that the UK spent £2bn on testing in January alone and said that such a large spending should not continue.
Labor Party Health Secretary Wes Streeting described the end of free testing as “replacing your best advocate” with 10 minutes left.
He told Sky News: “I am particularly concerned about the end of the free trial.
“It’s like keeping the score 2-1 with 10 minutes left in the game and replacing the best defender.
“We are not yet out of the woods with Covid and it is important that when the government releases its plan for living with Covid, it is a solid plan that allows everyone to live well with Covid.”
Downing Street said its plan to ‘live with Covid’ will also outline what arrangements will be in place for international travel.
This will likely be guidance on Covid-19 testing requirements and self-isolation rules for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers when returning to the UK from overseas.
However, passenger search forms are likely to continue to be required from travelers until spring.
Vaccine based approach
Downing Street said the vaccination program left England in a “strong position to consider lifting remaining legal restrictions” as more than 81% of adults received a booster dose and Covid cases continue to decline.
No. 10 added that the Covid life plan would be “vaccine-led,” while keeping the program open to those who had not yet been vaccinated.
Mr Johnson told the BBC that the UK has found itself in a “different world” after exiting the wave of the Omicron option, where the number of patients in intensive care has “significantly decreased”, and said the latest figures mean it is time for the UK to change its regime. balance from “state mandate” to “personal responsibility”.
However, he refused to rule out further blockages in the face of a new mutation in the future, stating that he would have to be “humble in the face of nature”.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, NationalPeace.