Boris Johnson announces end of free testing from April 1st as part of ‘living with Covid’ plan

The Prime Minister announced the lifting of the need for self-isolation in case of infection from February 24 and said that “it’s time to return our confidence.”

Speaking to MPs, Mr Johnson also said that vaccinated contacts would no longer need to be tested for seven days, ending conventional contact tracing, and confirmed the end of free tests.

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He said: “Those who will wait for the complete cessation of this war before lifting the remaining rules will restrict the freedoms of the British people for a long time.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson briefs House of Commons members on Covid-19 life plan. Photo date: Monday, February 21, 2022

“This government doesn’t think it’s right or necessary.

“Restrictions are taking a heavy toll on our economy, our society, our mental well-being and our children’s life chances.

“And we no longer have to pay that cost.

“We have antivirals, treatments and scientific understanding of this virus.

and we have the ability to respond quickly to any revival or new option.

“We don’t need laws to force people to be considerate of others.

“We can rely on this sense of responsibility towards each other, giving practical advice, knowing that people will follow it so as not to infect loved ones and others.

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“It is unacceptable if funding for Scotland due to Covid is limited by the decisions of England”…

“So let’s learn to live with this virus and continue to protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.”

Mr Johnson unveiled his plans to lift restrictions in a statement in which he also acknowledged that the new options posed a threat.

He said: “SAGE advises that there is considerable uncertainty about the future path of the pandemic and there may be significant re-outbreaks.

“They are confident that there will be new options, and it is possible that they will be worse than Omicron.”

The announcement comes after a cabinet meeting on the plans was postponed due to what is believed to be a row between Health Minister Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

It is believed that Mr. Javid wanted to continue free testing only to have Mr. Sunak repeatedly denied funding.

Labour’s Shadow Health Minister Wes Streeting said the cabinet’s delay was a sign of “chaos and incompetence”.

He said: “The government is paralyzed by its own chaos and incompetence and the British public is paying the price. This mess can’t go on.

“How confident can the public be that the Conservatives are acting in the national interest if they cannot agree on a Covid plan?

“It is clear that the Prime Minister tried to declare victory before the end of the war, just to divert attention from the police knocking on the door of number 10.

“Labour published our plan for living well with Covid in January. It would prepare us for new options and secure our lives, livelihoods and freedoms. If the Conservatives are too incompetent to agree on their own plan, they can use ours.”

Representative No. 10 insisted: “The Cabinet unanimously supported life with the Covid strategy.”

This comes as 15 more people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to 160,610.

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