Covid rules change: Key dates every restriction axed

Johnson announces end to Covid isolation from February 24th

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Ahead of holding a press conference to the nation tonight Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that he will be removing what’s left of England’s Covid measures, including those which concern self-isolation. The PM revealed the rule changes to MPs in the House of Commons.

Speaking tonight Mr Johnson made the following announcements: 

February 24

Self isolation will no longer be a legal requirement for those who test positive. Quarantine will remain advice.

Close contacts of positive cases will no longer be contacted or advised to test.

Non-jabbed close contacts of someone infected will no longer be required to isolate for 10 days.

There will be an end to the self-isolation payments.

March 24

Statutory sick pay will return to pre-pandemic arrangements. Since the pandemic, it has been paid from day one. It will instead return to the former arrangement of sick pay after day four.

April 1

Free tests for asymptomatic and symptomatic Britons in England will end for the general population.

Mr Johnson told MPs: “Because of the efforts we have made as a country over the past two years, we can now deal with it [Covid] in a very different way.

“It is because of the extraordinary success of this vaccination programme, that we have been able to lift our restrictions earlier than other comparable countries, opening up last summer, while others remained closed, and keeping things open this winter, when others shut down again, making us one of the most open economies and societies in Europe, with the fastest growth anywhere in the G7 last year.

“While the pandemic is not over, we have now passed the peak of the Omicron wave, with cases falling, hospitalisations in England now fewer than 10,000 and still falling, and the link between infection and severe disease substantially weakened.

“Over 71 percent of all adults are now boosted in England, including 93 percent of those 70 and over, and together with the treatments and scientific understanding of the virus we have built up, we now have sufficient levels of immunity to complete the transition from protecting people with Government interventions to relying on vaccines and treatments as our first line of defence.

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“It’s only because levels of immunity are so high and deaths are now if anything below where you would normally expect for this time of year that we can lift these restrictions and it’s only because we know Omicron is less severe that testing for Omicron on the colossal scale we’ve been doing is much less important and much less valuable in preventing serious illness.”

The PM added that now was the moment to move “from Government restrictions to personal responsibility, so we protect ourselves without losing our abilities and maintaining our contingent capabilities so we can respond rapidly to any new variant”.

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