Plan B measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 must be dropped across England, the Prime Minister has announced.
Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons that more than 90 per cent of over-60s across the UK have now received booster shots to protect them, and scientists believe the Omicron wave has peaked .
Stay in touch: BusinessLive newsletters have been redesigned to make them even better. We send morning bulletins straight to your inbox on the latest news, views and opinions. Also receive our latest news alerts and weekly industry reviews. Join now – it’s free and only takes a minute.
He said the government had taken a “different path” for much of Europe and that “the data shows that, time and time again, this government has made the toughest right decisions”.
People will no longer be told to work from home and, from Thursday next week, when the Plan B measures expire, mandatory Covid certification will end, Mr Johnson said.
The government will also no longer mandate the wearing of face masks from next Thursday and they will be removed from classrooms from this Thursday.
The news comes as Covid infection levels drop in most parts of the UK for the first time since early December.
Immediately, from January 19: Work-from-home guidelines where possible have been lifted, which could benefit inner-city businesses.
From January 20: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and students in classrooms.
From January 27: The Department of Education will remove national guidelines on the use of face coverings in common areas of schools. Masks could still be needed in the event of an outbreak, but only if Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi approves a request.
Nightclubs and other venues will no longer require a Covid pass to enter, although some may continue to request one on a voluntary basis.
Face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting, although guidance suggests that masks should still be considered in enclosed and crowded spaces.
March 24: The legal obligation to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 should expire. The Prime Minister hopes to advance the date if the data allow it.