Boris Johnson has stated that all remaining Covid limitations in England, including the legal requirement to self-isolate, might be lifted later this month.
Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate for at least five days under existing regulations.
The existing limitations are set to expire on March 24, 2019. However, Mr Johnson told MPs that he anticipated the final domestic laws to be phased out soon if statistics continued to show a good trend.
He stated that he will return after the legislative vacation, which begins on February 21, to clarify the government’s approach for dealing with Covid.
“It is my intention to return on the first day after the half-term recess to present our strategy for living with Covid,” Mr Johnson stated at the outset of Prime Minister’s Questions.
“Provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last domestic restrictions – including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive – a full month early.”
The legislation will be replaced by recommendations, according to Downing Street, and individuals will be advised not to go to work if they have Covid.
Mr Johnson stated in January that the limits would be lifted permanently when they expired in March, and that they may be lifted sooner.
“The self-isolation regulations expire on 24 March, at which point I very much expect not to renew them,” he stated at the time. “Indeed were the data to allow, I would like to seek a vote in this House to bring that date forwards.”
Later this month, rules for visitors entering the UK will also be loosened.
From this Friday, February 11th, fully vaccinated visitors entering the UK will not be required to do any Covid tests. Travelers who are not completely vaccinated will no longer be required to isolate, but they will be subjected to testing.
However, anyone traveling overseas must still respect the requirements of their destination, and many UK families are canceling their half-term trips to Spain since children over the age of 12 must be vaccinated to enter.
Since the peak in early January, the number of cases in the United Kingdom has been declining.
On Tuesday, the latest daily official numbers for the UK revealed that another 66,183 people had tested positive for Covid, and 314 had died. Covid is now affecting 13,793 patients in hospitals. In addition, around 85 percent of adults over the age of 12 have received at least two doses of the vaccine.
This winter, the testing system barely detected half of all illnesses, missing an estimated 200,000 cases each day at its peak.
Furthermore, around one-fifth of people who test positive do not completely comply with the self-isolation criteria.
The decision is also expected to pave the way for the demise of the community testing system, with many experts predicting that tests will eventually be used mainly in settings like as care homes and hospitals – or in response to significant outbreaks. England is rapidly nearing the point where it will treat Covid as if it were any other respiratory ailment.
Anyone who gets symptoms or tests positive for Covid by a PCR or lateral flow test (LFT) in England, Northern Ireland, or Wales must promptly self-isolate. People can escape quarantine after five days if they have two negative LFT readings within 24 hours of each other. People in Scotland must self-isolate for at least seven days as soon as symptoms manifest or a positive test result is obtained.