UK PM Johnson speeds up plan to end COVID self-isolation rule
People in England with COVID-19 will from late February no longer be legally required to self-isolate to stem the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday, proposing to speed up existing plans to live with the virus, News.Az reports citing Reuters.
Johnson ended almost all COVID-19 restrictions in England last July, and last month lifted "Plan B" measures that had been temporarily imposed to slow the spread of the more recent Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
He has said he wishes to go further as part of the shift towards learning to live with COVID, and England is set to become the first major economy to replace legal requirements for people to self-isolate with guidance.
"It is my intention to return on the first day after the half-term recess to present our strategy for living with COVID," Johnson told lawmakers. Parliament returns on Feb. 21.
"Provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last remaining domestic restrictions, including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive, a full month early."
The rule is currently due to lapse on March 24, and Johnson had previously said that he would look to bring the end of the requirement forward if he could.
Britain is also dropping the requirement for vaccinated travellers arriving in the country to take a COVID test from this Friday. Johnson's spokesman said that remaining travel restrictions would also be addressed on Feb. 21.