LATEST: Plan B measures to be scrapped - working from home, Covid passports and mask-wearing to go

Plan B measures aimed at tackling the spread of Covid-19 are to be dropped across England, the Prime Minister has announced.

By Leanne Clarke
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 1:43 pm
Plan B measures aimed at tackling the spread of Covid-19 are to be dropped across England, the Prime Minister has announced.
Plan B measures aimed at tackling the spread of Covid-19 are to be dropped across England, the Prime Minister has announced.

In the House of Commons today, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that more than 90 per cent of over 60s in the UK have had booster vaccinations and scientists believe the Omicron wave has peaked.

Plan B measures will end from Thursday, January 27.

The mandatory wearing of face masks will end, including in the classroom for secondary pupils, and on public transport.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

It will be the end of mandatory Covid passes, only being used by businesses wishes to do so.

The work-from-home guidance will end.

Restrictions on care homes will be eased with Health Secretary Sajid Javid setting out plans "in the coming days".

But, there will still be a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid.

The Prime Minister went through the latest Covid-19 data this morning with his ministers, before making his statement to MPs.

The news comes as Covid infection levels are falling in most parts of the UK for the first time since early December.

In the House of Commons today, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that more than 90 per cent of over 60s in the UK have had booster vaccinations and scientists believe the Omicron wave has peaked.

Plan B measures will end from Thursday, January 27.

The mandatory wearing of face masks will end, including in the classroom for secondary pupils, and on public transport.

It will be the end of mandatory Covid passes, only being used by businesses wishes to do so.

The work-from-home guidance will end.

Restrictions on care homes will be eased with Health Secretary Sajid Javid setting out plans "in the coming days".

But, there will still be a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid.

The Prime Minister went through the latest Covid-19 data this morning with his ministers, before making his statement to MPs.

The news comes as Covid infection levels are falling in most parts of the UK for the first time since early December.

He told the Commons: “Today’s latest ONS data show clearly that infection levels are falling in England and while there are some places where cases are likely to continue rising, including in primary schools, our scientists believe it is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally.

“There remain, of course, significant pressures on the NHS across our country, and especially in the North East and North West, but hospital admissions which were doubling every nine days just two weeks ago have now stabilised, with admissions in London even falling. The numbers in intensive care not only remain low but are actually also falling.”

“So, this morning, the Cabinet concluded that because of the extraordinary booster campaign, together with the way the public have responded to the Plan B measures, we can return to Plan A in England and allow Plan B regulations to expire.

What rules are changing?

The Prime Minister confirmed Plan B Covid measures will come to an end from Thursday, January 27.

From this date, mandatory Covid passes will no longer be needed to access venues large events, and work from home guidance will come to an end.

Mr Johnson also said the UK government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere in England, and they will be scrapped in classrooms from this Thursday, January 20.

The guidance to wear coverings in communal areas will also be removed.

The government will still "suggest" the use of face coverings in cramped or crowded spaces, but will “trust the judgment of the British people”.

The PM also confirmed the intention to end the legal requirement to self-isolate in the coming weeks.

He told MPs: “As we return to Plan A, the House will know that some measures still remain, including those on self-isolation.

“In particular, it is still a legal requirement for those who have tested positive for Covid to self-isolate.

“On Monday we reduced the isolation period to five full days with two negative tests, and there will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.

“As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others.

“The self-isolation regulations expire on March 24, at which point I very much expect not to renew them. Indeed, were the data to allow, I’d like to seek a vote in this House to bring that date forward.”

As for changes to current Covid travel restrictions, the PM said the government will make an announcement on this “in the next few days”.

He told MPs: “We will certainly review testing arrangements for travel and the Health Secretary will be making a statement in the next few days on that.

“I think it’s very important everybody in the country understands that getting your booster, wherever you want to go in the world, getting your booster is going to be a pretty crucial thing to do.”