Boris Johnson will announce today that he has lifted the restrictions on Plan B in England, as Prime Minister David Cameron continues to fight for his political career.
Today’s PM meets with his Cabinet in order to reach a final agreement. Then, he will deliver a statement at the House of Commons. Covid passes and work from home guidance are due to be discontinued starting January 26.
The Government may still recommend that people wear masks on certain occasions, such as public transport.
At the moment, it is unclear if wearing face masks will be a requirement by law or guidance.
This announcement is the latest in Operation Red Meat, a strategy devised by Number 10 to win the backing of Tory MPs following the Partygate row.
Today’s Prime Minister will meet with his Cabinet to make his final decision. Work from home guidance is set to end on January 26, and Covid passes are scheduled to cease.
In December, Johnson launched his Plan B curbs throughout England to stop the Omicron variant spreading.
The Plan B regulations that underpin the restrictions will expire January 26, and the government has committed to reviewing them before then.
Ministers feel more confident that they will lift curbs because of the increasing positive evidence.
According to a spokesperson for the Government, “Decisions regarding next steps are still finely balanced.”
“Plan B” was created in December in order to stop the spread of Omicron, a highly transmissible variant.
“It is thanks to the incredible efforts of the NHS, and the many dedicated volunteers that I have delivered more than 36 million boosters across the UK.
“The Omicron variant remains a serious threat, and the pandemic has not ended.
“Infections are still high, but there is good news: cases have begun to decline.”
“Vaccines are our best defense and we encourage people to get involved, in order to provide the highest protection possible.”
Now, the Government will focus its efforts on developing a long-term strategy to live with this disease.
According to The Times, this could mean that local Covid testing centers will close in spring.
The Treasury believes the estimated £10billion a year cost of the testing operation is not sustainable and wants it to be reduced.
According to some reports, the government could unveil the long-term coronavirus strategy by February.
This will likely include changes in self-isolation rules and the elimination of free lateral flow testing for those who have tested positive.
A Government source told The Times: ‘The wind-down will be quite swift and will mean fewer test centres because we don’t need all of the sites.’
According to official government data, there was an additional 94.432 Covid cases in the UK yesterday. Additionally, 438 deaths had occurred within 28 days after testing positive.
As of January 17, 19,450 were admitted to hospital by Covid-19 in the UK.
The total is two percentage points lower week-over-week. However, it has risen slightly over the past two days.
The number of hospitalized patients reached a record high of 39,254 in the first wave of coronavirus. This was on January 18, 2021.
On January 14th, there were 1,892 Covid-19 hospitalizations. This figure is the most recent available for UK. It was down five percent week-on.
The peak admission during the second wave was 4,583, on January 12th 2021.
The lifting of Plan B restrictions was part of Downing Street’s policy blitz called “Operation Red Meat”, which is designed to stabilize the PM’s premiership following the Partygate row.
Others crowd pleasing policies include bringing in the army to address the crisis of migrant Channel crossings and freezing the BBC license fee for two-years.