Britain’s response is being dramatically reshaped to Covid in the early part of next year under a Pandemic Exit Strategy codenamed Rampdown.

The Mail was able to see the details in leaked Government documents. They describe how much of the Government’s £37 billion emergency programme for dealing with the virus will be dismantled and the country prepared for living with Covid ‘for years to come’.

This 160-page document contains a series of documents that are marked as ‘officially sensitive’ and were created by senior government officials charged with ending Britain’s fight against pandemic.

Britain's Covid response set to be dramatically scaled back early next year. It's part of a secret Whitehall pandemic 'exit strategy' codenamed Rampdown

Britain’s Covid response will be significantly reduced in the first half of 2019. It is part of the secret Whitehall Pandemic Exit Strategy codenamed Rampdown

You can see the file to find out how the Government plans to:

  • Reduce the time limit for people who contract the virus to isolate themselves for 10 days.
  • Allow private companies to pay for lateral flow or PCR testing instead of ending Covid tests
  • The national ‘Test and Trace’ system which helps identify people exposed to the virus, must be shut down.
  • Concentrate your efforts on fighting Covid to eradicate local outbreaks, and protect ‘highest danger settings’ like care homes.
  • Scrap £500 payments for those on low incomes who must quarantine.

According to the documents, experts believe that Covid’s ‘endemic’ status will be maintained for several years. They also state that the risk of mutant forms of the virus will not diminish. But, crucially, the Government’s central planning assumption – described as the ‘leaving soon’ scenario – predicts there will be ‘no winter resurgence’ of the virus.

The revelations come as the number of new Covid cases plunged by more than a quarter in just over three weeks – from 52,009 a day to 38,351 – and more than 12 million people have had their booster vaccines.

Families and businessmen who have been exhausted from Britain’s 2-year war against the virus will praise the leaked Rampdown plan.

Robert Dingwall, a leading UK sociologist and former Government advisor, stated that he was pleased to see people planning for the relief of the crisis and restoration of normal life. Covid should be treated as any other respiratory infection. This will encourage citizens to ease the terror and anxiety that has plagued the country in recent years.

However, a Whitehall source told The Mail Sunday that systems used to monitor the spread of the disease had been closed down. This alarm raised concerns among Government scientists.

Crucially, the documents reveal that Ministers are set to abandon attempts to stop Covid-19 spreading 'at all costs'

The documents also reveal that ministers have given up on trying to stop Covid-19’s spread ‘at any cost’.

According to another source, large numbers health professionals who had been fighting the virus for over 18 months now ‘just walk away’ from government officials. This results in huge knowledge ‘loss.

The source stated that ‘It is completely over’ in their minds. But what happens when a new version arrives? What happens to the entire national infrastructure? Are we retaining enough knowledge from the £37 billion investment over the past two years? “I don’t believe so.

Officials at the UK Health Security Agency (a newly created body led by Dr Jenny Harries, former Chief Medical Officer) are currently working out the Rampdown strategy as part of a six week review of the Government’s “test, trace, and isolate” regime.

According to the documents, officials were looking into “What activities could we ramp up before April?” These documents show that the officials are looking at ‘What activities can we begin ramping up before April?’ as well as what Britain’s future response to Covid should look like after April.

They will then be finalized this weekend by Dr Harries and key staff before being presented to Sajid javid, Health Secretary. The Government is expected to unveil their plan before the end of this year, except if there are a lot more cases due to an insurmountable strain of the virus.

Importantly, these documents show that Ministers intend to cease attempts to stop Covid-19 spread “at all cost”.

Instead, future policy decisions will be evaluated against the same type of cost-benefit analysis as the one used by the NHS to assess whether it can afford new expensive drugs.

One document said that “We won’t be prioritising previous objectives of breaking transmission chains at all cost,”

An additional document that was presented earlier this month stated the Government would ‘end all national trace and self isolation policies’ and will’move towards whole-population approaches to targeting the vulnerable.

Sources claim that the Rampdown strategy was driven partly by the need for a reduction in spending on pandemics.

The dossier reveals that the Government is drawing up plans to scrap the hugely costly free tests. Instead, testing will be prioritised for the most 'vulnerable', including those in care homes and hospitals, and used to contain local outbreaks

According to the dossier, the government is preparing plans to end the extremely expensive free testing. Instead of prioritizing the most vulnerable, such as those living in hospitals or care homes, testing will be used to control local outbreaks.

The controversial Test and Trace service was set up in May 2020 with a whopping £22 billion budget. It received a further £15 billion this year but its funding is expected to be dramatically cut next year.

A source claimed that they must complete everything by March 31st because otherwise the funding will have gone. A code-named Rising Tide is preparing plans to address any new strains of virus in the UK.

A list of core functions will be provided to ministers to help them respond to future catastrophic outbreaks.

Last night, a Government spokesperson stated that the Autumn and Winter Plans for responding to the coronavirus were published. This is a grave risk.

“We are constantly reviewing our strategy and have not made any decisions about the next year.

Experts say that Britain must learn to cope with Covid over many years. 


The documents state that Britain will need to be able to cope with Covid over many years. 

Although the virus is not expected to disappear completely, it will continue to be prevalent among the general population. 

However, Covid will be able to receive vaccine booster jabs and enter what government health professionals are calling a “steady state”, with hospital admissions expected to not exceed the current levels of approximately 750 per day. 

“Given the global spread of the virus, it is imperative that we consider the possibility that society may simultaneously suppress and live with this disease and make the country an endemic for many years,” states one document outlining the fall strategy for the NHS Test and Trace program. 

These documents detail the four planning scenarios which have been used to support Boris Johnson’s reaction to the third wave. These include a optimistic scenario (called ‘quick Farewell’), in which Covid case numbers would peak at 30,000 in July, while a more realistic scenario (called ‘long goodbye), which predicted a high of 85,000 daily cases in the summer. 

This central planning assumption, also known as “leaving soon”, would have seen a maximum of 65,000 cases per day in July and a decline to’modest levels by October. In reality, none of these scenarios worked. 

In the third wave, Daily UK case numbers peaked July at 54.674 and then continued to rise for three months before reaching 52.009 on October 21. The numbers have been steadily declining since then, but they are now slightly higher in recent days. 

Daily UK cases in the third wave peaked in July at 54,674 but then remained high for three months, hitting 52,009 on October 21. Since then the numbers fell steadily, before moving slightly upwards in recent days

In the third wave, Daily UK cases peaked July at 54.674, but then dropped to 52.009 in October. The numbers have been steadily declining since then, but they are now slightly higher.

The central planning assumption is known as 'leaving soon' and would have involved a peak in July of 65,000 cases a day, with 'modest levels' by October. In fact, all of the scenarios were wrong

It is also called ‘leaving shortly’. This would mean that there was a maximum of 65,000 daily cases in July, and then’modest levels’ by October. All of these scenarios are false

Mr Johnson last week warned that 'storm clouds' are gathering over Europe and said cases could rise in the UK

Last week, Johnson warned of’storm clouds over Europe’ and stated that cases may rise in the UK

Government officials also privately believe that a World Health Organisation target of having 70 per cent of the world vaccinated is 'unlikely to happen'. Nearly 80 countries, half of them in Africa, are set to miss a separate target of vaccinating 40 per cent of their population by the end of this year

Privately, government officials believe that meeting the World Health Organisation goal of 70% vaccinations is unlikely to be achieved. Nearly 80 countries are expected to fail to meet a second target, which is 40% for their 40 percent vaccination rate by 2015.

The Government documents are ominous and warn of a possible ‘extreme event’. These could include the spread a virus that can kill vaccines or serious supply chain problems for booster jabs. 

“In all of our scenarios, there’s the possibility for an unexpected event or combination events to occur that could derail our plans and leave us with a worst-case scenario with no end in view,” warns one document. 

There are new “variants of concern” that have arrived in recent years, including the Delta strain. It quickly spread the country and is a continuing’very real danger’. 

Last week, Johnson warned of’storm clouds over Europe’ and stated that cases may rise in the UK. 

Yesterday’s i newspaper reported two scenarios that show the government doesn’t expect the pandemic will be over in at least one year.

Privately, government officials believe that it’s unlikely for the World Health Organisation to achieve its target of 70 percent vaccinations. 

A total of 80 countries (half of which are in Africa) will miss the target to vaccinate 40% of their populations by year’s end.

Under the ‘Rampdown” plans, everyone will be eligible for free Covid testing 


The Government has announced that universal Covid testing for free will be discontinued under its Rampdown program.

Currently anyone can ask for free lateral flow testing delivered to their home. Those with symptoms will be advised to get free PCR tests which are performed in labs.

The dossier shows that plans are being made by the government to end the extremely expensive free testing. Instead of prioritizing the most “vulnerable”, including patients in hospitals or care homes, testing will be used to limit local outbreaks.

In September, a document was created showing how officials warned of the danger that families would’stockpile’ lateral flow testing. “There’s a possibility that an announcement about the ending of free testing might encourage people to stockpile tests, or to incentivize them to receive free testing via symptomatic routes.

“Any charge to test is likely to dissuade the most vulnerable people, even the poorest from using the tests.”

Officials are also planning to launch a private testing market in which people will pay for their tests, according to the document. The document states that approximately 500 companies offering more than 150 testing products are currently undergoing accreditation.

We have created the foundation to allow for a controlled private market in PCR as well as LFDs. [lateral flow devices]… To mobilise a private market, we would need to signal publicly and directly a firm end date for universal free testing.’

The controversial idea of handing over the entire lucrative testing system to private companies is not likely. The current system requires that people pay their own travel PCR tests. It has created confusion and inflated pricing.

Mass testing had been a critical part of Britain’s fight against the virus, but a damning report by MPs last month found that despite an ‘eye-watering’ £37 billion budget over two years, NHS Test and Trace has failed in its main objective of helping stop the virus spreading.

More than 691 million free lateral flow tests have been distributed in the past year but only 96 million of these – 14 per cent – have been used to register a test result with the NHS, the report by the Public Accounts Committee found.

France ended free tests last month and the six million adults there who are not vaccinated now have to pay between £18 and £37 per test.

Free tests were axed in Germany on October 11 and now cost £16. In England, one possibility is that the Government may initially charge individuals for testing, starting in January. Then, it could be handed over to private companies.

As vaccination rates rise, officials are considering eliminating regular school testing. All secondary and college students must take the lateral flow test at home two times per week.

While ministers have decided that routine mass testing should continue through the Christmas holidays, officials are considering changing this to targeted testing for local outbreak management.

When March’s legal power expires, there is no more need to isolate those who have tested positive for Covid. 


To be scrapped are strict guidelines that make it mandatory for those who have tested positive for Covid not to self-isolate.

Last September, MPs extended laws that force those who catch the virus – as well as unvaccinated people who may have been exposed to it – to self-isolate for ten days.

Officials in the Government now believe that compulsory self-isolation is going to be abandoned when the legal power expires.

Working assumption [is]According to a last-month document, legal obligations will end after March.

A scheme that pays out £500 to those on low incomes who are self-isolating is expected to be axed at the same time to save cash. The Test and Trace Support Payment has paid out £167.9 million to 335,000 low-income workers during the pandemic.

Officials also plan to cut the cost of NHS’s contact tracking system. It attempts to locate people susceptible to the coronavirus.

The Treasury handed the NHS a further £94 million to bankroll its tracing service until the end of this month, but officials are now poring over ‘potential cost savings, including reducing staff numbers’.

Individuals who choose to self-isolate will be called by NHS Test and Trace staff who ensure they follow the rules. But, Ministers are being advised by officials to end these calls.

One of The Mail on Sunday’s documents states that “We are conducting a review about the future approach to tracking to improve cost efficiency,”

Travellers who have not been vaccinated and arrive from overseas must also self-isolate. They are called each day. These calls can also be discarded, as it is recommended.

The UK Health Security Agency plans to eliminate the whole nationwide trace system as part of their ‘rampdown strategy’ as Covid becomes a reality.

According to documents, this could mean that the responsibility is transferred to local authorities.