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Covid: no more compulsory isolation for English patients, announces Boris Johnson

The UK, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic with more than 160,000 deaths, has been among the first in Europe to try to return to pre-pandemic life, relying on high vaccination coverage.

Covid infections on the rise in the UK: lockdown light before Christmas possible
Covid infections on the rise in the UK: lockdown light before Christmas possible

On Monday, ignoring criticism, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the end of compulsory isolation for coronavirus-positive cases as of Thursday in England, a key and controversial measure in his strategy for living with Covid-19 as with the “flu”.

The UK, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic with more than 160,000 deaths, has been among the first in Europe to try to return to pre-pandemic life, relying on high vaccination coverage.

Covid: no more compulsory isolation for English patients, announces Boris Johnson

Embroiled in a scandal over Downing Street parties during the lockdown, which threatens his political survival and is the subject of a police investigation, Boris Johnson has decided to fast-track and lift key measures still in place in England after two years of pandemic.

“Restrictions have a significant cost”

“We now have sufficient levels of immunity to move from protecting people through government interventions to [an approach based on] vaccines and treatments as the first line of defence,” the Tory leader told parliament.

“Restrictions come at a significant cost to our economy, our society, our mental wellbeing and our children’s opportunities, and we must not pay that price any longer,” he added, citing the success of the vaccination campaign and the ability to “respond quickly to the emergence of a new variant”.

However, people will still be advised to stay at home if they test positive until 1 April, at which point free testing will be withdrawn except for the elderly or vulnerable because of the high financial cost. “After that, we will encourage people with Covid-19 symptoms to exercise personal responsibility, just as we encourage those who may have flu to look out for others,” insisted Boris Johnson.

Fourth jab

As soon as the peak of the Omicron wave passed in January, the leader had already lifted most of the restrictions in force in England, such as the indoor mask and the health pass for nightclubs or mass events.

In a sign of the tensions surrounding these final steps, the cabinet meeting scheduled for the morning to approve the plan was postponed to the afternoon by telephone, according to media reports, because of disagreements over the end of free testing.

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Emma Miller
2 March, 2022 12:43 pm

Keep sharing. Be safe


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