Covid news live: Johnson to announce end to restrictions in England; NZ to end vaccine mandates after Omicron peak | World news



Johnson to say ending Covid rules in England is a ‘moment of pride’

Boris Johnson will proclaim that the lifting of all remaining Covid restrictions in England this week marks a “moment of pride” when he unveils the government’s long-term strategy for living with the virus, despite concerns from scientists, health experts and Labour that the move is premature.

The legal requirement for anyone with Covid to isolate will be ditched a month earlier than planned, while free PCR and lateral flow tests for everyone will be axed to rein in public spending and attempt to restore people’s confidence that life can return to normality. The tests will reportedly be kept for the over-80s.

The national contact tracing service is expected to be wound down and schoolchildren will no longer be told to get tested twice a week.

Fresh guidance is expected to be issued, similar to that already published about seasonal flu, designed to let individuals make their own judgments about the risk of catching or transmitting Covid.

Following meetings over the weekend the cabinet will be assembled to rubber stamp the plans on Monday before a Commons statement by the prime minister and a press conference in the evening, likely to feature the government’s two leading pandemic advisers, Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance.

The changes will be announced on Monday and start to come into effect from later in the week.


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