Covid Self-Isolation Rule To Be Scrapped A Month Early, Announces Boris Johnson

Prime minister says he wants to end all domestic restrictions in England at the end of February.
House of Commons - PA Images via Getty Images

The law requiring people to self-isolate if they test positive for Covid could be scrapped at the end of February, Boris Johnson has announced.

Speaking at the start of PMQs on Wednesday, the prime minister said the remaining domestic restrictions could be lifted a month earlier than planned.

Johnson told MPs he would present the government’s “Living With Covid” strategy when the Commons returns from its recess on February 21.

“It is my intention to return on the first day after the half-term recess to present our strategy for living with Covid,” he said.

“Provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last domestic restrictions – including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive – a full month early.

Speaking after PMQs, Johnson’s spokesman said: “This would represent an important step for this country as we move out of the pandemic.

“It is thanks to the British people, who stepped up when needed, both at the start of the vaccine programme and the booster programme before Christmas.”

He added: “It’s a boon both for the public but also for our hard-hit businesses, particularly hospitality, enabling our economy to grow. It shows the hard work of the British people is paying off.”

There were 11,471 patients in hospital in England with Covid-19 on February 8, NHS figures show.

This is down 11% on the previous week but still higher than levels before Christmas.

However just 385 patients were in mechanical ventilator beds, the lowest number since last July.

Covid-19 cases in England currently average just under 64,000 a day, the lowest since mid-December, though this only includes people who have reported a positive test result and does not reflect the prevalence of the virus across the whole population.

The prime minister’s announcement came as Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the UK is “past the point” where vaccinating young, healthy children against Covid will do any good.


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