Britain plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions as cases fall; to scarp self isolation, mandatory tests for fully vaccinated travellers

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Monday, January 17, 2022, 09:31 AM IST


The United Kingdom is drawing up plans under which people will not be legally bound to self-isolate after catching COVID-19, The Telegraph reported on Sunday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to permanently revoke emergency coronavirus laws as Britain's COVID-19 cases continue to fall, the report said, adding official guidance would remain but would not result in fines or legal punishment if ignored.

Likewise, the UK government is reportedly planning to do away with the requirement of mandatory COVID-19 tests post-arrival into the country for fully vaccinated travellers, including from India, as part of preparations of having to live with coronavirus in the future.

According to 'The Sunday Times', UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is understood to be in favour of ending the testing regime for all those who have had both vaccine doses, in time for school holidays in the UK in February.

The move, which will save families hundreds of pounds and boost the pandemic-hit travel industry, will follow the scrapping of pre-arrival COVID tests from early in the New Year.

In addition to the abolition of PCR tests for fully vaccinated people, the minister intends to remove other restrictions, in particular the mandatory wearing of face masks in shops and public transport.

The UK faced a surge in COVID-19 cases ahead of Christmas. On December 7, the authorities introduced the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all persons over 12 entering the country amid the spread of the new Omicron strain. In accordance with these rules, all passengers were required to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before their arrival.

On December 8, Johnson announced that the country would move to the so-called Plan B. The British were encouraged to work from home whenever possible and required to wear a mask. In addition, a COVID-19 pass confirming vaccination became mandatory for visiting public places. Daily testing was required for those who may had come into contact with carriers of the coronavirus.

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Published on: Monday, January 17, 2022, 09:31 AM IST