Writer: Lois

Photo: Reuters

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the UK government will scrap COVID-19 restrictions, stating that Britain must learn to live with the virus following a peak in cases caused by the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Scotland and Wales have announced a similar approach.

The restrictions to be discontinued include mandatory mask-wearing, vaccine passports, working from home and self-isolation. Although the self-isolation requirement expires later on March 24, Mr Johnson said he would seek to drop it earlier should the country’s virus data improve.

“Many nations across Europe have endured further winter lockdowns… but this government took a different path,” said Mr Johnson.

“Our scientists believe it is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally. . .because of the extraordinary booster campaign, together with the way the public have responded to the Plan B measures, we can return to Plan A,” he added.

According to Mr Johnson, over 90 per cent of individuals in the UK older than 60 have received a booster shot.

Britain’s official COVID-19 data shows that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus infections have fallen in most of the country for the first time since early December. There were 108,069 new reported cases on Wednesday, around half the recorded daily number over the holidays.

The requirement for those infected to self-isolate for five full days remains, but Johnson said that measure would also end in the coming weeks.

“There will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu,” said Mr Johnson.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid also stated the government expects to begin treating the CCP virus like the flu.

“There’s a vital need now for greater consistency in how we live with the virus in the longer term. Swinging back and forth between restrictions and normality has been damaging,” said Chief Policy Director of the Confederation of British Industry, Matthew Fell.

The UK has Europe’s second-worst pandemic death toll at over 153,000 confirmed virus-related deaths.

The Spanish government also recently announced they will treat COVID-19 like the flu after the current Omicron wave passes through the country.

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