Saturday, June 22, 2024

UK lifts all COVID-19 restrictions including compulsory mask-wearing

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced the end of all COVID-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom including the mandatory use of facemasks.

As reported by Reuters, this announcement is coming as the UK contends with a soaring number of cases.

However, hospitalisations and deaths have not risen by the same extent partly due to Britain’s booster rollout and the variant’s lesser severity.

Johnson had pledged to avoid lockdowns and live with the virus which is in contrast with the zero-tolerance approach to COVID-19 in China and Hong Kong with many European countries still retaining tougher restrictions.

“Many nations across Europe have endured further winter lockdowns… but this government took a different path,” Johnson told lawmakers, saying the government had got the toughest decisions right and that numbers going into intensive care were falling.

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“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.”

The prime minister also said the government would immediately drop its advice for people to work from home.

The government intended to end the legal requirement for people who test positive for Covid to self-isolate – and replace it with advice and guidance.

At a Downing Street press conference, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is a moment we can all be proud of.

“It’s a reminder of what this country can accomplish when we all work together.”

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