In a statement in the House of Commons this yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the UK Government’s plan for living with COVID-19
The Prime Minister said that the UK Government will continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations, but the ongoing approach for England will be around four principles:
Changes at a glance
From 21 February the Government is:
- Removing the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice weekly asymptomatic testing.
From 24 February the Government will:
- Remove the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days.
- No longer ask fully vaccinated close contacts and those aged under 18 to test daily for 7 days, and remove the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate.
- End self-isolation support payments, national funding for practical support and the medicine delivery service will no longer be available.
- End routine contact tracing. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests.
- End the legal obligation for individuals to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.
- Revoke The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations.
From 24 March, the Government will:
- Remove the COVID-19 provisions within the Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations.
From 1 April, the Government will:
- Remove the current guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings and no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass.
- Update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to minimise contact with other people. This will align with the changes to testing. COVID-19
- No longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.
- Consolidate guidance to the public and businesses, in line with public health advice.
- Remove the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments.
- Replace the existing set of ‘Working Safely’ guidance with new public health guidance.
The ongoing approach for England will be around four principles, including:
- The removal of all domestic restrictions in law
- Continuing to protect the most vulnerable with targeted vaccines and treatments
- Maintaining resilience, ongoing surveillance, contingency planning and the ability to reintroduce key capabilities such as mass vaccination and testing in an emergency
- Securing innovations and opportunities from the Covid-19 response, including investment in life sciences
You can see a copy of the full plan here.
Correct as of 22 February 2022