Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the end of covid regulations next week in his ‘plan for living with covid.’
The PM is expected to confirm all regulations that restrict public freedoms will be repealed in a public announcement tomorrow (February 21).
Vaccines and other pharmaceutical interventions will continue as a first line of defence. All remaining domestic covid regulations that restrict public freedoms are expected to end this coming week.
The government says that thanks to improved understanding of the virus and a successful vaccination programme we can now move away from government intervention to personal responsibility.
It has been almost two years since the first lockdown in March 2020 which saw freedoms curbed, non essential shops shut and the country told to stay at home if they weren’t key workers.
Government says the pandemic was “the biggest public health emergency in a century and led to unprecedented challenges.
“Lockdowns and other non-pharmaceutical interventions were necessary to save lives and protect the NHS as scientists and clinicians worked on a global scale to detect and respond to new variants, but they took a significant toll on lives and livelihoods.
“Restricting face to face education has resulted in detrimental effects to children’s learning, mental health, development, and future earning potential. Mental wellbeing has been adversely impacted, particularly among young people and those living in deprived neighbourhoods.”
In December 2020 the vaccine rollout began. Since then, nearly 53 million people or 91% of the UK population have had one dose, and nearly 49 million or 85% a second. New treatments also include antivirals.
The government Roadmap to unlocking England in 2021 meant the lifting of the majority of restrictions in July 2021, 4 weeks later than expected due to a rise in Delta variant cases.
The Omicron variant brought Plan B restrictions with the reintroduction of guidance to work from home and an extension to the legal requirement to wear a face mask to most public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas.
Plan B was implemented to slow the spread of Omicron and a booster jab campaign was launched.
Nearly 38 million boosters have now been administered.
Government says this, coupled with improved scientific understanding, “meant restrictions were avoided and Government intervention in people’s lives can now finally end.”
Further detail will be set out next week. The plan is expected to focus on:
Removing regulations and requirements while emphasising public health advice, in line with long standing methods of managing a range of infectious diseases
Protecting the vulnerable through pharmaceutical interventions and testing, in line with other viruses
Maintaining resilience against future variants with ongoing surveillance capabilities
Securing innovations and opportunities from the Covid response
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “Covid will not suddenly disappear, and we need to learn to live with this virus and continue to protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.
“We’ve built up strong protections against this virus over the past two years through the vaccine rollouts, tests, new treatments, and the best scientific understanding of what this virus can do.
“Thanks to our successful vaccination programme and the sheer magnitude of people who have come forward to be jabbed we are now in a position to set out our plan for living with covid.”
Good. We can now start counting the cost of all the restrictions in terms of undiagnosed health conditions, mental health issues and businesses failing.
It’s high time we now started living with Covid in the same way as Boris and No 10 have been doing since the start.
There are a lot of scientifically ignorant people in this government, which is why it’s making foolish decisions.
The Tories biggest mistake is giving in to NHS workers who refuse to be vaccinated.
They have no need to be, especially now with a super mild variant where the average age of death is nearly 83 years old & most of those have underlying health issues.
Let’s hope a new variant doesn’t come along then.
Steve I have been monitoring the spread of the virus in Thanet as shown on the TDC Website, updated every week. At the end of November last year there were 578 cases, and it steadily grew each week rising to 2,653 cases on the 10th January! It has slowly decreased, and last week there were 757 cases, and there has been a total of 36,180 cases in Thanet, and 555 people killed by the virus! This proves that vaccination works! As more and more people got vaccinated, cases of the virus declined! TDC don’t show how many cases end up in hospital, but its been reported that 90% of those that do have NOT been vaccinated, Duuurh!
Wrong decisions being made. .Yes we are entering into spring and then summer where the number of cases could fall significantly, however, as we have already seen even though people have had the vaccinations they are still susceptible and vulnerable especially the elderly and the people with low immune systems.
So, what’s the answer ? Covid could be with us in some shape or form for the next few hundred years. Do we have restrictions forever ?
It gets to the point where the restrictions cause more damage than they solve. Time this was treated the same as seasonal flu.
Except this virus is more lethal! As I said some 555 people in Thanet have been killed by Covid up to last week, and there have been a total of 36,180 cases as of last week! There was a total of 18,629 cases at the end of November last year, so that means there were 17,551 new cases since then! People who are “Clinically Extremely Vulnerable” are still at risk, because one third of people with the virus don’t know they have it! If they are particularly stupid, and have not been vaccinated, and are not wearing a mask, then they could be infecting these people! So, its most sensible for people who are classed as being “Clinically Extremely Vulnerable” to continue to Self Isolate, because there are going to be people out there who could cause them serious harm, or even kill you! This could apply to about 3 million people so I believe, and all to satisfy the baying of off the wall right wing Johnson’s cronies!
You can’t shut a country down indefinitely, the risk to the vast majority of serious consequences from covid is minimal, the remainder we know how to look after.
To continue with restrictions now would just condemn huge numbers awaiting access to the nhs to pain , suffering and an indeterminate number of early deaths.
Common sense says we take the route of least harm.
Your right R! Millions of people are “Clinically Extremely Vulnerable” like me, and as a third of people with the virus may have it unknowingly, they could be spreading it around, and possibly killing people like me, or making them very sick! It is an oxymoron for Health/Care workers who refuse to be vaccinated, with the emphasis on moron, as they could infect people who are already very ill. I don’t suppose for one minute the clown Johnson took this into consideration!
Disastrous decision, notice during the lockdown how the scientific advisors were wheeled out but now Boris the buffoon appears on his own. The reputable scientists think it is far too early but the Tories plough on regardless so their friends in big business can get back to screwing out their profits and dividends. We can eliminate covid the same way that smallpox and other viral diseases were but we need to remove patents on the various vaccines and allow every country to start producing vaccines as needed. “NO ONE IS SAFE UNTIL EVERYBODY IS SAFE”.
Keith Mate. You have serious mental health issues if you want this to carry on and are angry about ending restrictions
Keith Veness has not mentioned “restrictions”. he’s right about the Tories.
“NO ONE IS SAFE UNTIL EVERYBODY IS SAFE” all well and good but we have a population where huge numbers put themselves at risk of serious effects from covid as a result of being fat and unfit. I might have some sympathy for your shouty statement if “EVERYBODY” made the effort to minimise their own risk, if they don’t care about their chances why would the rest of the country bankrupt itself to deal with their ignorance/ indifference?
It’s been 2 years of opening / Shutting / isolation
We now have to move on and live with it .
Restrictions cannot last forever .
Although people would like it too it’s best for the country to learn to live with covid it’s not going away anytime soon possibly years you cannot keep the uk in restrictions permanently.
The PM is going against all the scientific advice. If numbers are falling why not wait a bit longer for infection rates to fall further. Why not?
Because we all need to get on with our lives.
Well said Peter.
Because there is no need to.
We have lost a greater percentage of lives than the vast majority of European States because of the slowness of the Government to act and its wasting of millions on things like track and trace with their mates getting huge contracts (whatever happened to that?). We have superb scientists but is a true case of “lions led by donkeys”. We do not have to live with covid like some of your anti-vaxxers are posting on here. We have virtually eliminated polio, wiped out smallpox and are winning the battle against malaria and HIV. We can wipe out covid in a few years if we have the political will. Sadly you won’t get that from Government.
National governments need to co-operate in a pandemic, but our government wants to blunder on alone, ignoring our scientists.
No, Blakeford and Sturgeon are hellbent on doing anything that goes against the English view just for the sake of doing so, they both are nigh demented loons with their own agendas nased around independence but still happy to take the support of the English taxpayer. Personally they can both have independence and sink or swim, but they’ll sink and then need bailing out, we couldn’t let the chinese gain too much influence so the English taxpayer would stump up yet again.
It’s quite comical that there was all the hoo haa about how close the brexit vote was but not a murmur about the much closer welsh devolution vote, it was just respected. The welsh health service is appalling in its ineptitude.
I think the Welsh and Scottish governments are more sensible than the English one, which seems hellbent on pretending the pandemic is over in England.
You use the phrase “ i think “ a lot but never back it up with any sort of logical argument. The pandemic is over , it’s now a virus that is endemic across multiple regions, we don’t call the common cold a pandemic , nor should we now see covid as such.
Look at the lifestyles of the countries who’ve been relatively unaffected , then look. At those in the countries that have suffered to a greater degree.
Quite why should the country pauper itself pandering to the wants of those unwilling to change their ways, we know what the risks are, we have vaccination and boosters and its more than likely that covid will be rolled up into the annual flu jab.
We also know which individuals are especially at risk through no fault of their own and it is these individuals that we should put our resources into protecting.
Everyone else should grow up a bit and act responsibly.
I don’t have to back my opinion up with any argument at all unless I feel like it.
In which case why would anyone give your opinion any consideration at all.
What “restrictions” are being scrapped? What will you be able to do tomorrow that you can’t do today?
This anticipated decision by Boris is a very dangerous one, driven by the absurd agenda of Boris’ back benches. It has no foundation in medical science whatsoever. It’s very significant that no scientist nor clinician has aligned himself with Boris, whilst plenty have expressed their grave concerns.
Infections are still high. 200 a day are dying. Boris is throwing us to the wolves in order to save his position.
Wearing a face mask in crowded public places is not a restriction. Keeping a safe distance from others is not a restriction.
And the notion that LFTs and PCR tests should be scrapped, and reporting if infections abandoned, is, frankly, madness.
No-one is stopping anyone from wearing masks in crowded places or keeping a “safe” distance from others, and I’ll continue to so myself in certain situations. The point is that it should be down to personal choice instead of a continued nanny state.
What are YOUR thoughts on anyone working in hospitals or care homes refusing to be vaccinated? Or is that Boris’s fault as well?
To LC- I don’t much care if people I don’t know consider my opinion or not. Like everybody else, I just like to make it known occasionally.
If I’m vulnerable, I cannot rely on others to be responsible. If someone is wearing a mask and keeping a couple of yards away, then I’m pretty much going to be safe. A d it’s no imposition whatsoever to wear a mask, or to keep a couple of places back in the queue.
I see you conveniently ignored my question, as it it doesn’t fit your “blame Boris” narative.
The cumulative death rate in the UK is amongst the worst in Europe.
Not a lot more needs to be said about Boris’ handling of the pandemic.
Don’t say no more then… tell us how you feel about unvaccinated staff working in hospitals and care homes instead.
I’m quite happy not to say no more.
From the outset, Biris has been in thrall to his back bench Covid Recovery Group, with views warped by a sense of neoliberalism.
Boris has claimed that his decisions were led by the science. I would posit that very very few were. His decisions were dictated by economics, not virology. Just consider the three stages of lockdown, each stage to be determined by data, not dates. Yet Boris promptly set three dates, and largely followed the dates, rather than the data.
Over and over, Boris has introduced measures too late, too little and released them too soon.
I’ll carry on not saying no more if you like.
Are the 80,000 NHS workers who refuse to be vaccinated are determined by the same data as “Biris”?
He is doing this to basically save his on arse.
The bloke has caused more problems than he has solved regarding Covid.
Ok to tell us most at risk that we stopped living and seeing our friends and family for months because we had the fear thrown at us!
At the same time you saw all parties in government breaking rules, now partygate where they have constantly broken the rules they set but try to spin it into their favour!
I’m all for it opening up again but tell those infected that you dont have to isolate is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard!
Thanks to his shielding (prison) rules myself and plenty of other poor people with serious underlying conditions have also lost their confidence around people and that includes family members and friends.
Those of you healthy people who dismiss this as a cold need to realise that some of us struggle with catching a cold too.
So are we cannon fodder because Billy Boggins wont have to isolate?
Keep the isolation for those who catch it BUT open up and HELP THOSE OF US WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES AND CONFIDENCE with a little bit of understanding please.
This is way above party politics with most politicians (with a few brave exceptions) happy to coexist with a bought and censored mainstream media – censoring top medical and scientific experts across the world voicing concerns – and promoting shameless propaganda campaigns designed to skew statistics and frighten the susceptible in populations. Deaths from covid, rather than with other pre-existing conditions, have been less than a bad flu year. Yet the extent of deaths and adverse events recorded from people taking the experimental gene therapy across the world is unheard of. No wonder many nurses and doctors and care workers and truckers refuse to take something that they could see maiming others, and which they know has no long term safety data. No wonder many Canadians are support the freedom movements just now in face of tyrannical anti constitutional moves out of the Nazi playbook. Srcutiny is coming on it all, with many legal cases packed with evidence exposing the lies. Research widely and it’s all there to see.
Anyone who mentions Nazis in this context has lost the argument.
“Srcutiny (sic) is coming on it all, with many legal cases packed with evidence exposing the lies. Research widely and it’s all there to see.”
How many of these legal cases have actually come to court, had the evidence tested, and the lies exposed?
I’ve done my research, and I carry on doing it, using peer reviewed journal published evidence. And, strangely enough, my conclusions are completely the opposite of yours. I.E coronavirus is a killer disease, the omicron variant is a killer disease, the various vaccines developed around the world and injected into 10.5 billion arms say that at the very least covid vaccines are safe, and at best have saved countless lives and set us on the path to a better world.
Can you do any better than say “Research widely” and point to *any* proper research that supports one word that you have ever said?
Have 80,000 unvaccinated NHS staff also done their research?
I guess you need to ask “Democrat”. He’s done *his* research.
As to your observation that ” Deaths from covid, rather than with other pre-existing conditions, have been less than a bad flu year.” you might like to broaden your research and read this piece by the BMJ:
Here are a couple of snippets:
“Meanwhile, data are emerging that give the lie to the notion that covid-19 is no worse than or different to seasonal flu. The ONS reported in January 2021 that England and Wales had seen the highest increase in excess mortality in 2020 in any year since 1940.12 And a paper in The BMJ comparing 4000 patients with influenza and 12 000 with covid-19 in Wuhan, China, showed much greater severity of symptoms and much higher morbidity and mortality among those with covid-19.”
“Every time we see or hear such mistruths we need to combat them and call them out. They are used to play down the seriousness and consequences of covid-19 and undermine health protection efforts.”
The Right wing Tories and anti-vaxxers posting here should be aware that the Government’s actions have nothing to do with science or health but are part of “Operation Save Big Dog”, the hopefully futile attempts to get the worst Prime Minister in living memory out of his troubles over Party gate and various other lies.
The Tories are going down the route of “advising” rather than “forcing” people to do things… exactly the same as the NHS are doing with their workers! Seems like the NHS want one rule for themselves and another for everyone else.
BBC – Then later, there will be a press conference at Downing Street, led by Johnson. Chief medical officer for England Prof Sir Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance will be joining him. – so obviously the science is being followed, if the these boys are out & we believed every word they said for 2 years, why not now ?