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19th Jan 2022

Boris Johnson ditches mask mandate and work from home advice in covid update

Steve Hopkins

The Prime Minister said Omicron had likely peaked nationally

The mandatory wearing of masks, working from home guidance and covid passports, will be ditched in England from next Thursday.

Boris Johnson announced that Plan B measures would be lifted in the Commons on Wednesday.

The PM said rules could now be eased because cases were falling and the Omicron variant had likely peaked nationally, having gone through the latest figures on Wednesday morning.

Johnson also revealed the self-isolation requirement for people who test positive could be scrapped on or before March 24 and he does not expect to renew them. He said he would seek a vote in the Commons to bring that date forward if the data allows.

Wednesday’s announcements have been dubbed  “Operation Red Meat” – a policy splurge by Downing Street rolled out in an attempt for Johnson to win back support within his mutinous party.

Plan B curbs were introduced in December to combat the spread of Omicron.

Johnson says the government will set out its long-term strategy for living with Covid and how to avoid restrictions in the future but urged Brits to remain cautious during the last weeks of winter as the pandemic is not over.

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