UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to end his government’s “Plan B” restrictions in England, with Covid passes no longer required from next Thursday, work from home guidance lifted, and an end to mandatory face-coverings.
“Having looked at the data carefully, the Cabinet concluded that once regulations lapse the Government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere,” the prime minister told MPs on Wednesday.
“From tomorrow, we will no longer require face masks in classrooms and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas.”
“In the country at large, we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet – but we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one.”
Johnson’s announcement was met with audible shouts of delight from his own party’s benches. The PM also confirmed that some Covid measures would stay in place for now, such as on travel, and the legal requirement for a person who tests positive to self-isolate for five days. Johnson did caution the public that this move does not mark the end of the pandemic.
“Covid will not suddenly disappear,” Johnson said, so the government will continue to monitor for new, more dangerous variants and keep certain infrastructure in place to identify any mutations of the virus.“
“Today is not the day we can declare victory over Covid, because this virus is not going away. But it is the day when all the efforts of the last two years finally enabled us to protect ourselves while restoring our liberties in full,” Johnson said later on Monday, adding that the day marked a “moment of pride for our nation and a source of hope for all that we can achieve in the years to come.”
Johnson also wished the Queen a speedy recovery from Covid-19. He said it was “a reminder that this virus has not gone away,” but said it was time to “move from government restrictions to personal responsibility.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INDEPENDENT