Plan B rules like mask-wearing, working from home and vaccine passports are set to be decided upon. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce the government’s decision soon
Boris Johnson is expected to make another major announcement on coronavirus restrictions.
The Prime Minister will announce the next phase of how the country deals with the virus amid the review of Plan B measures.
The UK still has a high amount of Covid-19 cases at the moment, but they are now on a downward trend.
A total of 84,429 cases were recorded in the latest data sent out by the government on January 17.
The next announcement is expected to review what restrictions will or won’t remain in place as the UK plans to learn to manage and live with the virus going forward.
The PM’s authority on restrictions has been challenged in recent weeks following scandals relating Covid, in which he admitted to attending parties at Downing Street during lockdown.
So what will the PM announce and when will he announce it?
When is Boris Johnson’s next announcement?
The PM’s next announcement is expected for this week, but no date has yet been set.
It should be well before January 26, however.
The PM’s official spokesman said: “I think you’d expect us, as we’ve always sought to do is give the maximum amount of time possible.
“I don’t have a specific date for you. But certainly we will look to announce our position in advance to those changes coming into effect.”
Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden is hopeful restrictions will be lifted at the end of the month
The Times has reported that face masks could stay, but vaccine passports are expected to be axed along with work-from-home guidance.
“I’m under no doubt the kind of burdens this puts on hospitality, wider business, schools, and I want us to get rid of those if we possibly can,” said Dowden on Sky.
“The signs are encouraging but, clearly, we will wait to see the data ahead of that final decision.”
What will Boris Johnson announce?
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Up for review are the Plan B restrictions out in place by the Johnson government, currently set to expire on January 26.
They did not stop the Omicron variant of the virus from becoming rife, with cases reaching record levels over the New Year.
Restrictions currently include mask-wearing in indoor public places, vaccination passes for nightclubs and major public events and working from home.
The government may decide to remove one or all of these restrictions, keep them the same or increase them if they feel it to be necessary.
Covid cases were well over the 200,000 mark in early January, and these were only people who had recorded a positive test amid a shortage of lateral flow kits.
Daily cases are currently at 84,429, but the number of tests carried out are 21% lower in the seven days before January 16 and while the number of hospital admissions has seen no sharp rises recently, the seven-day average for deaths has risen.
The PM’s spokesman said: “There are some encouraging signs that infections are falling across the country, we would want to see that mirrored in the latest ONS data as well.”