England stops using facemasks and coronapasses next week

Boris Johnson

LONDON – A large part of the corona measures in England will be lifted as of next Thursday. It will no longer be compulsory to wear mouth masks from then on, and the homework requirement and the corona access card will also be dropped, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday.

Johnson also plans to eliminate the isolation requirement after a corona infection. The government will then still insist that citizens go into isolation after an infection, but will no longer be able to legally enforce this. The law regulating this expires in March, so Johnson does not want to extend it and may even suspend it earlier. The measures were instituted to combat the omikron variant of the coronavirus.

As Covid becomes endemic, we must replace legal obligations with advice and recommendations,” the Prime Minister explained the relaxations in Parliament. According to him, Britons must learn to live with the coronavirus. Johnson also said that the loosening of corona rules is largely due to the British booster campaign.

After the more infectious omikron variant of the corona virus surfaced in Britain late last year, the number of corona infections reached a record 200,000 in a single day in early January. In recent days, those numbers have steadily declined to below 100,000. According to Johnson, it appears that the omicron wave nationwide has reached its peak.

However, the prime minister did warn that the pressure on national health service NHS remains high and reiterated his earlier calls for Britons to get a booster shot. “We know that 90 percent of people in intensive care are not boostered,” Johnson said.

Partygate

The Prime Minister is under fire in the United Kingdom and within his own Conservative Party for partygate. This scandal revolves around get-togethers and parties that Johnson and his associates held while the British were dealing with lockdown rules. These include a garden party at Johnson’s official residence in May 2020. The relaxations are also seen as concessions toward his critics.

By the way, the UK government only sets the corona rules for England. Scotland and Wales also recently decided to relax their measures. In Northern Ireland, the government is under pressure to do the same.

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