On the last week of January, England decided to lift covid restrictions imposed to mitigate the spread of cases caused by the Omicron variant. Although COVID-19 cases are still at high levels, the threat brought by the variant has receded.
Most COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, including coronavirus test for travel and mandatory face masks, which the law will no longer require and consider a legal requirement for COVID passes for entry into indoor events and other large venues.
This decision was made after Britain’s government said its vaccine booster rollout has significantly reduced severe illness and COVID-19 hospitalisations. Daily cases have fallen from a peak of over 200,000 around New Year to under 100,000 in recent days.
England has also ended its “Plan B” measures introduced in early December to prevent Omicron from overwhelming health service and prepare for the looming “tidal wave” of Omicron, as warned by UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Plan B measures include compulsory mask-wearing in most public indoor venues, NHS COVID pass, and people being asked to work from home. But such rules will soon be scrapped as infections continue to fall. This includes the government’s advise for people to work from home.
However, most shops and public transportation in London will continue to ask people to don their face masks, and face coverings will still be required in busses and subway trains.
When are COVID-19 restrictions due to expire?
Current coronavirus rules in England are due to end on March 24. Given the recent figures and positive trends in the data, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the remaining domestic rules could end a month early if this continues. It would remove the requirement for people to self-isolate whether they are experiencing symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.
Current COVID-19 regulations and guidance in the UK
Everyone is legally required to comply with rules and guidelines.
- COVID-19 Certification Scheme – People must show proof of their COVID-19 status before entering clubs and indoor unseated or partially seated events with 500 people or more. Continued use of this scheme is still strongly encouraged despite some settings removing this requirement.
- People must do their part in keeping themselves and others healthy. This includes booking a Covid-19 test and self-isolating should they feel any symptoms. Observe proper sanitation and washing of hands. Wear face-coverings and limit contact with other households.
- Social Distancing – It is one of the most significant ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The closer a person is to an infected individual, the higher the chance of acquiring the virus. The level of risk also increases if there are no mitigations in places, such as good ventilation in indoor venues, use of protective screens, increased handwashing, and face coverings.
- Travel – Travellers should refrain from visiting areas where large crowds gather and form. If you must go somewhere that can make social distancing difficult, consider going somewhere else instead. When using a private vehicle, ensure that it is shared only by close family members. But if you are to share your car with people outside of your family, remember to wear a face covering, and good ventilation is essential, which you can do by keeping a window open.
Are you looking for a testing provider?
Harley Medic International is a government-approved testing provider and an expert in COVID-19 testing. They have many locations across the UK, ensuring that a testing centre is near you. Getting a test is as easy as booking online and finding their closest clinic. Visit their website harleymedic.co.uk to learn more.