Jan 27, 2022: According to an AFP repprt, England has lifted the coronavirus restrictions that were imposed to tackle the Omicron variant, with masks no longer required in enclosed places and vaccine passports shelved.
With the number of positive CoVID-19 cases dropping sharply over the past two weeks, the threat level has levelled off in recent days. The British government introduced so-called “Plan B” sanctions on December 8, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a “tidal wave” of Omicron. Facial masks were required at all attached locations and, controversially, vaccine documents were also required to enter places such as nightclubs, football fields and large-scale events.
On the streets of London around St Paul’s Cathedral, there was general support for lifting restrictions, following booster jabs for more than 37 million people.
England first lifted the ban on July 19, known as “Freedom Day”, but then new rules were introduced as soon as the Omicron wave hit. Health Minister Sajid Javed credited the country’s booster program for allowing the lifting of sanctions. “Our vaccines, testing and antivirals ensure that we have some of the strongest defenses in Europe and allow us to return to Plan A carefully, restoring further freedoms in this country,” he said.
From Thursday, passengers on London’s transport network will still be required to wear face masks, but they will no longer be required in secondary school classrooms.
Unlike Scotland and Wales, which set their own health policy, England kept nightclubs and bars open over the festive period.
Things are starting to get better, hospitality workers in the business district around St. Paul said. Bartender Lewis Colby, 39, said: “Last week, the business started to grow again. It was dead around Christmas.”
“People aren’t so scared anymore, trains are busy, people are starting to drink more.”
Despite the lifting of the ban, people who test positive for corona virus should still isolate themselves for at least five days. Johnson said he also hopes to remove those rules by March 24.
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