UK Eases COVID-19 Restrictions After Booster Success, Decrease In Number Of Infections

UK Eases COVID-19 Restrictions After Booster Success, Decrease in Number of Infections

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 27th January, 2022) The UK authorities have decided to ease COVID-19 restrictions introduced over the spread of the Omicron strain given the success of the booster vaccination and the ongoing decrease in the number of infections, the Department of Health and Social Care said on Thursday.

"From 00:01 (00:01 GMT) on Thursday 27th January England returned to Plan A measures following the huge success of the vaccination program and falling Omicron infections," the department said in a press release.

England's return to Plan A measures means that COVID-19 certificates and face coverings are no longer mandatory. Moreover, COVID-19 passes are now voluntary for crowded events and the recommendation to work from home no longer applies.

New rules also apply to the social care sector. On January 31, the authorities will lift restrictions on the number of visitors at care homes. Self-isolation periods will be reduced from 14 to 10 days for those who test positive for COVID-19, with further reductions possible. Self-isolation periods for patients following emergency visits will also be reduced from 14 to a maximum 10 days.

Mandatory testing or isolation after normal visits will be removed.

In addition, starting February 16, care staff will be asked to use rapid lateral flow tests replacing the current system of weekly PCR tests.

The United Kingdom experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases ahead of Christmas. On December 8, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country's shift to the so-called plan B. People were encouraged to work from home whenever possible and required to wear a face covering. In addition, a COVID-19 pass confirming vaccination was mandatory for visiting crowded places. Daily testing was required for those who might have come into contact with the carriers of the coronavirus.

The total number of registered COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom for the entire period of the pandemic to date is estimated to be about 16 million, with 154,702 deaths. The daily number of COVID-19 infections has been on the decrease since mid-January.