MAJOR Covid rule changes came into force in England today.
Restrictions that came back in last year have slowly been ebbing away – with working from home rules stopped last week.
PM Boris Johnson last week told the Commons cases of the virus and hospitalisations are falling and “our scientists believe it is likely the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally”.
He declared: “Because of the extraordinary booster campaign, together with the way the public have responded to the Plan B measures, we can return to Plan A in England and allow Plan B regulations to expire.
“We will set out our long-term strategy for living with Covid 19, explaining how we hope and intend to protect our liberty and avoid restrictions in future by relying instead on medical advances – especially the vaccines which have already saved so many lives.
“But to make that possible, we must all remain cautious during these last weeks of winter.”
Here we take a look at what Brits can and can’t do as coronavirus measures are lifted…
Rules on wearing masks in public places in England were ripped up at midnight.
Currently, people have to cover up on public transport and in shops, post offices, banks, beauty salons, hairdressers, theatres and cinemas.
From midnight Brits were once again allowed to pop into any of these places without a face mask.
However Brits are still advised to continue wearing them in busy areas or on public transport.
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Rules requiring kids to wear masks in classrooms have already been ripped up, with wider guidance advising pupils and teachers to wear coverings in communal areas will going from Thursday.
Brits will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter large venues like football grounds and nightclubs.
All domestic use of vaccine passports was dropped at midnight in a move that will please many Tory MPs.
Mr Johnson faced a huge Commons rebellion when the measure was introduced last month and only got it through thanks to Labour.
The current restrictions cover indoor events of more than 500 people and outdoor arenas hosting more than 4,000.
At the time the Government justified jabs papers by saying they were “preferable to closing venues entirely or re-imposing social distancing”.
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All Covid tests for vaccinated holidaymakers will be scrapped from 4am on February 11.
Grant Shapps said that arrivals will only need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form when entering the UK, as long as they have had both jabs.
He said: “From 4am on February 11, and in time for the half-term break, eligible, fully vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK will no longer have to take a post-arrival lateral flow test.
“That means after months of pre-departure testing, post-arrival testing, self-isolation and additional expense, all that fully vaccinaated people will have to do when they travel to the UK is to verify their status via Passenger Locator Form.
“We are therefore scrapping all travel tests for vaccinated people, not only making travel much easier, but also saving about £100 per family on visits abroad.”
In a double-boost for half-term holidays, 12-to-15-year-olds will be able to download the digital proof of vaccination, Shapps confirmed.
Currently Government guidance says every care home resident can nominate up to three visitors who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits.
Visits should be arranged with care homes in advance and a negative test result should be reported by the visitor ahead of the visit.
But this is expected to be relaxed soon, to allow residents to have more visitors.
Isolation rules are set to expire on March 24 – or sooner – meaning people who test positive for Covid are not legally obliged to isolate.
Currently everyone who tests positive for the virus must quarantine at home for at least five full days – and this is NOT changing.
If you return two negative lateral flow swabs on days five and six you can then leave isolation early.
Fully vaccinated Brits who come into contact with an infected person should test daily but don’t have to isolate so long as they remain negative.
Meanwhile unvaccinated people who are close contacts of Covid sufferers must go into quarantine for 10 days.
There are fines of up to £10,000 for flouting the laws.
It could be scrapped in March however, if cases remain low and no more severe variants emerged.
RETURN TO THE OFFICE
Brits were told to flock back to offices on Friday January 21 in a major boost to the economy.
Cabinet ministers had been pushing the PM hard to ditch the home working rules.
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People were ordered to return to teleworking on December 8 in a bid to help stop the lightning spread of Omicron.
Whilst the measures technically took the form of advice, it was followed by many companies with city centres falling quiet.
The Government says that “high levels of home working have played a very important role in preventing sustained epidemic growth”.