BORIS Johnson today hailed the nation for pulling through two of the “grimmest years” since the Second World War as he brought the curtain down on Covid curbs.
But the PM warned scientists were certain more variants would emerge and “there are no guarantees” they will be weaker than Omicron.
He took the giant leap back to normality by hailing Britain’s supercharged jabs rollout for wrestling down infections and deaths.
The £500 self-isolation payments will end on Thursday, 一方、 £96 sick pay handout for Covid-stricken Brits will be dropped on March 24.
And on April 1 インクルード free testing regime will be wound down, except for the most vulnerable.
Mr Johnson brought the curtain down on months of draconian curbs, saying it was now for ordinary Brits – not ministers – to decide how people live their lives.
He told MPs: “It is time that we got our confidence back. We don’t need laws to compel people to be considerate to others.
“We can rely on that sense of responsibility towards one another by providing practical advice in the knowledge that people will follow it to protect their loved ones.
“So let us learn to live with is protecting ourselves and others without restricting our freedoms.”
- The PM will host a press conference in Downing Street at 7pm
- School kids will no longer need to be tested twice weekly
- Vaccine chiefs announced Spring boosters for over-75s
- The PM sent his ご多幸を祈る to the Covid-stricken Queen
- Venues will no longer be urged to use vaccine passports
Mr Johnson’s statement in the Commons comes before he marks the “moment of pride” at a press conference this evening alongside top docs Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance.
Cabinet this afternoon rubber-stamped the mass junking in defiance of doomster scientists and unions accusing the PM of recklessness.
Downing Street hit back with evidence Omicron was much weaker than previous strains, revealing the variant had caused zero excess deaths.
From midnight Thursday the last two Covid regulations will be repealed – the legal requirement to self-isolate and emergency powers for councils to respond to outbreaks.
It means in three days time even non-vaccinated people can go about their daily lives if they catch Covid.
The government will still advise sick people to stay at home “just as we encourage people who may have flu to be considerate to others”.
4月から 1, “when Winter is over and the virus will spread less easily”, Brits will no longer be eligible for free tests.
Some free swabs will remain for the elderly and most vulnerable if they have symptoms, but most people will have to pay for kits.
Downing Street hopes to keep the cost of tests below £20 although does not yet have firm prices.
TESTING THE FINANCES
Mr Johnson said it was vital to scale back the infrastructure to contain the cost to the public purse ballooning even more.
Revealing the humongous whack to the Treasury coffers, he said running Test and Trace was more expensive than the entire Home Office budget.
彼は言った: “It cost a further £15.7 billion in this financial year, and £2 billion in January alone at the height of the Omicron wave. We must now scale this back.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid were at loggerheads over who pays for the pared-back testing regime – with the Treasury refusing to cough up any more money.
The decision to scrap universal testing puts the PM on a collision course with Labour who warns it will damage public health.
Sir Keir Starmer told the Commons: “Free tests can’t continue forever, but if you’re 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go you don’t sub off one of your best defenders.”
But the PM shot back that his Labour foe “has shown an absolutely ferocious grip of the wrong end of the stick”.
The shredding of Covid laws has gone down a storm with Tory MPs keen to shake off the restrictions and turbo-charge the economic bounceback.
Mr Johnson hailed Britain’s supersonic vaccine rollout as the lynchpin of the recovery from Covid.
彼は言った: “Today will mark a moment of pride after one of the most difficult periods in our country’s history as we begin to learn to live with Covid.
“It would not be possible without the efforts of so many – the NHS who delivered the life-saving vaccine rollout at phenomenal speed, our world-leading scientists and experts, and the general public for their commitment to protecting themselves and their loved ones. “
All your Covid questions answered
ALL your Covid questions answered after today’s announcement
I’ve got Covid symptoms – what do I do?
You should still isolate and and get a test if you can – but there is no law to do so. People will still be guided to stay home but no longer face a £1000 fine if they don’t. From Thursday contacts of Covid cases won’t be told to isolate or take daily tests.
Who can still get a free test?
People over 80 and people going into hospital will still be able to get tested. And those working in NHS and social care settings will also be able to access regular lateral flows.
If I have to pay, where do I get a test from and how much do they cost?
It’s expected that lateral flows will be no more than a few pounds per test, and PCR tests around £80. You’ll probably be able to get them from pharmacies or order them online.
Will my employer provide them?
If you work in the NHS or social care it’s likely they will be provided for you. Some big firms may provide lateral flow tests free of charge to employees.
Can I ditch the face masks altogether?
It will still be recommended to wear a mask in healthcare settings like hospitals, but this is not law. Individual shops or businesses may ask that you wear a mask, but you can’t be legally forced to.
What are the rules on foreign travel now?
Today’s announcement hasn’t changed anything around foreign travel. Passenger locator forms are still needed for anyone coming into the country, but these are expected to be ripped up in future. You will still be able to use your NHS app to show you’ve been vaccinated in order to travel abroad.