Following the Prime Minister’s recent announcements, England has reverted to “Plan A” due to boosters and how people have followed Plan B measures.
He urged people to continue taking steps to keep the virus at bay, including hand washing, ventilating rooms and self-isolating if positive and reminded that vaccines are still available.
What Covid rules have changed?
- Work from home guidance has been dropped
- Face masks are no longer compulsory (although some shops have asked customers to keep wearing them and they are required by Transport for London)
- Covid passes are no longer compulsory at venues and events
- Care homes no longer have any limit on visitor numbers, self-isolation periods have been cut and rules for managing outbreaks can be eased
The PM hopes to scrap mandatory self-isolation for people who test positive for Covid no later than 24 March, when regulations expire. The prime minister also said the government intended to end the legal requirement for people who test positive for Covid to self-isolate – and replace it with advice and guidance.
The current regulations around self-isolation expire on 24 March. Boris Johnson said he expected not to renew them then – and suggested that date could be brought forward if the data allows.
How have the Covid rules changed in schools?
- All UK schools must offer face-to-face teaching to every age group, and provide effective online learning for pupils who are absent or isolating
- Secondary school pupils no longer need to wear masks in the classroom, and are not required to wear them in communal areas
- As long as they don’t have any of the main Covid symptoms, under-18s don’t have to self-isolate if someone else in their household has Covid
- Similarly, whole classes are no longer automatically sent home to isolate if a pupil or teacher tests positive
- However, close contacts aged five or above are strongly advised to take LFTs for at least seven days
Ventilation is one of the key measures designed to keep schools safe from Covid. In England, the government is making 7,000 air cleaning units available to early years settings, schools and colleges. Looking ahead, the Prime Minister said the government would set out its long-term strategy for living with coronavirus. He urged people to “remain cautious” during the last weeks of winter as there were still “significant pressures” on the NHS.