Starting this week, people with COVID-19 in England won’t be legally required to undergo self-isolation as part of a plan for “living with COVID,” the UK government announced.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC’s Sunday Morning show, “I’m not saying that we should throw caution to the winds, but now is the moment for everybody to get their confidence back.”
The decision to scrap COVID-19 Self-isolation Law will let people in the U.K. “protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.”
The law governing the self-isolation of people infected with COVID-19 will be revoked this week. Borris is expected to lay out details of the plan in Parliament on Monday, according to AP.
More from AP:
People with COVID-19 won’t be legally required to self-isolate in England starting in the coming week, the U.K. government has announced, as part of a plan for “living with COVID” that is also likely to see testing for the coronavirus scaled back.
“We’ve reached a stage where we think you can shift the balance away from state mandation, away from banning certain courses of action, compelling certain courses of action, in favor of encouraging personal responsibility.”
Wes Streeting, health spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party, accused Johnson of “declaring victory before the war is over.”
A reminder that the coronavirus remains widespread came with the news that Queen Elizabeth II tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. Buckingham Palace said the 95-year-old monarch was experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms.
Johnson’s Conservative government lifted most virus restrictions in January, scrapping vaccine passports for venues and ending mask mandates in most settings apart from hospitals in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which set their own public health rules, also have opened up, although more slowly.
Despite the data from its weekly COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report showing there were more COVID-19 deaths from people who were fully vaccinated than not, Borris thanked “the efficacy of the vaccine rollout and the booster roll out.”
Read the transcript of his interview with BBC below:
Certainly not asking people to throw caution to the winds. Covid remains a dangerous disease, particularly if you haven’t been vaccinated and if you’re vulnerable. So please everybody, there are still people who haven’t been properly vaccinated. There are still people who haven’t had their booster. Huge numbers have, but there are still people who haven’t.
So there is no case for complacency about this. But we’ve now reached a stage thanks to the efficacy of the vaccine rollout and the booster rollout, which we did voluntarily. By the way, if you compare most other European countries, it was amazing what the British people did. We’ve reached a stage where we think you can shift the balance away from state mandation, away from banning certain courses of action, compelling certain courses of action.
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