Janaury 18, 2022
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to do away with all COVID-19 laws in the United Kingdom as case numbers drop and the country learns to treat the virus like a seasonal flu.
The government is considering ending all legally enforced policies in England and is instead moving to a guidance-based system, a source told the Daily Mail. Laws that have existed since the beginning of the pandemic, including enforced self-isolation after an infection, could come to a halt, the source said.
Emergency COVID-19 laws put into effect at the beginning of the pandemic are already scheduled to end in March, according to a timetable created before the omicron variant outbreak.
Officials are reportedly discussing scrapping policies, such as the enforced use of COVID-19 passports, as early as later this month.
Johnson is said to have made the decision based on the country’s plummeting infection rate and hospitalization rate.
Scotland is following suit, lifting all omicron-related restrictions as of next Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced. Sturgeon cautioned the country to remain careful, as the rate of COVID-19 infections “is still high,” though it is beginning to drop.
“From Monday, we will also lift the guidance asking people to stick to a three-household limit on indoor gatherings,” she said. “However, it is important to stress this point: Notwithstanding the improving situation, the level of COVID infection circulating in the community is still high.”
“So, to minimise the risk of us getting the virus, it would be sensible for all of us to remain cautious in our social interactions at this stage,” she added.