Every Covid rule being lifted tomorrow as Plan B ends – and restrictions that remain

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Boris Johnson announced that Plan B Covid rules introduced to combat Omicron will end in England this week. Here’s are all the restrictions that will be removed and which ones will remain

Commuters on tube, many wearing face masks
Boris Johnson announced that Plan B measures will come to an end this week

Boris Johnson has confirmed that all Covid Plan B measures will come to an end in England this week on Thursday January 27.

This means that mandatory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, work-from-home guidance and the need for Covid passes will all be axed, despite rates of Omicron infection still surging across the country.

UK will revert to Plan A with a focus on vaccine rollout, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid warning last Wednesday that it’s “not the end of the road” even if the number of cases are falling.

This means that the end of Plan B does not mean the end of restrictions altogether. Here are the rules being removed tomorrow and what will remain.

What restrictions will be removed when Plan B ends?

No more face masks, work from home guidance or Covid passes as Plan B restrictions come to an end
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As of Thursday, January 27, Covid passes for large venues will end. However, Boris Johnson said that venues would have the right to choose on whether or not they want to continue with the policy.

Work-from-home guidance ended last week, with people returning to offices almost immediately after it was axed. Similarly, face coverings are no longer a legal requirement in public spaces including transport and shops. Face masks will also no longer be required in classrooms.

Though the government no longer mandates wearing masks in any setting, Johnson added urged that people should still “think about” wearing a mask when in public environments, particularly in crowded or enclosed spaces.

Restrictions on visiting care homes will also be eased. But Mr Javid warned that the end of Plan B shouldn’t be seen as the “finish line”.

He urged people to continue taking protective measures including washing hands, ventilating rooms and self-isolating if positive. Anyone who has yet to receive their Covid vaccines are also being urged to come forward.

Which Covid rules will remain?

There are no changes to testing and self-isolation rules for now
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Along with self-isolating for at least five full days if you get a positive Covid test, the requirement to take lateral flow tests when traveling internationally will remain in place.

While legal requirements stay in place for now, Johnson said he hoped to not have to renew self-isolation rules when they expire on March 24.

He added that the aim is to remove the legal requirement for people to isolate after testing positive and replace it with advice and guidance as the virus becomes endemic.

For now, anyone planning to travel abroad need to book and pay for a Covid test before coming back to England – although this will change on February 11 from 4am if you’re double-vaccinated.

From now until then the test – either lateral flow or PCR – will have to be taken after you arrive back.

If the test comes back positive, you need to self-isolate. Those who aren’t fully vaccinated need to book and pay for day two and day eight tests. You will also have to quarantine at home or the place you’re staying for 10 full days.

If you’ve been fully vaccinated then you don’t need to isolate for 10 days unless you test positive on or before day two.

Everyone also needs to complete a passenger locator form before traveling back to the UK.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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