NHS leaders warn over axing of all restrictions

The government has announced that England will fully return to Plan A on 27 January thanks to the success of the booster programme.

Measures introduced in December helped to control the spread of coronavirus, and the Omicron variant, and allowed the NHS to rapidly expand the booster programme to strengthen defences. Now, the government has said that we will ‘cautiously return to Plan A in England’.

This means the advise for working from how is removed, face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting, although public health guidance will remain in place, and venues and events will no longer be required by law to use the NHS Covid Pass.

However, although undoubtedly pleasing to the public and MPs, health leaders have warned against the move, saying that caution is still necessary.

NHS Confederation said that the health service will continue to have to deal with the extra burdens that the lifting off restrictions creates, whilst the British Medical Association said that the announcement ‘risks creating a false sense of security when the levels of infection and illness remain high’.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Today marks the start of the next chapter in this country’s fight against Covid-19. Our plan was to use the time that Plan B gave us to give ourselves extra power in our fight against Omicron. That plan has worked, and the data shows that Omicron is in retreat. But it’s not the end of the road and we shouldn’t see this as the finish line. The best step that we can all take is to get vaccinated. It was the jabs that have got us this far, and the jabs can keep us here too.”

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