The Beginning of the End?

​​Is it truly the beginning of the end? No, not of Boris Johnson’s premiership, we’re far past the beginning of that, I’m of course talking about the pandemic. 

Now, before anyone starts yelling at their screen, it is important to note we are talking about England here and the decisions taken by the UK Gov.

So with that no doubt cleared up so no one could possibly get angry in the comments section or start tweeting at me, let’s take a look at what exactly was announced yesterday. 

Thursday January 27

The big date in this is one week today when, barring any sudden changes, England will drop all legal requirements for face coverings and the so-called Covid passports. The PM also told the Commons last night that his gov had ended the work from home directive immediately, as was the requirement for secondary school students to wear face coverings.  He told MPs scientists believed the Omicron wave had peaked nationally.

Johnson added: ‘In the country at large we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, but we will trust the judgement of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one.’

Speaking later, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘This is a moment we can all be proud of. It’s a reminder of what this country can accomplish when we all work together.’

And End of Isolation

Furthermore, the PM also said that the legal requirement for people who test positive for Covid will be allowed to lapse at the end of March and could even be brought forward. 

Further announcements on the easing of travel rules and restrictions on care home visits in England are expected in the coming days.

Concerns

While the move was welcomed by the Tory backbenchers, teaching unions expressed concern about the sudden change.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, told the Guardian: ‘While the trend amongst secondary aged children is down, it is however uncertain, due to the short time schools have been back since the Christmas holidays, that this trend will continue. Such uncertainty could lead to a pronounced risk of increased disruption with children and staff having to isolate.’

Meanwhile NHS trusts also have concerns with some still seeing a rising number of hospital admissions and staff absences.

Pat Cullen, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said ministers would ‘regret sending the wrong signal to the public for political expediency’.

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