Scrapping Plan B Covid measures 'a milestone not the finish line' says Health Secretary - The Worcester Observer

Scrapping Plan B Covid measures 'a milestone not the finish line' says Health Secretary

Worcester Editorial 19th Jan, 2022   0

COVID restrictions are set to be ‘substantially reduced’ next week when Plan B measures are ditched, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed.

The Worcestershire MP has warned however the scrapping is ‘a major milestone’ not the finish line and again repeated his assertion the country must learn to live with Covid.

His comments came on the day the UK reported 108,069 new daily Covid cases and 359 deaths with Covid.

Plan B restrictions include mandatory face coverings in most indoor public places, Covid passes for nightclubs and large events and advice to work from home where possible.

Working from home guidance ends today (Wednesday) and from tomorrow, face masks will no longer be required in any classrooms

From next Thursday, masks will not be mandated anywhere and Covid passes will no longer be needed at large events.

According to the Government’s figures, cases have dropped 41.7 per cent over the past seven days compared to the previous week while hospital admissions also appear to be plateauing.

However, because there is a lag between people catching the virus and getting seriously ill, Covid deaths are still rising – up 38.7 per cent on the previous week.

“I have always said that these restrictions should not stay in place a day longer than absolutely necessary,” the Health Secretary said.

“Due to these pharmaceutical defences and the likelihood we have already reached the peak of the case numbers of hospitalisations, I am cautiously optimistic we will be able to substantially reduce measures next week.”

The Health Secretary praised the hard work of the British people in fighting off Omicron which he said allowed the UK to remain ‘the most open country in Europe’.

Dr Susan Hopkins from the UK Health Security Agency told a Downing Street news conference this evening Covid case numbers had declined but warned it’s people’s behaviour which will make the difference over the next four weeks.

Speaking alongside Mr Javid, Dr Hopkins people should be careful when returning to the office and take care on public transport, indoor spaces and in crowded places.

She recommended people continue to wear face coverings, even though they won’t be mandatory and to ensure they are fully vaccinated.

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