January 20, 2022, 2:30

    When is Plan B due to end? What happens next after England’s Covid rules expire

    When is Plan B due to end? What happens next after England’s Covid rules expire

    Plan B restrictions in England will be under review this month as the government decides whether to continue with them.

    Recent data is indicating some positive signs in the fight against the Omicron Covariant, which swept across the country and caused record numbers of cases.

    Covid cases were well over the 200,000 mark in early January, and these were only people who had recorded a positive test amid a shortage of lateral flow kits.

    It is believed that several more cases were out there, unrecorded.

    Plan B measures were introduced in December to try and curb the spread of the Omicron variant and this has included a return to mask-wearing in indoor public places, vaccine passes and working from home when possible.

    People are hopeful that a drop in cases may mean the restrictions are lifted. It is also reported that the government is now looking ahead to how Brits will learn to live with the virus.

    So when might Plan B be lifted?

    When do Plan B restrictions end?

    Restrictions should be lifted on January 26 if the government agrees
    (

    Image:
    AFP via Getty Images)

    Plan B is due to expire on January 26, subject to a review.

    It is not yet known for certain if the government will only drop certain restrictions.

    Research is showing that the Omicron variant is less deadly than previous variants of concern, such as the Delta variant.

    The Prime Minister confirmed on January 5 that Plan B would continue until at least January 26.

    He said: "In response to the latest data the cabinet agreed this morning that we should stick with Plan B for another three weeks with a further review before the regulations expire on January 26."

    The highest daily death toll since last February, of 398, was recorded on Wednesday January 12, but cases while still high are now dropping.

    Hospitalisations are not rising rapidly either and have stayed roughly the same, according to the most recent data available this month.

    Current Plan B measures

    • People should work from home if they can and are advised to take a lateral flow test (LFT).
    • Proof of full vaccination in nightclubs and large public events.
    • Compulsory face coverings in indoor public venues. Not pubs and restaurants. Masks are not required for gyms or where it is "not practical".
    • School staff and secondary school pupils to take bi-weekly LFTs and masks to be worn in the classroom.

    Will Plan B restrictions continue?

    Working from home returned along with other measures under Plan B rules
    (

    Image:
    Getty Images)

    The review will depend on a range of factors including people's general safety and if the NHS is able to cope with a high number of cases.

    Plan B will likely consider if dropping restrictions will lead to further numbers of staff in education and healthcare isolating.

    Due to isolation periods, the NHS is currently experiencing a shortage in staff, as are schools.

    In a bid to tackle these shortages, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has now announced that the isolation period for fully vaccinated people in England who test positive for Covid will be cut from seven days to six.

    He said in Parliament: "Two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five."

    There are concerns over this move and that it could lead to a rise in infections. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has previously described the plans as "counterproductive".

    It said so as between 10 and 30% of people will still be infectious by day six "depending on how soon after developing symptoms they received their PCR or lateral flow test result, and the result of their lateral flow test on that day".

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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