England says “bye bye” to health restrictions

England says bye bye to health restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday the next lifting of health restrictions in England. Only the obligation to isolate oneself in the event of a positive test is maintained.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday began lifting the last restrictions in England, even promising the end of isolation for those infected. Already, teleworking is no longer officially recommended. From Thursday January 27, wearing a mask will no longer be legally compulsory, but recommended in closed and crowded places, and it will be abandoned as of Thursday in schools. A sanitary pass will no longer be imposed for access to nightclubs and certain large gatherings. ” As Covid becomes endemic, we must replace legal obligations with advice and recommendations “said Boris Johnson.

Often criticized for his chaotic management of the health crisis, the conservative leader also announced that in March he was planning the end of isolation for positive cases, already reduced to five days with negative tests. Thus, he indicated that he did not intend to extend the standards imposing isolation for positive cases when they expire on March 24, a date which could even be brought forward.

Widely welcomed announcements

According to the head of the British government, this relief is made possible by large-scale screening, a massive vaccination campaign and medical advances. Teleworking and the wearing of masks had thus only been reintroduced in mid-December to curb the spread then “ phenomenal of the Omicron variant, but all businesses, including nightclubs, remained open.

For Roy, retired, these announcements are a step in the right direction. “ It looks like the worst is behind us, surely it’s time to cut back and get back to some kind of normalcy, he believes at the microphone of our correspondent in London, Emeline Wine. I have my three doses, I do not risk much. But I will keep my mask, in the metro for example, I think I prefer. »

In any case the restrictions were not respected, observes Lucas, a student. “ The more time passed, the less people respected them. [les restrictions]. A lot of people were trying to get around them. There may be no other way for fewer people to feel oppressed “, he underlines.

Call for caution

Alberto, owner of a café right next to a metro station, hopes that the possibility of returning to work in person will also bring customers back. ” Hopefully people will leave their homes more, pass through here on their way to work or come back to work here, he said. Even though we do take-out coffee, far fewer customers came with the restrictions. »

The hospitals nevertheless call for caution. Hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise. The United Kingdom is one of the most bereaved countries in Europe with more than 152,000 dead. At the turn of the year, the country suffered an Omicron surge with daily contamination records, peaking at more than 200,000, but positive cases have begun to decline.

Read also: Covid-19: the transition to an endemic form, a scenario not without danger, warns the WHO