Self-isolation requirements to be scrapped in England from Thursday

The remaining coronavirus restrictions in place in England will be lifted.

Boris Johnson announces self-isolation requirements will be scrapped in England from Thursday Parliament TV
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement to MPs in the House of Commons on Monday.

Boris Johnson has announced that people in England will no longer be legally required to self-isolate from later this week.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said that from Thursday, February 24, those who test positive for the virus will not have to isolate.

But he explained that those who do test positive will still be advised to stay at home for five days.

Self-isolation payments and the legal obligation for individuals to tell their employers about their requirement to isolate will also end on Thursday.

And changes to statutory sick pay and employment support allowance designed to help people through the coronavirus pandemic will end on March 24.

Free universal testing will also end in April, Johnson told MPs.

Johnson suggested that there is no need for laws in order to compel people to be considerate to others.

“It is time that we got our confidence back,” the Prime Minister told the Commons.

“We don’t need laws to compel people to be considerate to others.

“We can rely on that sense of responsibility toward one another, providing practical advice in the knowledge that people will follow it to avoid infecting loved ones and others.

“So, let us learn to live with this virus and continue protecting ourselves and others without restricting our freedoms.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier raised concerns about the decision to end self-isolation requirements in England and warned against any sudden end to current testing arrangements.

She said: “It’s not for me to cast judgment on what Boris Johnson decides to do for England, that’s his right to take the decisions that he thinks [are] right.

“My responsibility is to take the decisions I think are right for Scotland.

“I do not agree with him about the ending of self-isolation for positive cases at this point because that is effectively saying to people, ‘if you’ve got Covid, it’s okay to go and potentially infect others in workplaces and settings elsewhere’.

“I don’t think that is the best way to curb the virus and aid that journey back to normality and I don’t agree with a sudden end to the current testing arrangements.

“I do agree that we need to transition towards something that is more targeted, but I think it’s important that we have a proper, phased approach to that, recognising that we still have a big challenge to face right now.”

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