PEOPLE IN England will not longer be required to work from home from now on, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.
Covid passports and mandatory wearing of face masks are also set to be scrapped from next Thursday.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, he said that while there are places where cases of the virus are likely to continue rising, like primary schools, "our scientists believe that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally."
That, along with the booster vaccination campaign, means "we can return to Plan A in England and allow Plan B regulations to expire," he said.
Organisations can continue to voluntarily use the NHS Covid Pass but its compulsory use will end next Thursday.
Face masks will no longer be required in classrooms from tomorrow, Thursday 20 January, but the continued use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded places, "particularly when you come into contact with people you don't normally meet", is suggested.
"But we will trust the judgement of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one," Johnson stated.
The further easing of restrictions on visits to care homes will also be set out in the coming days.
Plan A still requires those who have tested positive for the virus to isolate, which, since Monday, has been reduced to to five full days with two negative tests.
"And there will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether - just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu," he continued.
"As Covid becomes endemic we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others."
Self isolation regulations expire in England on 24 March, at which point Johnson does not expect to renew them.
"Indeed were the data to allow, I would like to seek a vote in this House to bring that date forwards," he stated.
Pressure on PM
The Prime Minister's statement comes as pressure mounts over parties and gatherings held in Downing Street and other departments in 2020 and 2021 when such gatherings were not allowed under Covid restrictions.
Johnson has said that nobody told him attending a Downing Street garden party in May 2020 was breaking the rules.
During PMQs today, he faced calls for his resignation from Keir Starmer.
Former Brexit secretary and Tory MP David Davis, called for the prime minister to resign after he said he had spent weeks defending him from "angry constituents".
One MP for Bury South Christian Wakeford has also defected from the Conservatives to Labour, saying Johnson is "incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves."
Reports say that 12 more letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister were handed in this morning.