Self-isolation rules for people who test positive for Covid-19 are set to be scrapped in March, according to government documents that have been leaked to the press.
Legal powers that enforce a mandatory 10 day period of self-isolation are set to expire in March 2022, and a strategy document prepared by the UK Health Security Agency, which was leaked to the Mail on Sunday, suggests they will not be renewed.
The document says that the “assumption” is that legal duties will “cease after March”, according to the newspaper. However, the government has said that “no decisions have been taken about next year”.
The strategy, codenamed Operation Rampdown, would also see the end of free Covid-19 lateral flow tests and employers and the public would instead be told to use private testing companies for any Covid-19 testing requirements.
Mass coronavirus testing and NHS Test and Trace would also be scrapped, the documents reportedly suggest.
A Whitehall source told the Mail on Sunday that the pandemic was “totally over, in the minds of ministers”.
The government has recently turned its efforts towards encouraging the uptake of booster vaccinations for the over 40s in order to reduce the impact of Covid-19. People aged 16 and 17 will also receive a second jab, it announced today.
This morning prime minister Boris Johnson warned of a “blizzard” of coronavirus cases coming from Europe, but said there was nothing currently in domestic data that suggested a need to introduce restrictions in the UK.
In its winter plan, the government said that it could reintroduce guidance to work from home or renew the requirement to wear face coverings in some indoor settings if the virus put the NHS under intense strain.