Controversial Covid passes will be scrapped in England this month as the country’s Omicron wave continues to collapse, it was claimed today.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid is said to have told MPs that he shared their ‘instinctive discomfort’ at the certificates, which 100 Tories voted against.
Ministers are also keen to ditch widespread working from home guidance when the current Plan B measures are reviewed on January 26. It could mean that compulsory masks on public transport and in shops will be the only remaining curb.
Britain’s Covid cases have fallen week-on-week for the past eight days in a row, with 109,000 new positive tests on Thursday. Hospital admissions have also flatlined.
At a meeting with Tory MPs yesterday, Mr Javid hailed the ‘encouraging signs’ – but warned that hospitals remained under ‘significant pressure’, The Times reports.
Currently, people in England need to show proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow to enter large events and nightclubs.
A Whitehall source told the newspaper: ‘There was always a very high threshold for the policy and it looks increasingly likely in a couple of weeks that threshold won’t be met. The way cases are going it will be hard to justify renewing.’
Boris Johnson faced his biggest Tory revolt since the start of the pandemic over the introduction of Plan B measures last month, with nearly 100 Conservatives defying the party whip to vote against them.
The PM’s chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost dramatically resigned in protest over the rollout of the curbs. Yesterday he slammed the ‘Covid theatre’ of masks and passes, and called lockdown a ‘serious mistake’.
Meanwhile, Wales’ First Minister has announced Covid curbs will finally be loosened at the end of the month.
After weeks of dismissing England as an ‘international outlier’ over No10’s gamble to not introduce tougher restrictions, Mr Drakeford conceded there was little need for the current measures in Wales now that Omicron is ‘coming down very rapidly’.
Wales went harder than England over Christmas, shutting nightclubs, reintroducing the ‘rule of six’ and banning more than 50 people from attending an outdoor event.
Source: Daily Mail