British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on Monday that he is going to toss out the last of the domestic COVID restrictions in the United Kingdom, which includes the requirement for people in the country with the coronavirus to self-isolate.
Johnson stated that the country was “moving from government restrictions to personal responsibility” which is all part of a plan to start treating COVID like any other transmissible virus, similar to the flu.
“We now have sufficient levels of immunity to complete the transition from protecting people with government interventions to relying on vaccines and treatments as the first line of defense,” Johnson stated.
Despite the fact that many scientists issued warnings that getting rid of these restrictions could end up weakening the nation’s ability to monitor and track the virus, Johnson confirmed that the mandatory self-isolation for folks with COVID will end on Thursday and the routine tracing of infected people will stop as well.
Folks will still be advised to stay home if they are ill, but will no longer receive extra financial support that was introduced during the pandemic for those who had to miss work.
Many people who think they have COVID-19 may never know for sure. Starting April 1, lab-confirmed PCR tests for the virus will be available free only to older people and the immune-compromised. The government will also stop offering the public free rapid virus tests, though they will be available privately for a price, as is already the case in many countries.
Yet the government stressed that the pandemic is not over and the virus could still spring nasty surprises.
Johnson said the fact that that Queen Elizabeth II tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday was “a reminder that this virus has not gone away.”
Buckingham Palace said the 95-year-old monarch was experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, was continuing with light duties and would follow all government regulations.