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22nd February 2022

Covid restrictions ended in England

Lifting of Covid restrictions

The prime minister has announced an end to all remaining Covid restrictions in England, including the legal requirement to self-isolate.

In its place, the government has put forward a “Living with Covid” plan.

What is the plan for England?

From 21 February:

  • staff and students in most education and childcare settings no longer have to test twice weekly

From 24 February:

  • people with Covid will no longer be legally required to self-isolate
  • guidance will remain in place for those who test positive to stay at home and avoid contact with others for at least five full days
  • self-isolation support payments of £500 for those on low incomes will no longer be available
  • routine contact tracing will end – people in contact with someone with Covid will no longer be advised to self-isolate or take daily tests
  • workers will no longer be required to tell their employer if they need to self-isolate

From 1 April:

  • Covid tests will no longer be free for most people. However, the government has announced that they will remain free for immunocompromised people, whether they have symptoms or not
  • the use of Covid passports will no longer be recommended, except for international travel
  • employers will no longer have to explicitly consider Covid in their health and safety risk assessments

The plan to end all legal restrictions is for England only. Restrictions remain in place in other parts of the UK.

What are the rules in Scotland?

Remaining restrictions include:

  • shops and businesses need to take measures to limit the spread of Covid
  • face coverings are compulsory on public transport and most indoor spaces, including shops and secondary schools
  • Covid certification scheme is in place for venues including nightclubs, meaning people must provide proof of their vaccination status or a recent negative test
  • A 2m distancing rule remains in healthcare settings such as hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and dentists

Anyone who had their second dose more than four months ago must also have received a booster to be considered fully vaccinated.

Work from home advice has ended, although the government wants some staff to continue working remotely.

What are the rules in Wales?

gradual easing of Covid restrictions is under way but some measures remain in place:

  • compulsory face coverings in schools, on public transport, and in shops and hospitals
  • secondary school pupils are asked to test for Covid three times a week
  • What are the Covid rules in Wales?

What rules have been lifted in Northern Ireland?

Covid certificates in nightclubs, mandatory face coverings, track and trace requirements and the cap on 30 people in private homes are no longer legal requirements.

Legal measures have been replaced by guidance, such as recommending face masks are still worn in certain public settings.

Adapted from BBC News