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Requirement to self-isolate after positive Covid test to end next week

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T

he legal duty to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus will end next week, the Prime Minister is due to announce as part of his “living with Covid” plan.

Downing Street said Boris Johnson intends to repeal all pandemic regulations that restrict public freedoms in England when he lays out his vision for the future on Monday.

Mr Johnson is expected to tell MPs upon their return from Parliament’s February recess that the vaccine programme, testing and new treatments can be relied upon to keep the public safe.

It comes after ministers said new variants of the virus are expected to follow a similar pattern to Omicron in being more mild than early Covid-19 mutations.

Speaking ahead of outlining his plan, the Prime Minister said: “Covid will not suddenly disappear, and we need to learn to live with this virus and continue to protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.

“We’ve built up strong protections against this virus over the past two years through the vaccine rollouts, tests, new treatments, and the best scientific understanding of what this virus can do.

“Thanks to our successful vaccination programme and the sheer magnitude of people who have come forward to be jabbed, we are now in a position to set out our plan for living with Covid this week.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce his ‘living with Covid’ plan on Monday (Matt Dunham/PA) / PA Wire

By the end of the week, self-isolation regulations will be scrapped for those who test positive and their close contacts, officials said.

Local authorities will be required to manage outbreaks with pre-existing public health powers, as they would with other diseases.

Downing Street said pharmaceutical interventions will “continue to be our first line of defence”, with the vaccine programme remaining “open to anyone who has not yet come forward”.

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