Work from home guidance, COVID passports and mandatory wearing of face-masks will be scrapped in England, as Boris Johnson announced the lifting of Plan B measures.

The prime minister said people will no longer be told to work from home “from now on”, and from Thursday next week mandatory mask-wearing and COVID certification will end.

Her told the Commons cases were falling and the Omicron wave had likely peaked nationally, meaning rules could now be eased.

Mr Johnson said it was time to “trust the judgement” of the public on the use of masks in enclosed and crowded places, and they will be scrapped in classrooms from tomorrow.

He confirmed the intention to end self-isolation rules for people with coronavirus in the coming weeks. The legal requirement would lapse when the regulations expire on 24 March, he said, and that date could be brought forward.

Restrictions on visits to care homes would also be eased further, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid setting out plans “in the coming days”.

The prime minister went through the latest COVID-19 data on Wednesday morning with his ministers, before making his statement to MPs.

What’s the latest UK COVID data?

There were 19,450 people in hospital with the virus as of 17 January, which is down 2% week-on-week.

More than 34,000 people were in hospital with the virus at the peak of the second wave back in January 2021.

A further 94,432 lab-confirmed COVID cases were recorded in the UK as of 9am on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, another 438 people were reported to have died within 28 days of a positive test, taking the total since the pandemic began in 2020 to 152,513.

This figure is the highest daily total since last February, but Sky’s science correspondent Thomas Moore said a “large part” of this is due to reporting delays.

Pressure to oust PM mounts

Mr Johnson’s Commons announcement comes as pressure continues to mount over parties and gatherings held in Downing Street and other government departments in 2020 and 2021.

There is speculation that a confidence vote in the PM’s leadership of his Conservative Party could soon be triggered by restive Tory MPs.

Around 12 more letters of no confidence in the PM were submitted this morning, according to Sky News political correspondents Sam Coates and Joe Pike.

And just before Prime Minister’s Questions earlier, Bury South MP Christian Wakeford announced he had defected from the Conservatives to Labour, accusing Mr Johnson of being “incapable of offering the leadership”.



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