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Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lift COVID-19 Plan B restrictions next week

Tom Shearsmith
19 January 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the lifting of COVID-19 Plan B restrictions, seeing the current rules expire in England from Thursday 26 January 2022.

Addressing the House of Commons, the Prime Minister confirmed that work from home guidance, COVID-19 passports and the mandatory wearing of face-masks will be scrapped, citing that the Omicron variant had likely peaked nationally and that cases were falling daily.

Plan B restrictions, which were introduced before Christmas, currently apply to all retail, hospitality and social environments including stores, beauty salons and hairdressers.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer confirmed that he backs the PM’s decision to end Plan B restrictions, but asks for the science relating to the decision making be published publicly.

The Government confirmed that it will keep in place rules on self-isolation and controls to international travel for the present.

The Prime Minister also confirmed the Government will look at letting the existing COVID-19 legislation expire on 24 March 2022, which will remove all legal requirements to self-isolate following a positive test. He added that the date could also be brought forward if the evidence supports it.

Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive at New West End Company, which represents 600 business across Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street and in Mayfair, commented: "The lifting of restrictions next week is welcome news for the high street as it looks to bounce back from the hardship of the last two years. With office employees set to return to London's West End, retailers, bars and restaurants will be looking ahead to a promising year.

"With the support of returning shoppers and Government alike, we are confident that the West End can achieve £7.5 billion of turnover this year as it continues on the long road to recovery."

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