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End to COVID-19 restrictions in England announced

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End to COVID-19 restrictions in England announced End to COVID-19 restrictions in England announced

Plans to remove COVID-19 restrictions in England have been announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

People testing positive for the virus will no longer be legally required to isolate from this Thursday, while free COVID-19 testing for the public will end on 1 April.

Read more: Nursing staff must be protected as COVID-19 restrictions in England set to end

‘It is because of the extraordinary success of this vaccination programme, that we have been able to lift our restrictions earlier than other comparable countries, opening up last summer, while others remained closed, and keeping things open this winter, when others shut down again, making us one of the most open economies and societies in Europe, with the fastest growth anywhere in the G7 last year,’ said Mr Johnson.

‘And while the pandemic is not over, we have now passed the peak of the Omicron wave, with cases falling, hospitalisations in England now fewer than 10,000 and still falling, and the link between infection and severe disease substantially weakened.’

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine offered to five to 11-year-olds

However, some have cautioned that the move is premature and poorly planned. The RCN is calling for nursing staff to have continued access to free tests to keep their colleagues and patients safe. It is also calling for the publication of evidence for the decision, and assurances that a robust plan is in place should the number of COVID-19 cases increase again.

‘This move feels unplanned and ill-informed. The Prime Minster had the opportunity to reassure health care staff in England they still have access to tests, and they will be alarmed today by this omission,’ said RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen.

‘Nursing staff remain on the frontline of protecting the most vulnerable in society and extra vigilance is needed for all those working in health and care returning to work after a positive result and a period absent. Nursing staff know the reality of living with COVID-19 and will want to see the evidence for this decision. They need to be assured there are robust plans in place should the number of cases increase again, or a new variant emerges.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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I am really pleased that there are lifting of all COVID restrictions in England as we have to live with this virus and open up and hopefully get all services open including GP and dental surgeries. I just hope Wales does the same. We live 5 miles from Chester and the rules are different. It gets very frustrating and confusing for the public with mixed messages.
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