The British Prime Minister has moved to repeal in England any pandemic requirements that impinges on personal freedoms, such as self-isolating after a positive COVID-19 test.
The minister’s plan includes more rollout of booster vaccines and offering extra booster doses to the most vulnerable.
As Johnson prepares to introduce the “living with COVID” plan, to scrap COVID-19 restrictions and cut access to free tests, there have been some 11th-hour objections that the plan was premature. Leaders of Scotland and Wales have said that the policy would make it harder to tackle new coronavirus variants in a timely way, thereby resulting in increased risks to the public.
The objections explained that the “living with COVID” plan was too soon and would leave the country vulnerable to new viral variants. Cabinet meetings and talks are still ongoing for decisions around the plan to either be implemented or fully dropped.
According to a spokesman to the Prime Minister, “(The cabinet meeting) was postponed until this afternoon so that the prime minister could have both a security briefing and to have further meetings to finalise the plan on living with COVID.”
The First Minister of Welsh, Mark Drakeford commented on the PM’s plan saying, “Testing has played a pivotal role in breaking chains of transmission and as a surveillance tool helping us detect and respond to emerging variants. It’s essential that this continues.”
Based on Johnson’s plan, the government is expected to reduce access to free tests. This decision has sparked disagreements between the health and finance ministers at a cabinet meeting over what level of testing should continue and how it should be financed.
The British Prime Minister has said he does not want people to “throw caution to the wind”, but that the vaccine rollout means the government wants to move from “state mandation” to encouraging personal responsibility.
81% of adults have received COVID booster shots in England, and going by the plan, the vaccine program is expected to be extended further as people over 75, care home residents and immunosuppressed people will be offered an additional booster shot.
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