Ministers hint at relaxing plan B measures as cases continue to fall
The Guardian|January 17, 2022
5 The number of days people with Covid in England will have to spend in self-isolation  
Andrew Gregory

50% The drop in the number of Covid cases in the UK between yesterday and the previous Sunday

Ministers are seeing “encouraging” signs that plan B coronavirus restrictions in England could be lifted in 10 days’ time, the co-chair of the Conservative party Oliver Dowden has said.

Current measures in England, including guidance to work from home and the widespread use of face coverings, were imposed in early December to help tackle the spread of Omicron. They are set to be reviewed on 26 January.

In the clearest hint yet that some or all of the measures will be removed on that date, Dowden, who also serves as minister without portfolio, said that while the government would review further data this week before making a decision, the “signs are encouraging”.

Covid cases continued to fall yesterday, with a further 70,924 lab-confirmed Covid cases recorded in the UK as of 9am. The figure represents a 50% fall from the 141,471 cases reported the previous Sunday, although the new figures do not include data from Scotland, because of an IT problem.

Dowden’s comments came after health and scientific experts expressed cautious optimism that the Covid situation was improving.

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