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As Omicron cases 'peak' UK to do away with mandatory masks from next Thursday

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Wednesday, announced that his government will lift all the additional restrictions that have been imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 and Omicron.

According to the decision, restrictions such as the mandatory wearing of face masks will not be mandatory from next Thursday as analysis showed that the new variant of COVID-19 has peaked in the country.

Once implemented, people in England will no longer be asked to work from home. Further, mandatory COVID-19 vaccination required at public spaces will also be not required.

"So, this morning, the Cabinet concluded that because of the extraordinary booster campaign, together with the way the public has responded to the Plan B measures, we can return to Plan A in England and allow Plan B regulations to expire. As a result, from the start of Thursday next week mandatory certification will end. Organizations can, of course, choose to use the NHS COVID pass voluntarily but we will end the compulsory use of COVID status certification in England," Johnson said.

From next Thursday, the government will not make it mandatory for people to wear face masks and rely on the 'judgment' of the public. "In the country at large, we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded places, particularly where you come into contact with people you don't normally meet. But we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalize anyone who chooses not to wear one," Johnson said.

The restrictions, referred to as Plan B, were implemented in the UK on December 8 last year, when the Omicron cases in that country were rising.



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