The UK faced a number of restrictions last December during the Christmas period. The cause for alarm was the emergence of a more transmissible variant of COVID-19, the Omicron. Over the past days, it was announced that the UK will be relieving a number of COVID-19 related restrictions.
The reason for the loosening of several restrictions came following the fact that cases in the UK and Republic of Ireland went down. Guidance for people to avoid working from the office has also been dropped. The consistency of this relief from restrictions can be seen throughout different countries within the UK including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, considering the reduced numbers of new cases.
The Prime Minister of England stated that due to the extraordinary booster campaign, the nation can revert to Plan A. Night clubs and large events will no longer require COVID-19 passes. The same applies for the wearing of face masks when mixing with people you do not usually meet. Students in secondary schools no longer need to wear face masks in classrooms and communal areas. Announcements are also expected to be made in relation to travel and visits to care homes.
Another noteworthy development is that the UK is working towards removing the legal requirement that people who test positive need to self-isolate. This restriction is expected to be lifted on the 24th March, however could be brought forward if the development of the pandemic allows. At this moment in time however, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 needs to isolate for five days.
Scotland, which held tough rules to battle the COVID-19 pandemic has loosened a number of restrictions. The limit of three households for indoor gatherings has been removed. This is also accompanied by the limit of attendees for indoor events. Places of hospitality will no longer need to apply restrictions and social distancing in public spaces is also being scrapped. Face masks shall remain mandatory when it comes to public transport, shops and places of hospitality and leisure.
This latest set of measures aimed at relieving people from the restrictions of the pandemic indicate a strong intent towards exit. Time will tell whether reverting to normal life will be sustainable in the long-term. What are your views with regards to this attempt at a return to normality following two hard years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.