Most legal restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in England will be dropped next week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the British Parliament on Wednesday. From Monday, face masks will no longer be mandatory anywhere in England, CBS News reported.
“Our scientists believe it is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally,” Johnson said, attributing the end of the most recent COVID-19 surge to “the extraordinary [vaccine] booster campaign, together with the way the public have responded” to the restrictions brought in when Omicron hit.
The restrictions being lifted on Monday in England were some of the least stringent imposed across Europe to counter the Omicron wave.
They include a requirement for face masks to be worn in crowded indoor spaces, mandatory COVID-19 passes — which show vaccination status or a recent negative test — to enter large venues, and guidance to work from home where possible.
Despite case numbers remaining high in the U.K., the number of new daily infections has decreased by 38.9% over the last week. The number of hospital admissions related to COVID-19 has also started to drop, CBS reported.
As COVID-19 becomes endemic in the U.K. rather than an epidemic, Johnson said the rules would be replaced with guidance or advice.