Boris Johnson unveiled his ‘Living with Covid’ plan but people aren’t buying it – 19 favourite responses

Oonagh Keating. Updated February 22nd, 2022

Despite a short delay while Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid argued over the cost-benefit analysis of *checks notes* preventing citizens from catching and spreading a potentially fatal virus, Boris Johnson’s much trumpeted end to Covid regulations was on Monday.

Javid lost the argument.

The overall trend is from mandates to personal responsibility.

Here’s a summary of the main changes in England:

(From 24th February)

No legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid, though the advice to do so remains in place.

The Test and Trace Support Scheme ends, with backdated claims allowed for one more month after this.

Routine testing and tracing to end, meaning no requirement to self-isolate after coming into contact with an infected person.

(From 1st April – yes, really)

An end to universal free testing, with some exceptions.

Proof of vaccination is no longer required for anything other than international travel, where other countries demand it.

Advise to self-isolate if testing positive ends.

Covid will cease to be a compulsory part of employers’ health and safety assessments.

As ever, the devolved UK parliaments will make their own rules, but as no additional funds will be allocated for Covid measures, they have effectively been forced to fall into step with England.

At a Downing Street briefing attended by both Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, the PM’s response to a question about the impact on the clinically extremely vulnerable was to say they should be treated with respect.

He gave no tips on how to identify them, though. Perhaps they’ll be required to wear a special hat or carry a placard.

We thought these reactions captured the mood very well.

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