Prime Minister Boris Johnson of England has made the decision to end the Plan B Covid-19 measures that were initially put in place to control the spread of the Omicron variant. Instead, he aims to ease retail pressures and focus on living with the virus, rather than imposing strict lockdowns. This approach differs from countries like China and Hong Kong, which have implemented a zero tolerance approach to Covid-19.

Johnson believes that the Omicron wave has reached its peak due to the success of the booster campaign and public adherence to the measures that were implemented. As a result, he has announced that face masks will no longer be legally enforced, Covid passes will not be mandatory, and the advice to work from home will be lifted. Currently, masks are still mandatory in stores.

While Johnson has faced criticism for his handling of the pandemic and the country has reported a significant number of deaths, the lifting of Plan B measures and his approach to navigating the Omicron variant without strict lockdowns may help him gain support from critics within his own party.

Despite the easing of measures, Johnson emphasized the importance of remaining cautious and vigilant during the winter months. He acknowledged that the pandemic is not yet over and expressed concerns about the continued pressures on hospitals. Although the number of cases reported in Britain has increased significantly since the emergence of the Omicron variant, the percentage of Covid deaths attributed to the variant remains relatively low.

Moving forward, Johnson hopes to reset his agenda and address criticism surrounding his involvement in lockdown gatherings. He admitted to attending a party in violation of Covid restrictions in May 2020, which has sparked discontent within his party. To regain support, Johnson has suggested the possibility of ending the legal requirement for self-isolation for those who test positive for Covid, depending on the data and circumstances.

In conclusion, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the end of Plan B Covid-19 measures in England as the Omicron variant reaches its peak. This shift in strategy aims to relieve retail pressures and allow the country to adapt to living with the virus. However, Johnson emphasized the need for caution and vigilance, as the pandemic is still ongoing. By navigating the Omicron variant without strict lockdowns and addressing concerns within his party, Johnson hopes to regain support and move forward with his agenda.

Useful links:
1. BBC News – Coronavirus
2. UK Government – Coronavirus (COVID-19)