22 Feb 2022
U.K. to Lift COVID Restrictions amid Backlash from Scientists and Opposition Parties
The Index Today
The U.K. is set to do away with its COVID-19 restrictions entirely as concerns over new virus variants grow, stirring opposition from members of the medical and scientific communities as well as political rivals of the ruling Conservative Party.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to lift restrictions 100% as part of his “living with COVID” plan has attracted much skepticism on account of its hasty nature which could jeopardize public health by making people more vulnerable to new virus variants. Johnson announced that self-isolation requirements for COVID-positive patients would end on February 24th while free universal testing will cease on April 1st, 2022.
The government’s reasoning behind the proposed plan is the pressing need to cover the costs of having offered one of the largest testing services in the world. Britain accounts for the seventh-highest death toll in the world having recorded 160,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic first began in 2020.
Johnson said at the Parliament, “Restrictions pose a heavy toll on our economy, our society, our mental wellbeing and on the life chances of our children, and we do not need to pay that cost any longer." He added, "So let us learn to live with this virus and continue protecting ourselves and others without restricting our freedoms."