People with Covid no longer have legal requirement to self-isolate
- Credit: PA
People who test positive with coronavirus no longer have a legal requirement to self-isolate in England.
Earlier this week, prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed all coronavirus laws in the country would end on Thursday (February 24) as he set out a strategy for "living with Covid".
Those who receive a positive Covid-19 test will still be advised to stay at home for at least five days but will no longer be required to by law.
In Monday's briefing, Mr Johnson also confirmed that free Covid testing will end for the general public in England from April 1.
Mr Johnson said: "Until April 1 we will still advise people who test positive to stay at home but after that we will encourage people with Covid-19 symptoms to exercise personal responsibility, just as we encourage people who may have flu to be considerate to others."
The government will continue to provide free tests for symptomatic people in the oldest age groups and those most vulnerable.
Mr Johnson added: "It’s only because levels of immunity are so high and deaths are now if anything below where you would normally expect for this time of year that we can lift these restrictions, and it’s only because we know Omicron is less severe that testing for Omicron on the colossal scale we’ve been doing is much less important and much less valuable in preventing serious illness."
On Monday, England’s chief medical officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty said people should still isolate if they have Covid-19 despite the legal requirement ending.
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He said it is “standard public health advice” as he warned that while rates are coming down it is “still a very common infection”.
Use of Covid passports will no longer be recommended from April 1, meaning some venues may no longer ask for proof of vaccination status of a recent negative test result.
Covid passports will still be required for international travel.
Boris Johnson's announcement to end all legal restrictions applies to England only, as restrictions remain in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.