No 10 is drawing up plans to phase out England’s remaining pandemic restrictions from as early as March as a beleaguered Boris Johnson signals to his backbenchers that he is prepared to let the UK live with the virus.
A senior source confirmed that the government was looking at ending mandatory self-isolation for positive Covid cases, saying it would be “perverse” to keep the measure in the long term. It could be replaced by guidance.
The legal requirement to self-isolate, carrying fines of up to £10,000 for non-compliance, is one of several pieces of Covid legislation due to expire in March and the government is considering whether any of it will still be necessary.
Other provisions that will run out or require renewal include giving your address to NHS test and trace and listing members of your household. Powers relating to government funding for sick pay, inquests and emergency registration of medical workers also remain on the statute book.