End of UK’s Covid pandemic is in sight, says WHO


The end of the pandemic is in sight for Britain, the World Health Organisation’s coronavirus chief has suggested.

As ministers prepare to lift most remaining restrictions next week, Professor David Nabarro said that the country could see “light at the end of the tunnel”. Facemasks are likely to remain a legal requirement on public transport and indoors but work from home guidance and vaccine passports are expected to be scrapped at the end of the month.

Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, said that infection and hospital admission figures were “looking positive” for lifting restrictions on January 26.

Nabarro, the WHO’s special envoy for Covid-19, told Sky News: “Looking at it from a UK point of view, there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel.”

Professor Mike Tildesley, of Warwick University, a member of the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) advisory body, agreed there were signs that the Omicron wave was “turning around”. He said there was “cautiously good news” in data suggesting cases had come down and hospital admission rates were flat.

Ministers have decided to end work from home guidance as a priority given its economic impact while vaccine passports provoked a Tory revolt in the Commons last month.


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