Covid: Javid says he is optimistic restrictions will be ‘substantially reduced’ next week

Health secretary says hospitalisation peak of Omicron wave appears to have passed

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Tuesday 18 January 2022 19:14
Comments
<p>Health minister Sajid Javid giving a Covid-19 update to parliament </p>

Health minister Sajid Javid giving a Covid-19 update to parliament

Health secretary Sajid Javid has said he is “cautiously optimistic” that Covid-19 regulations can be “substantially reduced” next week.

The government is set to review its “plan B” measures on 26 January, which apply to England, and include mandatory mask wearing in certain places as well as working from home where possible.

Speaking today, Mr Javid told the Commons: “Eight weeks ago, when this house last met for health and social care questions, the world had not even heard of the Omicron variant, yet since then we have seen a third of the UK’s total number of Covid-19 cases recorded.

“The action that this government has taken in response to Omicron and the collective efforts of the British people have seen us become the most boosted country in Europe, the most tested country in Europe, and the most antivirals per head in Europe.

“That is why we are the most open country in Europe. I have always said that these restrictions should not stay in place a day longer than absolutely necessary.

“Due to these pharmaceutical defences and the likelihood that we have already reached the peak of the case numbers of hospitalisations, I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to substantially reduce restrictions next week.”

Even if it does ditch the regulations, the government is expected to keep in place rules on self-isolation, as well as controls on international travel.

The devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland set their Covid-19 regulations independently.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in