UK to Strike Vaccine Passports as Omicron Wave Peaks Nationally

Renata Gomes

With 90% of the over-60s population boosted, the government will allow Covid passports and other restrictions to expire by January 26th.
Photo by Lukas on Unsplash

While other countries are still debating whether or not to adopt a covid vaccine passport, the United Kingdon is about to abandon it as a requirement, alongside other Covid restrictions.

Earlier today, according to The Guardian, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told MPs that over 90% of the population over 60 years old is now boosted with a third shot of the Covid vaccine and that scientists believe the Omicron wave has reached its peak.

With that, the following restrictions are set to expire on January 26th:

  • The work from home advice;
  • The legal requirement to wear a face mask, although the recommendation to wear masks in enclosed or crowded spaces remains;
  • End of mandatory covid passes.

Other policy changes require further guidance, such as the ease in restrictions applied to elder care facilities.

It is important to highlight that although covid passes and face masks will no longer be a legal requirement, private businesses are allowed to continue enforcing the policy if they so choose.

Boris Johnson has been under fire lately for hosting garden parties at his Downing Street office while the rest of the country kept strict covid lockdown measures. Now, there are rumors that Johnson is about to face a confidence vote as Conservatives have been sending letters of no confidence to Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee.

If the chairman receives enough letters of no confidence, he can call on a vote of confidence, to which Johnson may not survive.

The move to end covid restrictions might be an attempt to gain back some goodwill on the part of both the lawmakers and the public, but it also reflects a current change in attitude towards covid that's more worldwide.

While Mexico doesn't require a negative covid test, proof of vaccination, or quarantine for new arrivals, in the US the CDC has shortened the recommended quarantine period of infected persons to 5 days. The Italian government has also signaled intent to relax quarantine policies.

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