More restrictions set to be scrapped in Boris Johnson's winter Covid plan

Covid social distancing sign in Norwich.

The prime minister will set out his Covid winter plan in a speech to the nation on Tuesday. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Boris Johnson will speak about how coronavirus will be managed in the months to come.

It follows the scrapping on Sunday of the proposed vaccine passports for nightclubs, which health secretary Sajid Javid would be a "huge intrusion into people's lives".

He said: "We have looked at it and whilst we will keep it in reserve I am pleased to say that we will not be going ahead."

The travel traffic lights system is also expected to be scrapped in the speech and PCR tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travellers.

Speaking on Monday, work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey said some regulations may still be needed as the NHS prepares to battle both Covid and seasonal flu in the winter months.

Asked about maintaining the work-from-home advice, she told BBC Breakfast of the need to keep some rules on the table, adding: "Whether that's with what you just mentioned or making sure statutory sick pay can be paid from day one rather than day four, as tends to happen in more regular times.

"These are the sensible measures I think that we're going to keep."

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On the issue of masks, she added: "The prime minister will be setting out the Covid winter plan tomorrow.

"I think my approach, and I see that with a lot of employers' organisations, is about having a situation-specific approach."

The government has yet to set out the plans for booster vaccinations, which are expected to be given to the most vulnerable people first.

A decision has also not yet been made by the UK's chief medical officers on extending the Covid vaccination programme to healthy 12 to 15-year-olds.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has already said the margin of benefit is considered too small to support universal vaccination of healthy youngsters at this time.

Asked whether a further lockdown could be ruled out, Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling was instrumental to the UK going into lockdown in March 2020, said "I hope so" but added that "you can't rule out anything completely".

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