Covid laws in England 'to be scrapped in March' amid PM's 'Operation Red Meat'

18 January 2022, 11:16 | Updated: 18 January 2022, 12:53

Boris Johnson is battling to remain in No 10
Boris Johnson is battling to remain in No 10. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The Government is said to be drawing up plans to scrap all Covid laws in England, including the requirement to self-isolate after a positive test, from as early as March.

It comes after reports over the weekend said the Prime Minister was set to announce a series of populist policies in a bid to save his job.

This has been dubbed Operation Red Meat, and the phasing out of Covid laws is thought to form part of it.

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Mr Johnson has been left fighting to remain in No 10 amid an onslaught of public fury at a constant stream of reports about Downing Street parties that took place during Covid restrictions.

Covid legislation is set to expire in the coming months and the Government is reportedly considering replacing it with guidance.

This includes the legal requirement for someone who has contracted coronavirus to self-isolate or face being fined up to £10,000, according to the Guardian.

A senior source told the paper if would be "perverse" for the law to remain in place for any longer.

Other laws set to run out include having to give address and household member details to NHS Test and Trace.

It comes as Plan B restrictions, including working from home guidance and Covid passports, are on track to be removed when they expire on June 26.

However, it is reported some curbs, including mask-wearing in shops and on public transport, could remain in place in the short term.

The latest UK data shows 84,429 people were reported as positive for Covid on Monday, with the seven-day rolling average showing a 42% drop in cases in a week.

Meanwhile, hospital admissions remain fairly static, though they are falling in some parts of the country.

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is due to be published on Wednesday afternoon which will show the level of infection across the community in people with and without symptoms.

Across England there are currently 16,621 Covid patients in hospital, down from 17,120 a week ago.