No more national lockdowns: PM prepares to unveil Covid-19 winter plan

12 September 2021, 21:47 | Updated: 13 September 2021, 10:28

Thérèse Coffey on vaccine passports

By Daisy Stephens

The Prime Minister is set to scrap a number of Covid-19 measures in the coming weeks as part of the plan to tackle the virus this winter, including vaccine passports and some elements of the Coronavirus Act.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Boris Johnson is expected to rip up the existing system of Covid rules and bring in new measures for winter. Needless laws will be dumped and the travel traffic light system for travel is expected to be scrapped. Booster jabs and jabs for kids are set to be introduced in an effort to halt the need for any further national lockdowns.

Working from home, mandatory masks and vaccine passports are measures that are set to be held back for possible use if hospital admissions rise.

Plans for vaccine passports for nightclubs and large events in England from the end of September have been scrapped.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said they remain a "potential option" for the future, but the current plan to introduce them for venues won't go ahead.

Read more: Vaccine passports scrapped: Boris Johnson drops plan for nightclubs and large events

Read more: 'Deep frustration' at social care tax hike as 'people abandon the Tories'

'If this is the death of vaccine passports then I'm delighted.'

As well as vaccine passports, Mr Johnson is also set to announce plans to lose some parts of the Coronavirus Act, which enables the Government to do things like close schools and limit social gatherings in response to Covid-19.

Mr Johnson said the measures, which also include the power to shut down the economy, were "necessary but intrusive" and he was "determined" not to maintain powers that were no longer needed.

"Thanks to the efforts of the public, the NHS and our phenomenal vaccination programme, we reached Step 4 in our road map and life has returned to a sense of normality," said the Prime Minister.

"These extraordinary times required necessary but intrusive measures."

Read more: PM set to scrap some 'draconian' Covid measures to avoid future lockdowns

Watch: Camilla Tominey: People who send their children to private school are misunderstood

"But I'm determined to get rid of any powers we no longer need because of our vaccine defences."

Boris Johnson is expected to announce the plans at a press conference next week.

The powers he will likely repeal include those allowing the closure of the economy, the imposing of restrictions on events and gatherings, temporary closure of schools, and powers to detain infectious people.

A number of other powers under the Act will be kept for now, such as giving statutory sick pay to those isolating from day one, and the power to direct schools to reopen if they close against Government advice.

It will also still be a legal requirement to isolate if you test positive for coronavirus.

Jonathan Ashworth: Government are at sixes and sevens over vaxx pass

Also to be scrapped are costly Covid tests for double-jabbed Brits returning from abroad, according to one newspaper.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Brits returning to the country who currently have to pay for expensive PCR tests could soon be able to take lateral flow tests instead.

Read more: Holiday boost: Costly PCR Covid tests 'to be scrapped for double jabbed'

Read more: 'Serial offender': Priti Patel blasted over 'reckless' donor meeting without officials

These types of test are much cheaper than PCR tests, and the result comes back much quicker.

Boris Johnson is reportedly due to discuss the idea with the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, health secretary Sajid Javid and Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, this week.

Expert tells LBC vaccine passes wouldn't have worked

The Government’s plans have been welcomed by many.

Paul Charles, boss of The PC Agency travel firm, told the Mail on Sunday that scrapping PCR tests for double-jabbed tourists would be "a significant vote-winner with consumers and the industry".

He added: "It’s exactly what we’ve been calling for because these tests have been expensive and too confusing."

Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said dropping plans to introduce vaccine passports at nightclubs and events was "very good news".

Watch: Ex-NY Governor: Afghanistan withdrawal a 'betrayal of 9/11 victims and Western civilization'

Read more: Headteacher's skydive raises over £2k to pay for school improvements

However, the Government has also fallen under heavy criticism, not least for changing their mind and causing "confusion" for businesses.

"The Conservatives have needlessly sown confusion among businesses for months by threatening to introduce Covid passports, and will not be forgiven for it," said Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael.

There are also concerns about the powers that remain with the Government, with Mr Carmichael saying the Government must "see sense and scrap the unnecessary and draconian Coronavirus Act altogether".

The changes to the Coronavirus Act are set to be confirmed within days, whilst the plans to scrap post-travel PCR tests for double-jabbed people returning from abroad are reportedly being discussed this coming week.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Grant StClair-Armstrong says he was forced to stand down by the Reform UK party

Reform UK candidate resigns after blog posts calling for people to vote for British National Party emerge

THIS! has issued a recall notice to customers over its vegan chicken and bacon wrap which is sold at WHSmith

Third company recalls popular food product as a 'precautionary measure' due to possible E. coli contamination

An 84-year-old woman died a day after being admitted to hospital on Friday

Two die as ‘record-breaking’ 40C heatwave grips Greece, Cyprus and Turkey with red alert issued

The boy was killed in the incident in Carlton-in-Lindrick, near Worksop

Two men arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after 16-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree

Live
BRITAIN-POLITICS-VOTE-REFORM UK

General Election LIVE: Reform to launch 'contract' today, Labour seek closer trade ties with EU

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

A father was fined for taking his daughter out of school to attend D-Day commemorations

Father fined for taking daughter, 14, out of school to mark D-Day commemorations in France

Barack Obama grabs Joe BIden by the sleeve before walking with him off stage

US President Joe Biden, 81, appears to freeze again before Barack Obama ushers him off stage

Weather maps are turning red as a wave of heat makes a beeline for the UK, with temperatures set to soar across the country.

UK weather maps heat up as exact date 'North African plume' will see temperatures to hit 29C revealed

Conservatives have accused Keir Starmer of creating a £4.5billion tax black hole, casting doubt over their net zero spending plans.

Labour's net zero black hole? Tories accuse Starmer of £4.5bn budget shortfall as tax hikes loom

England beat Serbia 1-0 in tense first round Euro 2024 clash

England beat Serbia 1-0 after early goal from Jude Bellingham in tense first round Euro 2024 clash

England vs Serbia staring XI confirmed ahead of Three Lions' Euro 2024 clash

England vs Serbia staring XI confirmed as Gareth Southgate prepares for Three Lions' opening Euro 2024 clash

Police hunt 21-year-old man following death of boy, 12 in shocking hit-and-run

Police hunt 21-year-old man following death of boy, 12 in 'appalling' hit-and-run

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting

Wes Streeting urges doctors not to strike amid claims manifesto is not the ‘sum total’ of Labour's NHS spending

Clashes erupt between football fans in Gelsenkirchen ahead of England and Serbia's first Euro 2024 match

Clashes erupt between football fans in Gelsenkirchen as England beat Serbia 1-0 in opening Euro 2024 game

Southwark council raised more than £2.6 million by issuing 43,300 fines to motorists

Labour council urged to refund motorists after ‘unfairly’ fining thousands of drivers £2.6million