The Somerset Guardian, 23rd February 2022

This week, the Prime Minister announced the end of Covid legal restrictions in England.

In a speech made in the Commons about the future handling of the pandemic, Boris Johnson said that we would be “moving from government restrictions to personal responsibility”, something that has been welcomed by many keen to return to pre-Covid conditions.

The requirement to self-isolate following a positive test will end on 24th February and free testing for the general public will finish on 1st April. However, free testing will remain for the vulnerable and elderly as well as social care staff who are showing symptoms of the Covid-19.

Omicron rates, in spite of falling dramatically, still remain relatively high and there is, of course, scope for new variants to emerge, which is why the Prime Minister urges good sense in future - like the civil servants of old we should welcome the more clement weather but still carry an umbrella.

The Government understands that the war on Coronavirus has not been won and in response, the Health Secretary recently announced that care home residents, seventy-five-year olds and those over the age of twelve with immunity disorders will be offered another booster this spring. This will ensure that a high level of protection is available for those who need it the most as resistance to the virus does seem to wane over time.

I am delighted that the restrictions are to be lifted, a pioneering step made by a Prime Minister who has led us out of a dire situation with one of the most successful, efficient vaccination rollout programmes in the world. Next week sees the beginning of Lent so Easter cannot be far off.  There is, at last, light at the end of the tunnel.

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