Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the statement to MPs in the House of Commons this afternoon (Wednesday 19 January) outlining the mandatory vaccine passport rule will end from Thursday next week (27 January) and the work from home message will no longer be in force immediately.
The impact of Plan B measures on the sector saw footfall in town and city venues particularly be hit in the lead up to the festive period last year.
Furthermore, Johnson went on to say there would “soon be a time” when self-isolation guidance can be completely removed.
He added the self-isolation regulations expire on 24 March and he does not expect it will be renewed, before stating he was hopeful he could seek a vote in the House of Commons for this date to be brought forward, if the data permitted.
End of compulsory Covid status certification
Johnson said: “This morning, the Cabinet concluded because of the extraordinary booster campaign, together with the way the public has responded to the Plan B measures, we can return to Plan A in England and allow Plan B regulations to expire.
“As a result, from the start of Thursday next week (27 January), mandatory certification will end. Organisations can of course, choose to use the NHS Covid Pass voluntarily but we will end the compulsory use of Covid status certification in England.
“From now, the Government is no longer asking people to work from home and people should now speak to their employers about arrangements for returning to the office.”
Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) boss Michael Kill welcomed the removal of restrictions on the night-time economy.
He said: “Following an extremely difficult two years for the night-time economy and hospitality sector, which has been, in every sense, at the sharpest end of the pandemic throughout, we are finally able to plan for the future with some level of certainty and without debilitating restrictions.
“With the devastating losses over the festive period, and the effects of limited cash flow being felt across the sector, our industry has been placed in an extremely fragile state, and without question will need further financial relief and support to survive.
“Experts believe it will take several years for the hospitality and night-time economy sectors to recover, but it is important that the Government don’t simply assume the sector will be fine because restrictions have been eased. More support will be needed.”
The Prime Minister went on to say the rules on self-isolation for those who test positive for coronavirus will remain but this could change in the future.
He said: “On Monday (17 January) we reduced the isolation period to five full days with two negative tests.
“And there will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.
“As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others.
“The self-isolation regulations expire on 24 March, at which point, I very much expect not to renew them. Indeed, were the data to allow, I would like to seek a vote in this House to bring that fate forwards.”