Covid news live: England expected to ease Omicron restrictions; WHO chief says pandemic is ‘nowhere near over’ | World news

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Pandemic is ‘nowhere near over’, WHO chief warns








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England expected to ease Plan B Covid curbs

British prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to instruct millions to return to workplaces across England as he tries to placate furious MPs with a review of Covid restrictions that could end all rules introduced to combat Omicron.

The cabinet will meet on Wednesday morning to examine Covid data and review plan B restrictions imposed in December amid the rapid spread of the variant, with Johnson set to update the Commons later in the day.




A man walks past the national Covid Memorial Wall on the south bank of the Thames River in London, Britain, on 13 January.

A man walks past the national Covid Memorial Wall on the south bank of the Thames River in London, Britain, on 13 January. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

While an official statement said decisions remained “finely balanced”, ministers are widely expected to approve the end of current advice for people to work from home where possible and the use of vaccine certificates to enter venues like nightclubs and sports stadiums. This would happen from Monday 26 January, the pre-set review point for the plan B measures.

It is also possible, if considered less likely, that the cabinet could drop the final plan B restriction which mandates masks on public transport and in shops. This move in particular would please many Conservative backbenchers, especially those in the influential Covid Recovery Group.

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