Boris Johnson today declared that all coronavirus restrictions are set to be axed from the end of this month.

The PM made the dramatic announcement on ending the rules – including the legal requirement for those who test positive to self-isolate – at the start of PMQs in the Commons.

Mr Johnson said he would lay out the full strategy after the half-term recess on February 21, but said as long as ‘encouraging’ trends continue restrictions can go four weeks earlier than previously proposed. 

The step was greeted with roars in the chamber, with many Tories having been pushing for the government to draw a line under the pandemic.

Cases have been easing after the Omicron surge and deaths have remained far below the fears of many experts. 

‘Mr Speaker I can tell the house today, that it is my intention to return on the first day after the half term recess to present our strategy for living with Covid,’ Mr Johnson told MPs.

‘Provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last domestic restrictions, including the legal requirement to self isolate if you test positive, a full month early.’

The Covid regulations are currently due to expire in England on March 24.   

The PM made the dramatic announcement - including self-isolation for those who test positive - at the start of PMQs in the Commons

The PM made the dramatic announcement - including self-isolation for those who test positive - at the start of PMQs in the Commons

The PM made the dramatic announcement – including self-isolation for those who test positive – at the start of PMQs in the Commons

The latest official Covid statistics last night showed cases and hospitalisations falling again.

Government dashboard data showed there were 66,183 new positive tests logged over the last 24 hours, down 41.1 per cent on the 112,458 recorded last week. 

It was the lowest daily infection figure on a Tuesday since December 14 — towards the start of the Omicron wave.

The number of people admitted to hospital with the virus also fell, dropping 12.8 per cent to 1,421 on February 3, the latest date data is available for.

But deaths increased for the first time in six days, increasing 43.4 per cent from 314 last week to 219. 

The number represents the amount of deaths recorded today — not the total that actually occurred. 

Covid deaths by day of occurrence have been dropping for more than a week, as the UK continue to emerge from the winter wave. 

Ministers have been increasingly balancing the impact on the workforce from Covid absences against the need to stop the spread. 

Sajid Javid last week performed a last-minute U-turn on the controversial ‘no jab, no job’ policy for health workers over fears it would leave hospitals short staffed. 

Up to 80,000 unjabbed workers faced being fired because of the rule, which would have meant they needed two doses by April 1 to keep their job. 

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