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Covid: Javid says he is optimistic Covid restrictions will be ‘substantially reduced’ next week

The Health Secretary has said he is “cautiously optimistic” that Covid-19 regulations can be “substantially reduced” next week.

The government is set to review its so-called Plan B measures on 26 January, next Wednesday.

The rules, which apply to England, includeandatory mask wearing in schools, on public transport and at indoor events, as well as Covid passports and a direction to work from home where possible.

Speaking on Tuesday Sajid Javid told the Commons: “Eight weeks ago when this House last met for Health and Social Care Questions, the world had not even heard of the Omicron variant, yet since then we have seen a third of the UK’s total number of Covid-19 cases recorded.

“The action that this Government has taken in response to Omicron and the collective efforts of the British people have seen us become the most boosted country in Europe, the most tested country in Europe, and the most antivirals per head in Europe.

“That is why we are the most open country in Europe.

“I have always said that these restrictions should not stay in place a day longer than absolutely necessary.

“Due to these pharmaceutical defences and the likelihood that we have already reached the peak of the case numbers of hospitalisations, I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to substantially reduce restrictions next week.”

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