All Covid Plan B rules ending today and which rules remain in place under Plan A

Covid Plan B was brought in towards the end of 2021, when the Omicron variant began spreading quickly around the country.

With number of cases reportedly falling, these restrictions – which included mandatory face masks, work from home guidance and use of Covid passes in indoor venues – have been brought to an end.

Last week, Boris Johnson confirmed the end of all Covid Plan B rules on Thursday January 27. However, this doesn’t mean the end of all restrictions as the government reverts back to Plan A in the fight against the virus.

Here’s your guide on Covid restrictions in the UK – including what ends today and what remains in place.

What Covid rules will be removed after Plan B ends?

Mandatory use of face masks in shops and public transport will come to an end as of 00:01 on January 27. Face masks in schools already ended last week on January 20, coinciding with Johnson’s announcement about Plan B.

Though the government no longer mandates face coverings, Johnson urged people to still "think about" wearing a mask when in public environments, particularly in crowded or enclosed spaces.

Other restrictions coming to an end include the need for Covid passes for entry into large venues. However, individual venues have the right to choose whether or not they still want to keep the policy.

Work-from-home guidance has already been axed, with many returning to work over the past week. Restrictions on visiting care homes also due to come to an end, but these are yet to be announced in detail.

Though Plan B has been binned, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that it's not the "finish line", urging people to continue taking protective measures including washing hands, ventilating rooms and self-isolating if positive.

What Covid rules will remain in place?

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People will still need to self-isolate for at least five full days if they get a positive Covid test. Similarly, anyone travelling abroad will have to take lateral flow tests upon returning – at least until 4am on February 11.

This means there are no changes to testing and isolating rules for now. However, Johnson said he hoped to not have to renew self-isolation rules when they expire on March 24.

He added that the aim was to remove the legal requirement for people to isolate after testing positive and replace it with advice and guidance instead as the virus becomes endemic.

The rule that requires anyone travelling internationally to book and pay for a Covid test remains in place for now – they also need to fill a passenger locator form.

If the test comes back positive, you need to self-isolate. If someone is fully vaccinated then they don't need to isolate for 10 days unless you test positive on or before day two.

If you aren't fully vaccinated then you need to take tests on day two and eight as well as quarantine for 10 full days.

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