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UK’s Johnson scraps COVID-19 restrictions in England

British Prime Minister Boris on Monday said he would end all coronavirus restrictions in England including mandatory self-isolation for people with COVID-19 and free testing, drawing scepticism from some scientists and political opponents.

Johnson’s “living with COVID” plan has sparked alarm that it is premature and will leave the country vulnerable to new viral variants, but the government says it has provided more testing than most other countries, and must now curb the cost.

The plan to ditch the remaining legal restrictions is a priority for many of Johnson’s Conservative Party lawmakers, whose discontent over his scandal-ridden leadership has threatened his grip on power. Some critics think the plan is also a bid to divert attention from those scandals.

Johnson said that the legal requirement to self-isolate for people who test positive for COVID would be removed on Feb. 24 while free universal testing would end on April 1.

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