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THE UK Government outlined plans yesterday for a removal of Covid rules in England – but how do the rule changes differ to those in Wales?

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced that most ‘Plan B’ rules in England were to be scrapped as the country moves back into Plan A

This means that from January 26, it will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face coverings, and Covid Passes will not be required in England.

Self isolation rules will remain in place, meaning that those who test positive need to isolate for five days.

From today, masks will no longer have to be worn in classrooms in England and the UK Government has immediately ceased advising people to work from home.

Despite the fact wearing a face mask will not be a legal requirement unless exempt, the government is still advising people to wear them in crowded public spaces and businesses can refuse entry to people not wearing them.

The scaling back of regulations has come about because ministers believe that the Omicron variant has passed the peak amount of infections.

Mr Johnson said: “Cases are falling in England. Our scientists think it is likely the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally.

“Hospital admissions which were doubling every nine days have now stabilised, with admissions in places falling.

“This morning, the Cabinet decided that we can return to Plan A in England.”

The rules in Wales

As Covid-19 regulations are devolved, the rules in England differ somewhat from those in Wales.

Although the Welsh Government recently announced a reduction in the amount of Covid rules, there are still regulations in place in Wales that no longer apply in England.

Last week the Welsh Government announced a pathway out of the current alert level two to alert level zero in Wales will be phased.

Assuming the downward trend of Covid-19 cases continues, the limits on the number of people present at outdoor events will be scrapped tomorrow, Friday, January 21. No such limit was in place in England during the Omicron variant’s arrival in the UK.

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From January 28, nightclubs can re-open if the downward trend in cases continues and alert level zero will apply to all indoor activities.

The rule of six, mandatory table service and a two metre social distancing rule will all be scrapped for hospitality.

All of the moves back into alert level zero are dependant on if cases continue to decrease – with the Welsh Government’s cabinet due to meet today, Thursday, to decide whether to go ahead with the move.

However, face masks in certain settings will still be needed in Wales, such as in public indoor settings and on public transport.

Covid Passes will be needed to access large and indoor events, such as sports games and nightclubs.

An announcement on whether tomorrow’s ending of restrictions on outdoor events is expected late this evening or tomorrow.

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