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England Lifts Face Mask Mandate, Lets People Return to Offices as Omicron Cases Near Peak

Johnson told lawmakers that the ease of restrictions was due to government scientists believing the surge of infections was likely prompted by Omicron and the variant’s cases “have now peaked nationally,” according to the Associated Press.
England Lifts Face Mask Mandate, Lets People Return to Offices as Omicron Cases Near Peak
The mandatory face mask rule will be lifted beginning on Thursday in England. Above, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Finchley Memorial Hospital, a National Health Service community hospital in North London, on January 18, 2022. IAN VOGLER/GETTY IMAGES

Newsweek

The mandatory face mask rule will be lifted beginning on Thursday in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday.

Johnson said that, along with the face mask mandate, COVID-19 passports will no longer be required for large events and gatherings, such as at nightclubs and other venues, the BBC reported. Masks in schools are no longer required and people may return to offices for work.

“We will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalize anyone who chooses not to wear one,” he said.

The release of the restrictions comes as the infections in large parts of the country begin to level off. Despite the decrease, hospitals in northern England are still seeing high caseloads. Official figures show that COVID-19 infections have dropped in most areas of the U.K., but 94,432 new cases were recorded in England on Tuesday.

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