As early as December, ministers urged a US approach and reduce the quarantine time to five days. On the advice of the British Health Council, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stopped that time, but it is now clear that this advice was based on a misunderstanding.
There is room for such relaxation. In London, the number of coronavirus-related entries fell for five days and the rest of the country is expected to follow this trend. The current rule is that anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus must self-isolate for a week, regardless of their vaccination status and test results. This turned out to have a crippling effect, particularly on public services. For example, in hospitals there are enough beds to receive Omicron patients, but there are very few hands on the same beds. One in ten health care workers was at home, healthy or otherwise.
More than 20 hospitals have declared a critical condition in recent weeks, a practical measure that allows them to borrow staff from other emergency services. To ease the pressure on healthcare, military personnel have been deployed, for example as ambulance drivers. They have also built emergency tents in some hospitals, but the NHS could not determine if these facilities had actually been used.
It’s quieter than usual on rail. Southern Rail even barely ran trains in the first working week of the new year due to staff shortages. It has now switched to a Sunday schedule. Given the large number of people working in the house, this turned out to be not a disaster. There are also a lot of school dropouts, but so far almost all schools have remained open.
With some creativity, says Sir Daniel Moynihan, who, as Principal of Harris Academy, runs 51 primary and secondary schools in London. “One in ten teachers is at home. We consolidated classrooms and used halls as classrooms, with the doors open. This was possible thanks to the mild winter weather. We have a network of people, including retired teachers who supervise exams but are now back in the classroom. .Teachers who are healthy and at home are teaching via video call. It’s working.”
It has been calculated that such a shorter quarantine could save the economy 360 million euros for the rest of January. Moreover, it is a small step towards normal life, which should fully return after winter. The idea that Britons can live with the coronavirus is gaining momentum, including among scientists. The fact that the omicron is a moderate variant contributes to this conviction. For example, Graham Medley, who represents the government, said the state of emergency could not last forever.
It has since become clear that the models that epidemiologists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine presented to the government in December were wrong. Assuming Omicron is as dangerous as Delta, they predicted that between 25,000 and 75,000 Britons would die in the next three months if restrictions were not taken. Very high rating. This was also the opinion of the government, which decided not to take any further action.
Cliff Dix, one of the nurses behind Britain’s vaccination programme, has now called for an end to mass testing. It now appears that this is happening automatically due to a lack of test boxes. Pressure is also growing on Johnson to scrap requirements for controversial mouth masks for students. Among them is the famous children’s book author Julia Donaldson The Gravallowadvocates for this. “It’s a strange thing,” she told the newspaper. times, “So miserable.”
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