New Covid restrictions to last until March next year

Asia's Tech News Daily

Boris Johnson hosted a Christmas market in Downing Street to showcase British business on Tuesday after facing criticism from MPs that isolation rules would hurt the economy

New Covid rules on self-isolation have been enshrined in law until March, as Tory MPs warned Boris Johnson that restricting freedoms was a path “towards hell”.

The regulations forcing people to isolate for 10 days if they come into contact with someone who has the omicron variant or risk a fine of up to £10,000 – even if they are fully vaccinated – will not expire until March 24, under legislation passed by the Commons on Tuesday.

The measure prompted a major revolt of 33 Tory MPs, including former Conservative cabinet ministers Greg Clark, Jeremy Wright and Esther McVey, as well as Mark Harper, the former chief whip.

Tory MPs warned the self-isolation rules could lead to a new “pingdemic” that could result in healthy people being fined if they leave their homes.

Fears were raised that the threat of having to stay indoors for 10 days could prevent people from socialising while the Government carries out a new booster programme.

The Government has said it will review the self-isolation rules in three weeks. MPs are aware, however, that ministers have previously enshrined regulations for the pandemic in law and kept them in place for longer than initially envisaged.

Christopher Chope, the Conservative MP, claimed the regulations were “part of a scaremongering propaganda campaign that is really designed to restrict or stop interaction between social animals”.

The row erupted as Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, suggested that people should avoid socialising in the run up to Christmas – sparking suspicion among Tory MPs that further restrictions were likely.

Boris Johnson and Downing Street distanced themselves from the senior health adviser’s remarks, insisting they did not represent the Government’s policy.

The Prime Minister announced during a press conference that he wanted all adults to be offered a booster jab by the end of January. He also revealed that GPs will be paid more to perform the vaccinations.

Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, revealed eight new confirmed omicron cases had been identified in the UK, taking the total to 22. Of these, nine had been found in Scotland, which Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, said were all linked to a single “private event”.

The new rules on self-isolation have been enshrined in law for almost four months, despite no evidence so far that omicron is more dangerous than previous variants.

Two major vaccine manufacturers also said they thought the existing jabs would work against it to prevent severe disease.

Government accused of ‘tunnel vision’ approach to restrictions

Tory MPs vented their fury about the potential for a repeat “pingdemic” over the festive period.

Steve Brine, a former health minister, warned: “We are not just looking at a pingdemic in our economy and in our businesses. We are looking at a pingdemic that will devastate education again.”

Craig Mackinlay, a Tory backbencher, warned the isolation rules could deter people from going to a Christmas party or the pub, for fear of getting “pinged” before Christmas Day and having to miss out on seeing family and friends. He raised concerns of “mission creep” in restrictions.

Sir Desmond Swayne, another Conservative MP, argued that forcing double vaccinated people to isolate would remove an incentive for getting the booster jab, potentially harming the Government’s campaign to roll out third doses.

In an emotionally charged speech to the Commons, Steve Baker lambasted ministers for “taking away the public’s right to choose what they do” based on evidence that he claimed was “flimsy and uncertain”.

Accusing the Government of adopting a “tunnel vision” approach to restrictions, he said the latest measures raised essential questions about freedom.

“Are we empty vessels, mere autonoma, things to be managed? Or free spirits with a soul, people who deserve the dignity of choice?” he asked.

A committed Christian, Mr Baker added: “This is a fundamental choice between heading towards heaven and heading towards hell.”

Pledge that rules will not last 'a day longer than is necessary'

Mr Harper, chairman of the Covid Recovery Group of lockdown-sceptic Tory politicians, first highlighted that the isolation rules would remain in law for far longer than the new rules on masks, which expire on December 20.

He told the Commons: “The self-isolation statutory instrument has no expiry day, which means it will run all the way until the main statutory instrument expires on March 24 2022. Why is that?”

Maggie Throup, the vaccines minister, said he made a “good point”. However, she pledged the Government would update the House on any plans to extend the measure and would not retain the regulations “any longer” than needed.

Her comments echoed Mr Javid’s vow this week that the new measures will not remain “a day longer than is necessary” if omicron is found to be no more dangerous than delta. He has said he will review all the new Covid measures after three weeks.

On Tuesday, a government source was scathing about the measure being enshrined in law for so long.

“I haven't found a good reason for it, I was slightly surprised by that. It seems another sign of the Department for Health unnecessarily losing trust and goodwill with backbenchers,” the insider told The Telegraph.

However, others in government insisted the legal duration of the regulations resulted from the fact they simply updated existing legislation with that expiry date, while the mask regulations were introduced under new legislation allowing an earlier expiry date to be easily included.

One Whitehall source said all the isolation, mask and travel rules were viewed within Government as “one package” and insisted that ministers had provided “reassurance” that the entire package would be reviewed in three weeks’ time.

The source added of the isolation regulations: “It was all done at such intense speed to respond to the omicron threat. This will have been the quickest way that lawyers could find to put it into regulations, the easiest [legislatory] vehicle.”

The revolt of 33 Tory MPs outstripped an earlier rebellion on Tuesday over the new mask mandate, which was opposed by 20 Tory MPs.

Both measures passed easily through the Commons overall, with self-isolation rules backed 431 to 36, and face covering requirements for shops and public transport backed 434 to 23.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Checkmate for Johnson, says seasoned rebel ringleader Steve Baker

© PA Archive Brexit Steve Baker, the Conservative MP who plotted to oust Theresa May as prime minister, said it could be “checkmate” for Boris Johnson as he clings on ... Read more »

‘Hitler should have killed you all': Woman accused of threatening and spitting on Jewish children in New York

‘Hitler should have killed you all’: Woman accused of threatening and spitting on Jewish children in New York New York police are searching for a woman accused of threatening and ... Read more »

Tory MP Wades Into 'Blackmail' Row... And Makes Everything Even Hairer

Tory backbencher Michael Fabricant has commented on the blackmail claims (Photo: NurPhoto via Getty Images) Tory backbencher Michael Fabricant shared his own take on the alleged blackmail said to be ... Read more »

Government scientists monitoring new BA.2 variant of Omicron

The nature of the new Omicron variant means it may be harder to detect. (PA) The government has confirmed it is monitoring a sub-variant of Omicron that scientists fear could ... Read more »

5 Reasons You Should Still Be Wearing Your Face Mask

(Photo: Images By Tang Ming Tung via Getty Images) Plan B rules are being scrapped from January 26, meaning working from home rules will end and face masks will no ... Read more »

Kate Middleton and Prince William Surprise Healthcare Workers — and Meet a Cockapoo Therapy Puppy!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Clitheroe Community Hospital PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo Kate Middleton and Prince William Kate Middleton and Prince William are championing the mental ... Read more »

Keep your makeup looking flawless despite dry skin with these amazing products

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. You may feel like your dry skin is a blessing in ... Read more »

Shop deep discounts on Staub, Le Creuset and GreenPan at Williams Sonoma's huge Warehouse sale

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. There’s no better time than now to elevate your cooking experience ... Read more »

Windows 10 and 11 get a fix for search-breaking Outlook bug

Some Windows 10 and 11 users have been suffering at the hands of a strange Outlook bug which affects the search facility in the desktop email client, but a resolution ... Read more »

The highly anticipated 'Lord of the Rings' series finally has a name—here's how to watch

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. There and back again—it’s almost time to return to Middle Earth. ... Read more »

NYC Mayor Adams will convert his city paycheck to cryptocurrency via Coinbase

© Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Brooklyn Academy of Music NYC Mayor Eric Adams will convert his paycheck into cryptocurrency Following through on a plan he announced before he ... Read more »

Updated daily: Here are the 10 best Amazon deals today

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Every day, we scour Amazon to find the best deals available. ... Read more »

Activision Blizzard CEO thinks Guitar Hero and Skylanders could be revived by Microsoft

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has said the publisher’s acquisition by Microsoft could see the revival of the classic rhythm game series Guitar Hero. Speaking to VentureBeat about the new ... Read more »

Prezi review

Online presentation tools have evolved a lot over the last decade, with the advancement of various rich web technologies that have enabled developers to do everything they want within the ... Read more »

Today's best Super Bowl TV deal is this 70-inch 4K TV on sale for just $599.99

The Super Bowl is less than a month away, and if you’re looking for a killer deal on a big-screen TV, then you’ve come to the right place. Best Buy ... Read more »

Xbox backwards compatibility sale:10 hidden classics to buy right now

Microsoft is currently running a massive sale on classic Xbox and Xbox 360 games, with over 100 of them going for cheap and playable on your Xbox One or Xbox ... Read more »

Many game developers hate NFTs, too

© Image: Ubisoft Ubisoft’s NFTs, pictured here, received a critical reception when they were announced. NFTs have been a contentious topic in the video game industry as of late. Fans ... Read more »

La hija menor de Boris Johnson se contagió de la COVID-19 y estuvo “bastante mal”

© Mundo La hija menor de Boris Johnson se contagió de la COVID-19 y estuvo “bastante mal” La hija de poco más de un mes del primer ministro británico, Boris ... Read more »

Microsoft Teams emoji are about to get more annoying than ever

If you’ve ever felt that you just can’t express yourself enough on a Microsoft Teams call, then a new update coming to the platform could well be the answer. The ... Read more »

Tory Burch is offering impressive markdowns on its iconic purses, shoes and clothing

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Take your winter wardrobe to the next level with fashionable finds ... Read more »

Nadal vs Khachanov live stream: how to Australian Open tennis 2022

Rafael Nadal is 5-0 in competitive matches since his return from injury, but he’s yet to face opposition as tough as fellow power-hitter Karen Khachanov, who’s looking to build on ... Read more »

There's more to renaming multiple files on a Mac than you think

© TheRegisti / Unsplash Apple’s Finder icon is smiling, but secrets lie behind those eyes. The mundane act of changing a computer file’s name seems so simple that many of ... Read more »

How to avoid seeing yourself on video calls

© lucas law / Unsplash Your camera might need to be on for school, but you might not want to watch yourself sit there. If you would rather square off ... Read more »

Messenger Kids’ new internet safety games are mostly teaching kids how to use Messenger

© Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Meta Messenger for Kids is adding new games to teach online safety Facebook parent company Meta has launched new activities ... Read more »

Relaxation of some Covid-19 restrictions agreed by Northern Ireland Executive

The dropping of a requirement for Covid certification to enter some hospitality venues and the reopening of nightclubs in Northern Ireland have been agreed by the Stormont Executive. From Friday, ... Read more »

How to watch every Real Madrid football match online from anywhere in the world

It’s not just people in Spain who want to watch every Real Madrid live stream match. Ask any football fan who the best team in the world is and, through ... Read more »

Jason Isaacs interview: ‘I won't be stabbing JK Rowling in the back'

Jason Isaacs, known for his roles in the Harry Potter film series, The Patriot, Event Horizon and Armageddon – Rii Schroer Jason Isaacs, best-known around the world as Harry Potter’s ... Read more »

Meghan Markle's mother Doria Ragland is the Duchess' double in archived wedding photos

Meghan Markle's parents Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle tied the knot back in 1979 – and Doria looks remarkably like the Duchess in unearthed photos. READ: Who are Meghan Markle's ... Read more »

Tories 'threatened defecting MP Christian Wakeford with scrapping new school' amid blackmail claims

The former Tory MP who sensationally defected to Labour has claimed funding within his constituency was threatened if he did not vote with the Conservatives. Christian Wakeford, MP for South ... Read more »

UK company behind Tom Cruise space film unveils plans to launch space movie studio

© Image: S.E.E. An artistic rendering of SEE-1 attached to Axiom’s space station on the ISS On Thursday, a UK-based company that claims to be producing Tom Cruise’s upcoming film ... Read more »

Garmin Fenix 7 vs Garmin Epix: top-tier sports watches compared

The Garmin Fenix 7 and Garmin Epix might look similar, but there are some important differences between the two. If you’re thinking of investing in one of these top-tier sports ... Read more »

The Apple Watch SE drops to just $249 in epic deal at Amazon

If you’re looking to pick up a cheap Apple Watch deal, then you’re in luck. We’ve just spotted Apple’s budget smartwatch, the Apple Watch SE, on sale for just $249 ... Read more »

New dye-based technique could make tape storage obsolete

Scientists from Harvard’s George Whitesides laboratory have developed a new way to store digital data which they say is not just cheaper, but could last for “thousands of years”. As ... Read more »

Save $250 on iRobot’s poop-avoiding Roomba j7 Plus vacuum

© Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge iRobot’s Roomba j7 Plus and its auto-empty base. Let’s get down to the dirty business of things and keep it professional. ... Read more »

Talking Tech: The 5 stages of 'reply all' angst

There are a lot of reasons tech can annoy you while working. Zoom decides to stop functioning correctly during an important meeting. You might be extra busy and your computer ... Read more »

Micro bus lane that pocketed £442k in fines for council branded ‘swindle'

The bus lane in Northolt Road, Harrow, is just 39ft long. (Google) The government has described a tiny north London bus lane that has raked in over £442,000 in fines ... Read more »

Tracey Emin: No 10 responds after artist demands work removed from Downing Street

Downing Street has said it will speak to Tracey Emin following her demand to take down one of her artworks in Number 10. “More Passion”, a neon piece by the ... Read more »

Any Single Galaxy Reveals the Composition of an Entire Universe

In computer simulations of possible universes, researchers have discovered that a neural network can infer the amount of matter in a whole universe by studying just one of its galaxies. Read more »

Best proxy 2022: free and paid online services

The best proxy services Click the links below to go to the provider’s website: 1. Smartproxy 2. Bright Data 3. RSocks 4. Oxylabs 5. Storm Proxies Or, jump to: Best ... Read more »

Activision games will stay on PlayStation after Microsoft's acquisition, says Sony

Sony has given its first public response to Microsoft’s agreed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and suggested that it expects many of the games that fall under the deal to remain ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic