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Boris Johnson announces ‘living with Covid’ plan

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The ‘living with covid’ plan sets out that all covid restrictions will be dropped on Thursday and free universal lateral flow testing will stop on 1 April, Boris Johnson has announced.

Johnson began his announcement by stating that the Queen testing positive for coronavirus is a reminder that the virus “had not gone away.”

However the Prime Minister believes it’s time to move from a time of “government restrictions” to “personal responsibility.”

Johnson said that England doesn’t “need laws to compel people to be considerate to others.”

The PM explained the decisions reflected the low death levels and high vaccination levels.

He said: “It’s only because levels of immunity are so high and deaths are now if anything below where you would normally expect for this time of year that we can lift these restrictions and it’s only because we know Omicron is less severe that testing for Omicron on the colossal scale we’ve been doing is much less important and much less valuable in preventing serious illness.”

Johnson confirmed that the legal requirement to self-isolate will come to end on Thursday.

He likened the new approach to how the government would “encourage people who may have flu to be considerate to others.”

From 1 April, free symptomatic and asymptomatic rapid testing for the general public will no longer be available, however it will be for vulnerable people still.

The PM said this date had been chosen because from then winter will be over and “the virus will spread less easily.”

It was explained that the plans had been brought forward because the “population is protected by the biggest vaccination programme in our history.”

Johnson said: “We chose to compel people to be considerate to others. We can rely on that sense of responsibility towards one another by providing practical advice in the knowledge that people will follow it to avoid infecting loved ones.”

From 1 April voluntarily Covid status certification will no longer be recommended, although the NHS app will continue to allow people to indicate their vaccination status for international travel.

Labour leader Keir Starmer criticised the the statement, claiming it was “a half-baked announcement from a government paralysed by chaos and incompetence.”

He said: “Our plan would see us learn the lessons of the past two years and prepared for new variants. His approach will leave us vulnerable.”

Starmer called for the government to release information that supports the decision to end self-isolation, “including the impact on the clinically extremely vulnerable.”

He added the government “is taking away the tools that help” the public to act “responsibility” and “do the right thing.”

Johnson hit back that the Labour leader has made “the wrong call on every single one of the big decision” and accused him of having “a ferocious grip of the wrong end of the stick.”

He said: “The evidence for what we are doing today is amply there in the scientific evidence, in the figures for the rates of infection that I have outlined today and in all the data that is freely available to members of the House.

They can see what’s happening with infection rates, with mortality, with what Omicron is doing across the country.”

Ian Blackford accused the announcement of being based on politics and said this morning showed “a moment of panic.”

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Deborah James Awarded Damehood After Raising Over £3,000,000 for Charity

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Deborah James has said she is ‘blown away’ after being made a Dame for her tireless campaigning for cancer charities.

The inspirational broadcaster and author announced earlier this week that she is receiving hospice care at home after stopping her cancer treatment, and has said she ‘could have weeks to live at most’.

In recent days, the You, Me & The Big C host has raised over £3million for charities that have helped her over the past five years, through her Bowelbabe Fund.

After calls for her to receive the Royal honour, it has been revealed that Deborah is now officially Dame Deborah James.

‘I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away and feel incredibly honoured,’ she said reacting to the news.

She added ‘I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means to my family, it’s so much to take in.’

Her husband Sebastien Bowen, said the public support of the fundraiser has ‘brought a piercing ray of light and hope into this, the darkest of times’, adding that the Damehood is ‘so truly deserved’.

Downing Street said the Queen was ‘pleased to approve the honour of damehood’ be bestowed upon Deborah James.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed Dame Deborah as an figure of inspiration to the country.

‘If ever an honour was richly deserved, this is it,’ the leader said.

‘Deborah has been an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage has been a source of strength to so many people.’

Thank you for all your incredible work.

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EuroMillions: UK ticket holder claims £184m jackpot

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One lucky ticket-holder’s life has changed forever after winning the £184million EuroMillions jackpot. It means they have become the biggest ever National Lottery winner, operator Camelot has said.

Whoever they are, they have knocked the anonymous winner of £170million in October 2019 off the top spot. They have also become the National Lottery’s 14th winner of more than £100million.

The winner, who is yet to be named, is also the second person in the UK to win the EuroMillions jackpot this year, after someone bagged £109million in February.

The winning numbers were 3, 25, 27, 28 and 29 – plus the Lucky Star numbers 4 and 9. One ticket matched all seven numbers to win £184,262,899.10.

Senior winners’ adviser for the National Lottery, Andy Carter said: “What an amazing night for one UK ticket-holder who has scooped the incredible £184million EuroMillions jackpot – they have become the UK’s biggest ever National Lottery winner.”

The claim will now go through a validation process to ensure terms and conditions are met and once the ticket has been validated the winner can choose whether or not to remain anonymous.

What would you do with all that money?

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Baby P’s Killer Mum Tracey Connelly Set for Prison Release after Judge Gives Green Light

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Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P, who died after months of abuse, will be released from prison after the Parole Board rejected a Government challenge against its ruling.

The decision comes after Justice Secretary Dominic Raab appealed against the recommendation to free Tracey Connelly from prison.

Connelly was jailed at the Old Bailey in 2009 for causing or allowing the death of her 17-month-old son Peter at their home in Tottenham, north London, on August 3 2007.

Dominic Raab said the decision demonstrated why the system “needs a fundamental overhaul – including a ministerial check for the most serious offenders”.

Now 40, this was Connelly’s fourth parole review after she was released on licence in 2013 but recalled to prison in 2015 for breaching her parole conditions by “developing intimate personal relationships” online and inciting another resident at her accommodation to engage in “inappropriate sexualised behaviour”.

In a statement, the Parole Board said: “In summary, the judge has concluded that the panel did take into consideration all evidence mentioned by the application and made rational conclusions.

“The reconsideration decision clarifies that the weight given to the evidence given by the Secretary of States witnesses, who supported release, and the proposed external controls, was proportionate and the reasons were clearly outlined in the decision letter.

“The final ground on the rationality of the outcome was also rejected on the grounds of not reaching the threshold, as defined by law, for becoming unreasonable.”

The Parole Board, which is independent of government, received a formal request to review the decision to free Connelly last week.

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