BORIS Johnson is under pressure to create a “Covid Freedom Day” after the latest wave of infections have peaked.
Experts predict that hospital admissions will begin to fall in mid-January – just before the latest set of government restrictions are up for renewal.
Tory MPs last night urged the PM to seize the moment to lift all curbs on public movement and re-open Britain for business.
They argued that the extra cash generated could be used to cushion the blow of soaring energy bills for struggling families.
Former government chief whip Mark Harper, who chairs the Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said: “As we head into what will be a difficult few months for many, a great way to help people with the cost of living would be to get the economy motoring.
“That starts by removing Plan B Covid restrictions when they are meant to expire in two and a half weeks’ time. We need a Learn-to-live-with-it Day. I’m not saying Covid won’t present challenges in the future, but we are going to have to live with it and not deal with it as an emergency crisis forever.
“We are in year three of this coronavirus – we have had 2020 and 2021 and we are still talking about the NHS being on a war footing. It is not sustainable and the public are moving in our direction on this.
“We are going to have to say – perhaps on January 26 when the current Plan B restrictions expire or on March 24 when the self-isolation ones expire – that we are going to treat Covid like flu; if you catch it and have symptoms we recommend you stay at home. But all the legal restrictions should disappear.”
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Tory MP Andrew Bridgen added: “The NHS has not been overwhelmed and should be able to cope once we infections have peaked in the next couple of weeks.
“If the number of cases fall as quickly as they rose then it would be a good moment to lift all restrictions, get everybody back to work and open up the economy again.
“With all the extra money to be made and saved, the government could even afford to cut VAT on energy bills and cancel the planned rise in National Insurance to cushion the rising cost of living.”