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UK Authorities Ease COVID Testing Requirements Amid Surge

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a coronavirus media briefing in Downing Street, London, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Johnson sees no need for further restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus' omicron variant, his spokesman said ahead of a press conference on Tuesday. Amid indications that omicron may produce “milder” illness than earlier variants and the success of a nationwide vaccine booster program, the government believes the existing level of controls is still appropriate. (Jack Hill, Pool Photo via AP)

(AP) — Health authorities across the United Kingdom have eased COVID-19 testing requirements. The move is designed to help tackle staff shortages that are hitting public services amid an omicron-fueled surge in infections.

The change announced Wednesday came a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the country has “a chance to ride out” the omicron variant-driven surge in infections without imposing tough lockdown measures.

The U.K. Health Security Agency says that from Jan. 11, people in England who test positive using a rapid lateral flow test will no longer need to confirm the result with a PCR test if they have no symptoms. Authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are making the same change.

 

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