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NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP: Testing rules to be relaxed AND UK households forced to ‘dip into savings’ to get by

 

Coronavirus testing rules are set to be eased to reduce the time people have to spend in isolation as Boris Johnson acts to combat staff absences in key parts of the economy and health service.

People who test positive on a lateral flow test will no longer need a confirmatory PCR to begin the self-isolation period if they do not have symptoms, potentially allowing them to return to work earlier, under plans being considered by ministers

More than four in five people have seen their living costs such as grocery or energy bills and day-to-day essentials increase in the past few months, a survey has found. As a result, nearly a quarter have dipped into savings, according to the research from TSB.

A fifth (19%) have increased their debts, by taking out new credit, increasing existing credit, or going into their overdraft, the survey of 5,000 people in December 2021 found.

One in seven (13%) people said they are struggling, according to TSB’s money confidence barometer.

More than eight in 10 (83%) of those who are struggling rent their home.

Mark Curran, customer banking director at TSB, said: “It’s clear that many people are concerned about the impact of bills going up and rising inflation.”

Pre-departure Covid tests for travellers arriving in England are to be scrapped, Boris Johnson has announced, in a major boost for the beleaguered travel industry.

In a Commons statement, the Prime Minister said the Omicron variant is now so prevalent in the country that the measure is having limited impact on the spread of the disease.

He told MPs the requirement for travellers to self-isolate on arrival until they receive a negative PCR test is also being dropped.

Instead, the rules will revert to the system in place in October, with travellers required to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of day two after their arrival.

In Wales, health minister Eluned Morgan said they would be “reluctantly” following suit.


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