Boris Johnson once again faced calls to resign as he announced Plan B restrictions will be relaxed in England

Sir Keir Starmer faced Boris Johnson for PMQs as Labour welcomed Bury South's MP Christian Wakeford who dramatically resigned from the Conservative Party. 

Mr Johnson started PMQs by announcing he will soon give an update on Covid measures, which will be eased.

He was immediately asked if it is time for him to resign.

Mr Johnson replied: "No. But as I said to the house last week, I apologise sincerely for any misjudgements that were made."

The Prime Minister announced the change to Covid regulations in England in Commons after examining the latest Covid-19 data on Wednesday morning alongside his cabinet.

A review of current restrictions was not expected until next week. Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on Tuesday that he was “cautiously optimistic that we will be able to substantially reduce restrictions next week”.

What are current Plan B restrictions?

England’s Plan B measures – which include guidance to work from home, the use of the Covid pass and mandatory mask wearing in shops and on public transport – are set to expire on January 26.

The Plan B measures were introduced to combat the wave of cases driven by the Omicron variant, with the aim of buying time to offer more booster jabs.

What changes to Plan B restrictions did Boris Johnson announce?

Mr Johnson announced facemasks and Covid passports will be no longer be requires from tomorrow with just self-solation rules remaining. 

The PM told Commons: "We resisted calls from others to shut down our country all over again.

"This government took a different path. We supported businesses that faced a reduce demand.

"The data is showing that time and again this Government got the tough decisions right.

"Cases are falling in England. Our scientists think it is likely the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally.

"Hospital admissions which were doubling every nine days have now stabilised, with admissions in places falling.

"This morning, the Cabinet decided that we can return to Plan A in England.

"As a result, mandatory certification will end. Organisations can choose to use in voluntarily, but it will not be compulsory.

"We are no longer asking people to work from home.

"The Cabinet concluded that once regulations lapse, the Government will no longer mandate the wearing of face maks anywhere.

"From tomorrow, we will no longer require face masks in classrooms."

Boris Johsnon facing plot to oust him as Prime Minister

Allies of Boris Johnson have pleaded for him to be given more time as Tory MPs plotted to remove him from No 10 over the partygate row.

A group of Tories who won their seats in Mr Johnson’s 2019 election landslide appear to have lost faith in the Prime Minister, after he admitted attending a “bring your own booze” event in the Downing Street garden during England’s first coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Johnson has insisted that “nobody told me that what we were doing was against the rules” and he believed he was attending a work event.

A series of gatherings in No 10 and Whitehall are being investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray, and Tory MPs were urged by ministers to wait for her report before deciding whether to move against the Prime Minister.

But reports have suggested the threshold of 54 letters from MPs that would launch a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister could be reached on Wednesday.

How does Boris Johnson's announcement affect Scotland?

Boris Johnson's announcement does not affect Covid rules in Scotland.  

Yesterday, January 18, Nicola Sturgeon gave an update on Covid rules in Scotland.

From Monday, January 17 restrictions were loosened on outdoor events, with no limit placed on attendance.

In yesterday’s announcement, the First Minister confirmed that restrictions that have been in place since after Christmas will be lifted from January 24.

This includes limits on attendance at indoor public events, the requirement for one metre physical distancing between different groups in indoor public places, table service in hospitality settings that serve alcohol on the premises, and the closing of nightclubs.

Face masks still remain mandatory on public transport and in public indoor settings.

Addressing the vaccine passport scheme, Sturgeon confirmed it would not be extended to other premises. Currently events where there are 1000 people or more in attendance should check the certification status of at least 50% of attendees or 1,000 people, whatever is higher.

Despite the lifting of these restrictions, she urged caution over the next weeks: “Even though from Monday we will no longer recommend a fixed upper limit on numbers of households, if we all continue to keep gatherings as small as our circumstances allow for now - until the end of this month - we will reduce our risks of infection.”