Health and social care workers will no longer have to be double jabbed to work says the government, which is scrapping the rule
Mandatory Covid 19 jabs for health workers are to be scrapped.
The government has confirmed that staff will no longer be required by law to be vaccinated - a policy which was met with widespread criticism when it was first announced with predictions the rule would lead to 123,000 essential workers leaving their jobs.
Regulations making coronavirus vaccinations a condition for health and social care staff working in registered care homes will be removed from Tuesday, March 15, says the health secretary Sajid Javid, and the legal requirement for health and social care staff in wider settings to be double-jabbed from April 1 will also be abandoned.
At the start of this year the government said it would look into revoking making vaccination a condition of deployment, subject to further investigation and consultation, after the plans incurred strong resistance from workers who were facing the sack for not taking up the offer of a jab while at the same time the sector faced a considerable staffing crisis.
Following a public consultation, where 90% of responses backed the removal of the legal requirement for health and social care staff to be double jabbed, the government has confirmed it is changing the rules.
It says when the original decision was taken to only employ staff who had been vaccinated, Delta was the dominant strain of the virus in circulation.
But having since been replaced by Omicron, which is less severe, and leads to fewer people needing emergency care or hospital admission - along with a successful vaccination programme and new treatments for those infected with coronavirus - the Department of Health is in a position to change the regulations for staff.
While the vast majority of NHS, social care and other healthcare staff have been fully vaccinated, the government says its position remains clear and that those working in health and social care who remain unvaccinated have a 'professional responsibility' to get vaccinated against Covid 19 despite the fact that it won't any longer be a legal requirement.
The decision has been welcomed by a number of organisations including the Royal College of Nursing and public services union Unison - which opposed putting people's jobs at risk because they had chosen not to accept a Covid19 jab.