BORIS Johnson is ploughing ahead with plans to scrap Covid self-isolation laws in England against the advice of public health experts.

The Prime Minister is expected to repeal all pandemic regulations in England when he lays out his vision for the future on Monday.

The decision is expected to impact funding for the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are following a more cautious approach.

Last week Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf urged Johnson not to “force the hand” of the Scottish Government by axing Covid rules south of the Border.

But in an interview with Sophie Raworth broadcast on BBC Sunday Morning, the Tory leader said the UK Government must now encourage personal responsibility, stating: “We have reached a stage where we think you can shift the balance away from state mandation, away from banning certain courses of action, and compelling certain courses of action, in favour of encouraging personal responsibility.”

He added that the public should remain cautious, and get vaccinated if they are yet to do so.

“I think it’s very important we should remain careful,” he said. “We’re certainly not asking people to throw caution to the winds. Covid remains a dangerous disease, particularly if you haven’t been vaccinated.”

Johnson refused to rule out reintroducing restrictions in the face of a new variant in future.

“You’ve got to be humble in the face of nature,” he commented The Prime Minister insisted the treasury cannot continue to spend £2 billion a month on testing.

“I think we need resilience, but we don’t need to keep focused on testing,” he said. “We don’t need to keep spending at a rate of £2 billion a month – which is what we were doing in January.”

The National: EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 14: British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson visits the ACF building at the Technopole, Bush Estate on February 14, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The prime minister visited Scotland for the first day of a trip aimed at

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The move to end self-isolation requirements for positive Covid cases has been criticised by experts.

But Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the council of the British Medical Association, told BBC News: “I think the right time is when the first leap of faith is supported.

“You have at the moment more people dying, more people in the hospital, than you had before Plan B (restrictions) was introduced.

“It seems a rather odd decision to make. We need to see case rates fall down even more – remembering that people aren’t being restricted at the moment in any severe way at all – people are living normally.

“The second thing is we do need therefore to continue having surveillance, because you won’t know whether you’ve reached that point where the infection rates have come down enough until you’ve had that surveillance.”

Dr Mike Tildesley, from the University of Warwick and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M), also warned it was too early to axe all Covid rules.

He told Times Radio that at some point the restrictions would have to be eased but that “the concern now is that we still have relatively high cases”.

“The concern, of course, is with removing testing, removing self-isolation, that may cause quite a big change in behaviour,” he explained.

Tildesley said one of his biggest concerns was support for people in low-income jobs to isolate and that there was a “real concern” that getting rid of the rules would lead to more infections in workplaces.

“If we lose free testing then a lot of people won’t test any more and without that data that will put us in a much weaker position,” he added.

The expert said that “in the longer term” we would have to move to a post-Covid phase, but “in the short term we’re not out of the woods yet”.

In the BBC Sunday Morning interview, Johnson also refused to say what he told police about alleged lockdown parties in Downing Street in a questionnaire.

“As soon as I have something more to say about this matter I will do so, but I can’t give a running commentary of any kind and I wouldn’t be able to do it,” he said.

“As soon as I am able to say something, I assure you, you will be amongst the very first.”

He also refused to answer if he would resign if the police found he had broken lockdown rules.

He added: “I can’t comment about the processes currently under way.”