Fighting COVID-19

Applies to the UK as a whole.

As the pandemic continues we need to fight against COVID-19 whilst protecting both our economy and public services.

Include those excluded from government support schemes. Those who couldn’t access the governments Self-Employed Income Support Scheme or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme should receive backdate payments for all of the support they missed. This would help to boost our economy and to support the self-employed. We have set out in detail both how this could be done and the cost of including more people in these schemes in our Excluded to included paper and our Expanding furlough paper.

Government supported sick leave for employees who test positive. This would include employees who test positive and those who have close family members or of their household testing positive. This will allow employees to isolate so they can protect other employees and the public.

Free COVID-19 testing. Free testing allows people to isolate if they need to or to take precautions if they have COVID-19. The Welsh and Scottish governments and the Northern Ireland executive should also be given the money needed to reintroduce free testing.

Strongly encourage people to wear masks if they test positive. The government should strongly advise both the public and businesses to wear masks if they test positive for COVID-19.

Speed up the vaccine rollout. As the vaccine rollout slows the UK should implement a new strategy in rural and built up areas. For cities and built up areas there should be a new set distance for travel to vaccine centres rather than the current system of multiple walk in vaccine centres. For rural areas we support roving vaccine centres that travel to both to rural local areas and directly to individuals who want to be vaccinated. We also support vouchers for free transport to vaccine centres helping to vaccinate rural areas and big cities with low uptake. Finally, where the UK is not using vaccines we should focus on delivering supplies to countries that can’t afford them.

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