This is our plan for dealing with COVID-19 from January until the end of the pandemic.
The English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish lockdowns should last until at least all those in the first six top priority groups. This includes those who are clinically vulnerable, those in care homes, frontline health care workers, those over 65 and those people who are extremely clinically vulnerable.
The government should ensure all frontline public service workers are given priority status for tests and vaccinations. This would include additional groups such as the police, army personnel delivering tests and vaccines, teachers and university lecturers.
Students should receive a refund of 30% of their total tuition fees this year and for university accommodation fees after December. The refund itself should be paid for by the UK Parliament or devolved parliaments where education is devolved. There should also be the option to defer their university year at no extra cost.
Universities should not deliver in person teaching unless it is for courses that require students to be taught in person to receive the qualification. The course content and lessons for those subjects unable to return should instead all be available online. Universities also remain open for those students who can’t stay at home or are studying essential courses such as medical and teaching courses.
We would only support sending primary and secondary school students back to school once all of those eligible have been vaccinated. It is important to note here that younger children are not yet able to receive the vaccine so would be exempt from this. Schools themselves should remain open for students of public service workers or those who are unable to work from home.
School students should individually be provided with laptops to ensure they can learn from home properly. This may also involve WIFI vouchers as seen with the scheme run by BT.
After the pandemic we should focus on automated deliveries as a way to provide contactless deliveries. We also support an end to dangerous practices in wet markets around the world which mean that infectious diseases can jump between animals and humans.