Boris Johnson admits new Covid rules will tell some Brits to isolate with no pay

New Covid rules will advise some Brits to isolate with no pay or compensation, Boris Johnson admitted tonight.

He confessed some people will slip through the cracks as he ends virus support in England – and cuts off funding to Scotland and Wales.

Quizzed by the Mirror at a No10 press conference, the Prime Minister said: “Many people are entitled to other forms of payment.

“I know that won’t be everybody, Dan. And I understand that.

“But for those people who don’t get enough support, we’re trying to make sure they get it in other ways and they get helped in tough times through other support, through local councils or by other routes.”

It comes after the PM announced mandatory self-isolation in England for people with Covid will end this Thursday.

After pressure from Tory MPs, the PM declared: “After two of the darkest, grimmest years in our peacetime history, I do believe this is a moment of pride for our nation.”

Yet he told Brits to “exercise personal responsibility” and stay at home anyway if they get Covid – breaking the “habit of going into work when we’re not well”.

Guidance will advise people to remain at home for at least five full days if they test positive, until April 1 – after which they will be told to exercise careful judgement.

That is despite the fact £500 isolation payments will end this Thursday, and the ability to get Statutory Sick Pay and ESA from day one will be axed on March 24.

Free testing will also end on April 1 – the same day energy bills rise £693 – with people having to pay an estimated £20 to £30 per box of seven lateral flows.

“I know that won’t be everybody, and I understand that”, the Prime Minister said

Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance said: “This virus feeds off inequality and it drives inequality, and that needs to be borne in mind at all times through this.”

Asked by the Mirror if a low-wage worker with Covid should stay at home, even if they lose out on pay, the PM replied: “We’ve done everything we can throughout the pandemic to support people on low incomes, who have been having it tough with huge investments in hardship funds, increasing the living wage, all the contributions we made and what we’re doing now to tackle the cost of living.

“We totally, totally get how difficult it has been.”

But he added: “I think it is still sensible for people to avoid spreading Covid and indeed any other dangerous respiratory disease.

Mr Johnson suggested he will personally isolate if he gets Covid. “I will exercise restraint and responsibility and try to avoid infecting other people”, he said.

Asked if he was satisfied today’s plan would not lead to a rise in long Covid, and immunosuppressed people would be kept safe enough, Sir Patrick Vallance told the Mirror: “I’d like the prevalence to be lower, the rates of infections to be lower.

Chris Whitty suggested he would carry on taking lateral flow tests when seeing an elderly relative

“And the SAGE advice… shows that roughly somewhere between 20 and 40% reduction in transmission because of our current behaviours. So we’re not back to pre-pandemic behaviours here. And as those return, you would expect the pressure on transmission to increase.”

But he added: “There’s now evidence that the vaccines don’t just protect against infection and severe disease, but they also reduce Long Covid.”

Sir Chris Whitty suggested he will keep taking lateral flow tests if going to a crowded place or seeing an elderly relative – even if he has to pay.

Source: mirror

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