Keir Starmer demands 7 August end to self-isolation ‘pingdemic’

Keir Starmer demands 7 August end to self-isolation ‘pingdemic’
Labour wants government to end ‘chaos’ and bring date forward

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on Boris Johnson’s government to match Pays de Galles by bringing forward the date on which fully-vaccinated people in England can avoid isolation.

Wales’s Labour first minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed 7 August as the day when double jabbed adults can escape isolation if they come into contact with a Covid cas.

Scotland is also expected to remove the need for fully-vaccinated people to isolate on 9 août, but Mr Johnson has insisted England remained “nailed on” to wait until August 16.

pourtant, Sir Keir has questioned why England should have a later timeline – arguing that this risks creating more pain for families and businesses.

“This has been a summer of chaos for British businesses and British families,” said the Labour leader. “The Tory government has never been able to explain the logic of their self-isolation rules, and has just repeated the same mistakes over and over again.”

Il ajouta: “While the British public have been trying to do the right thing, we saw this government’s instincts when Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak tried to avoid the isolation millions have had to endure.

“The government’s slapdash approach to this global pandemic is crippling our economy and creating real problems for businesses and families alike. Welsh Labour has shown what can be done and it’s time for the Tories to do the same.”

Wales’s change will come into effect on the same day the country is expected to move to alert level zero, when most coronavirus restrictions will be lifted.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid or has symptoms must continue to isolate for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status, the Welsh government has said. It will also advise those identified as a contact of a positive case to have a PCR test on day two and day eight, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

Mr Drakeford said: “We know a full course of the vaccine offers people protection against the virus and they are far less likely to contract it when they are identified as close contacts. This means they no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days.”

Backbench Tory MPs and business leaders earlier this month urged Mr Johnson to bring forward the date to ease isolation restrictions after a rise in Covid cases led to a surge in people being “pinged” by the app, which caused disruption to several sectors.

Data published on Thursday showed the number of people being told to self-isolate reached another record, with almost 700,000 alerts sent to Covid app users in England and Wales.

Some frontline workers are exempt from isolation, including those in prisons, waste collection, defence, the food industry, transport, Border Force and police and fire services.

But Labour accused the government of taking a “shambolic” approach after it emerged that just 260 testing centres of 2,000 planned are currently open.

“Hundreds of testing centres opening weeks after they’re needed typifies the government’s shambolic approach to the pandemic,” said Justin Madders MP, shadow health minister.

Ailleurs, the UK government also faced demands to recall parliament amid concern Covid vaccine passports had been introduced by “stealth” via the NHS app.

On the NHS app, a tweak to the wording on the NHS Covid Pass section has raised concerns.

It now includes adomestic” section, which states: “You may need to show your NHS Covid Pass at places that have chosen to use the service.”

The government has said it wants to make vaccine passports mandatory for some settingssuch as nightclubs – and crowded events from the autumn.

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