ENGLAND – Finally, huge support may be heading the way of those who test positive for coronavirus in England, according to a leak government document.
The government is planning to give £500 to convince people to stay at home and obey lockdown restrictions, the document revealed.
The information as seen by the Guardian is believed to be the position of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in an effort to encourage the people to come forward for testing.
According to polling, only 17% of the people with symptoms are coming forward for testing.
The leaked document, according to the Guardian report also shows that one-in-four complies with self-isolation rules after testing positive while 15% continue to go to work as normal.
The new attempt to encourage the people would cost the government a whopping sum of £453 weekly, 12 times the cost of the current system, the document revealed.
Currently, the government gives £500 to people told to self-isolate but with strict conditions that disqualify many, including those whose self-isolating does not halt their monthly income.
The new government proposal is welcomed by The Resolution Foundation, who had earlier calculated that only one in eight workers qualifies for the financial support currently offered to those told to self-isolate.
Speaking on the current proposal, researcher Maja Gustafsson said “The current approach is not fit for purpose with statutory sick pay among the least generous of advanced economies and far too few people eligible for the £500 support payments.
“Swiftly putting in place a much more universal and generous system will make a real difference to controlling the spread of the virus.”
Metro reports that DHSC refuses to comment on a leaked paper, however, did not dismiss the self-isolation payouts that are reported to be rolling out by the government.
Metro also reports that a government source confirmed the leaked document, saying it was one of the options being considered by the government to encourage stay-at-home compliance for those who had tested positive.
DHSC spokesman was quoted as saying that “We are in one of the toughest moments of this pandemic and it is incumbent on all of us to help protect the NHS by staying at home and following the rules.
“All local authority costs for administering the Test and Trace support payment scheme are covered by the Government, and each authority is empowered to make discretionary payments outside of the scheme.
“£50 million was invested when the scheme launched, and we are providing a further £20 million to help support people on low incomes who need to self-isolate.”
The Home Secretary Priti Patel said it was “far too early” to speculate on whether restrictions would be lifted in time”, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson hasn’t confirmed whether the lockdown will last until the summer.
Troubled by the uncertainty, 70 Tory MPs have demanded Mr Johnson publish a time for the lockdown to be lifted by the beginning of March.
Government’s withholding information on easing the lockdown has created fears in the hospitality industry that pubs and restaurants could be ordered to remain closed until May.
Meanwhile, Downing Street aim is to get all the most vulnerable people vaccinated by the middle of February.
England reported 37,892 new cases and 1290 fatalities due to covid-19 complications yesterday.
There are apprehensions that lifting the ban too early could increase the spread of the virus.