The mother of a clinically vulnerable 23-year-old has described feeling “left out of the conversation” over the removal of self-isolation laws in England.
Boris Johnson said laws requiring people with Covid-19 to self-isolate will be lifted within weeks as he plans to present his strategy for “living with Covid” when Parliament returns from a short recess on February 21.
Georgina Sait, 55, works for a health charity in Suffolk and said she is concerned for the safety of her family as well as the financial impact on care workers.
She told the PA news agency: “I don’t really understand how it’s going to work, and it’s quite concerning.
“My worry is that people will be forced to come into work, because they need the money… if they find themselves off sick, can they claim statutory sick pay?
“It just seems to be (the Government) hasn’t thought about it.”
Ms Sait’s son Gabriel is autistic and has learning disabilities, epilepsy and type 2 diabetes.
He requires daily care from two teams of care workers, who Ms Sait believes will be “massively impacted” by the decision to end self-isolation laws.
“It’s taking away support that they they could claim,” she said.
“And they haven’t thought about how it’s going to impact people who are still vulnerable to Covid.”
‘It all rings hollow’
Ms Sait added she is “frustrated” by the omission of consideration for the lives of vulnerable people in the change of law being proposed.
“It’s very frustrating that we have just been left out of the planning and the conversation,” she said.
“Ridiculous things like ‘Freedom Day’ – you know, ‘now we can all go back to normal’, but for huge chunks of the population, that’s just not the case.
“It all rings a bit hollow, this whole thing about freedom.”
Ms Sait said carers are disadvantaged because they cannot work from home.
“I can’t get my head around how it’s going to work – what’s going to be put in place so that people can stay away from vulnerable people if they are positive?
“Because that’s their job, isn’t it?
“(To) claim carers allowance for our firm is £240 a month. Who else would work 24 hours a day for that? It’s insulting.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have issued public health advice for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious outcomes from Covid-19.
“This advice remains in place.
“Those previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to follow the same guidance as the general public, but consider taking extra precautions to reduce their chance of catching Covid-19.”