Keir Starmer challenges Boris Johnson to match Wales’ date for ending ‘pingdemic’
Keir Starmer has challenged Boris Johnson to match Wales’ date for ending the so called ‘pingdemic’.
Labour’s Westminster leader has piled on pressure to the UK Prime Minister to fast-track plans to exempt fully vaccinated adults from Covid quarantine in England after the Welsh Government announced it would introduce the move from August 7.
First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed yesterday that all adults who have been fully-vaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone with Covid-19.
This change change comes into force nine days earlier than England’s August 16 deadline.
Businesses have been hit hard by staff shortages. Fresh figures showed the number of people being sent self-isolation alerts from the NHS Covid-19 has hit record numbers.
Johnson has insisted that his own date for the change is “nailed on” and Downing Street said on Thursday that he was “pretty emphatic” about his timetable.
Keir Starmer said: “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.”
He also said: “This has been a summer of chaos for British businesses and British families.
“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.
“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.
Announcing the changes to the self-isolation rules, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Self-isolation on symptoms or a positive test result continues to be a powerful measure in helping to break the chains of transmission and stop the spread of the virus. It is important we retain this, even for people who have been fully vaccinated.
“But 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.
“We can remove the need for self-isolation for the two million adults who have completed their vaccine course, helping to keep Wales safe and working.
“We are also removing the need for children and young people under 18 to self-isolate, recognising the impact long periods out of school and college is having on their well-being and education.”