Tuesday 17 November 2020 / 10:30 PM Anneliese Dodds

Eligible Covid-19 app users should get isolation support payment

Eligible Covid-19 app users should get isolation support payment

Labour will today call on the Government to expand the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment to all eligible users of the NHS Covid-19 app who are told to go into isolation and can’t work from home.

 

In a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds calls for urgent action to overhaul the current “broken” system of support for people asked to stay at home to help drive up compliance.

 

Dodds argues that “isolation is currently the weakest part of the Government’s shambolic test, trace and isolate programme” in light of research by the Department of Health showing that only 11% of people asked to self-isolate by Test and Trace have done so.

 

To overhaul this flawed system, Dodds is calling on the Government to:

 

  1. Expand eligibility
    By giving every eligible user of the NHS Covid-19 app access to Test and Trace Support and suspending the no recourse to public funds rule for the scheme.
  2. Reduce the isolation period
    By boosting testing capacity to cut the isolation period from 14 days to an initial target of 10 days, targeted initially to the health and care workforce and areas where mass testing is in place.
  3. Improve communication
    With a proper national and local communications strategy to advertise what support is available for people to self-isolate.

 

In September, the Government introduced a new £500 Test and Trace Support Payment for people on low incomes who need to self-isolate, cannot work from home, have lost income as a result and are eligible for benefits.

 

People who are told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app are not currently eligible for this payment. Neither the app nor the Government website contain any information about how to apply for it.

 

Anneliese Dodds said:

“The Prime Minister is lucky he can self-isolate from the comfort of his home and carry on working, but for many people that’s not an option.

 

“He should use his own period of self-isolation to overhaul the broken system of support for those who run the risk of falling into debt by doing the right thing and staying home for two weeks.

 

“Everyone using the Covid-19 app who is eligible for self-isolation support should get it. And Government must boost testing to cut the isolation period so they can get back to work sooner.”