Sunday 16 January 2022 / 7:00 AM Health / Social Care / Wes Streeting

Labour sets out plan to learn to live well with covid

Labour has set out its plan to learn to live well with covid and prevent the need for harsh restrictions to tackle the spread of the virus.

Criticising the Conservative Government’s indecisive and chaotic approach to each wave of covid infections, Labour is proposing a roadmap for decision-making to provide certainty on when action should be considered. 

In its ten-point plan, the party will commit to working with British business to fix barriers to manufacturing sufficient tests for all who need them, and calling on the Government to abandon its planned sell-off of the UK’s vaccine manufacturing centre.

A decade of Tory neglect left our health and care services weakened and exposed when covid-19 hit and now a record six million people are on the waiting list for treatment. As well giving the NHS the staff and capacity needed to bring down waiting lists, Labour will also ease the pressure of waves of infections on the NHS by retaining volunteers who have signed up to support the NHS, who can then help administer vaccines or deliver test kits.

The UK also needs to play its part in vaccinating the world by sharing surplus vaccines, provide improved sick pay to all workers, and protect learning by shoring up children’s supply of testing and fitting schools with ventilation systems.

Labour’s plan would make sure social care is never neglected again, with a plan for rapid distribution of PPE, support for infection control and maintain priority access to testing and vaccination in England.

Wes Streeting MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said:

“We’re not out of the woods with covid-19. The virus will change and adapt and we need to learn to live well with it. 

“For the Government, living with covid is just an empty slogan with no plan. For some of the fanatics on the Conservative backbenches, living with covid means letting the virus rip. Both positions are highly irresponsible.

“If we are to learn to live well with Covid, we need to be prepared. Labour’s plan will put Britain on the front foot and secure our lives, livelihoods and liberties.”