COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Covid-19 pandemic is not over but it is waning. The Delta variant has been largely superseded by the less-severe Omicron and vaccination continues to protect us against serious illness and hospitalisation. In the absence of a new more dangerous variant, Covid-19 is now unlikely overwhelm the health care system or cause large scale death.

Government should now prioritise carefully restarting the economy and opening up social life. It should continue to procure and expedite voluntary vaccination while maintaining vigilance and system capacity against new Covid-19 variants.

POLICY PLEDGES:

  • Vaccination should continue to be made available by the NHS for all who choose it.  Public health campaigns will continue to make the case for vaccination as a powerful means of reducing risks in the health system and the community.
  • It will be unlawful for employers or public bodies to refuse employment or benefits to any person on grounds of vaccination status.
  • Organisations caring for immunocompromised or other highly vulnerable patients will be required by law to roster recently vaccinated care personnel onto such duties where reasonably possible.
  • The government will remove all restrictions on inbound and outbound travel to the UK, including the requirement for lateral flow tests unless there are temporary grounds with respect to specific countries.
  • A future pandemic readiness plan will be developed and regularly reviewed by a standing committee with statutory powers.  This will address (inter alia) NHS response capability, vaccine development and procurement capability, PPE, test and trace strategies, domestic manufacturing resilience in key sectors and international cooperation.
  • To make sure debt incurred under Covid-19 neither imposes a new era of austerity nor undermines Britain’s financial credibility, the government will transfer this debt to a separate UK Covid-19 Pandemic 2080 Sinking Fund, which will pay the debt off over 60 years.
  • Income from bonds issued to finance the UK Covid-19 Pandemic 2080 sinking fund will be linked to the BoE base rate and (subject to a cap) tax-free for UK residents.
  • We support a full, independent investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 virus, and we will continue to press for this via relevant international agencies.
Family, Community, Nation.