Inside Labour’s plan to live with coronavirus as new strains continue to emerge

PMQs: Boris Johnson clashes with Keir Starmer

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Labour’s ambitious plan deviates from the Conservative’s reported plan, which allegedly involves scrapping many of the measures currently in place. Here is Labour’s plan in full.

Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting 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.”

He condemned the Conservative’s current Covid strategy as he said: “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.”

He added: “Labour’s plan will put Britain on the front foot and secure our lives, livelihoods and liberties.”

Labour’s ten-point plan for living with the virus
1. Expanding the availability of Covid tests and future proof the test and trace system

2. Keep volunteer responders to help with another vaccination drive next winter.

3. Do more to help vaccinate those in poorer countries against the virus.

4. Make COVID-19 test in Britain instead of relying on foreign imports

5. “Turbo-charge research and innovation”

6. Publish a “road map” for future decision-making

7. Overhaul social care in the UK

8. Prioritise children’s education

9. Raise statutory sick pay so that workers can afford to self-isolate

10. Transform the NHS and reduce waiting lists which have worsened over the pandemic

Labour has said that in order to “turbo-charge research and innovation” in the UK that it will prevent the sale of the UK’s vaccine manufacturing centre in Oxford.

According to the FT, a vaccine manufacturing centre that was supposed to prepare the UK for future pandemics has been put up for sale, even though more than £200 million in public investment has been pumped into it.

Labour has said it will improve the test and trace system by incorporating antivirals into the system so that vulnerable people who test positive can get vital medicines quickly to reduce the risk of hospitalisation.

To live with Covid, Labour has said it will improve ventilation in schools.

The unveiling of Labour’s ten-point plan comes after Sir Keir Starmer set out his plans to reform the NHS if he wins at the next election.

Labour’s ambitious plans go against some of the alleged policies the Government intends to introduce to relax restrictions.

At the next Covid review on January 26, the PM will reportedly lift many of the Covid restrictions currently in place under plan B.

According to some reports, the Government may limit free lateral flow tests to “high-risk settings.”

High-risk settings are likely to include schools, hospitals and care homes.

A senior Whitehall source told the Sunday Times: “I don’t think we are in a world where we can continue to hand out free lateral flow tests to everybody.

“It’s likely we will move to a scenario where there is less testing but we have a capacity to ramp it up if necessary.”

If these new proposals are given the green light, lateral flow tests could be scrapped “within weeks” the publication said.

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