Use this quick tool to send an email to your MP asking them to add their voice to those calling for a Zero Covid strategy by signing Early Day Motion 1450!
The UK has seen over 150,000 excess deaths since the start of the pandemic. The clear alternative to the current mitigation approach is a Zero Covid strategy.
Instead of allowing the virus to circulate indefinitely, transmission can be eliminated with a combination of measures. This approach has been successful in countries as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and China. The Zero Covid approach is an exit strategy and does not mean endless lockdown.
As well ask asking MPs to sign the Early Day Motion, the template letter also calls for these measures:
1. All workers in non-essential jobs must be furloughed for the duration of the lockdown. For workplaces that remain open, effective safety measures must be put in place and actively enforced by the HSE. The lockdown measures should remain in effect until community transmission is at very low levels.
2. There must be systematic support for people to self-isolate when they feel unwell, receive a positive test result or when told they are a close contact. Evidence has shown that adherence to social distancing rules is high, but many people face structural barriers to self-isolating when necessary. Sick pay must be increased and extended so that everyone can afford to take time off work to self-isolate. There also needs to be social and practical support offered to those who are self-isolating, including offering hotel space.
3. Once cases have been brought down by the lockdown, it is essential that new outbreaks can be identified quickly and stopped in their tracks. The Test and Trace system must be properly funded and run locally in the public sector, not outsourced to companies like Deloitte, Sitel and Serco. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have for the most part used local and regional public health teams. Testing and quarantining must become routine for new arrivals into the country, and all non-essential travel for tourism and business must stop.
4. The vaccine rollout is extremely encouraging, but vaccination alone is not enough. Allowing the virus to circulate while the vaccine rollout is ongoing will not address the current death rate, the crisis in hospitals, the extremely concerning issue of ‘long Covid’ or the risk of new variants emerging that escape the vaccine. On the international stage, the UK should drop its opposition to the policy of a patent-free Covid vaccine as proposed by India and South Africa.