About Us

About Us

Imagine life without Covid: hugging your friends and relatives without fear; packed stadiums, gigs and theatres; no mask mandates and no social distancing. Over a billion people don’t have to, because they’ve eliminated community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease Covid-19. Zero Covid isn’t for them a dream, it’s their reality, right now. Covid-free life is available to all: an elimination strategy has succeeded in countries of every size, climate and population density. In these islands, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have already driven out the virus and returned to ‘normal’ within their borders, and if we choose, Britain and Ireland can join them.

The Zero Covid campaign’s mission is to make that dream our reality. It is a democratic, activist campaign of individual supporters and affiliated organisations. It is free to join for individuals. Our structure allows for local groups to establish themselves and have a say in the running of the campaign. Co-ordinating our work centrally are teams of volunteers that cover areas such as social media, science and health advisory, press relations and mobilisation.

The Zero Covid campaign is part of the Zero Covid Coalition, a broad campaign jointly convened by Diane Abbott MP and the Morning Star to oppose this government’s reckless policies and fight for a Zero Covid strategy.

Imagine life without Covid: hugging your friends and relatives without fear; packed stadiums, gigs and theatres; no mask mandates and no social distancing. Over a billion people don’t have to, because they’ve eliminated community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease Covid-19. Zero Covid isn’t for them a dream, it’s their reality, right now. Covid-free life is available to all: an elimination strategy has succeeded in countries of every size, climate and population density. In these islands, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have already driven out the virus and returned to ‘normal’ within their borders, and if we choose, Britain and Ireland can join them.

The Zero Covid campaign’s mission is to make that dream our reality. Here we say why, and how.

Why Zero Covid?

With the discovery of multiple highly effective vaccines, why not just wait? We celebrate the vaccines and the scientists who created them. While their effectiveness in blocking transmission is currently unknown, we join many medics and scientists in the hope that they can ultimately be used to stop the virus by generating what’s called herd immunity, the community protection that’s achieved when we vaccinate enough people to stop SARS-CoV-2 from spreading. However, vaccines are not a quick fix. Even if they do effectively block transmission, it will take many months to vaccinate the 60 to 70 percent of the population thought to be necessary for herd immunity, perhaps up to a year. The vaccines are not yet licensed for children, and until they are, schools will remain vulnerable to outbreaks.

In the meantime, if we leave the virus circulating, we must endure thousands more deaths, an untold number of survivors suffering ongoing symptoms, rolling lockdowns and draconian restrictions on social contact. Not only are the suppression measures cruel, but we must live under the constant threat of them failing and the virus erupting into exponential growth, as already happened in March and September. Even for those lucky enough to escape infection, this isn’t living, it’s existing.

It doesn’t have to be this way

We can end this purgatory any time we choose – if we collectively take action. Fatalism is the disease that allows SARS-CoV-2 to spread: but it can be overcome and the virus can be stopped. Like countries as diverse as Australia, Taiwan and China, we can choose to end community transmission, save those lives, and lift all domestic restrictions, keeping the virus out of our islands with border screening and, if there are breaches, rapid case finding and isolation.

How?

SARS-CoV-2 isn’t unstoppable. Eliminating a disease might seem fantastical, but it’s mainstream public health, and has been successfully done here multiple times for multiple viruses. How? By removing fuel from the fire: if you deny wood to a fire, it stops burning; if a virus is starved of hosts, it stops spreading. SARS-CoV-2 can be rooted out from our communities if, after measures such as lockdowns and mass testing have driven numbers low enough, skilled contact tracers can, like detectives, find the last people carrying the virus and, crucially, we support their isolation until they feel better. If the vaccines do block or reduce transmission, they can speed elimination by what’s called ring vaccination (immunising contacts or the population of whole areas around positive cases).

But to effectively hunt down and contain the virus, contact tracing must be taken from private companies and put back into the hands of experienced public health practitioners, and we join many others in campaigning for this.

Elimination is a process, not an event. We don’t promise a quick fix, but unlike those content to “live with the virus”, neither do we inflict the spectre of indefinite restrictions. A Green Zone strategy allows low incidence areas to push to zero cases and drop restrictions so long as their boundaries are protected. The Scottish islands already at Level 1 of Scotland’s alert system stand as testament to the potential of using Green Zones to steadily liberate ourselves from this cruel disease.

Given its devastating impact on our way of life, the question shouldn’t be, “Why eliminate Covid?” but “Why not?” What do we gain from allowing this virus to circulate? We routinely eliminate other diseases such as Polio and Measles. Why not this one? Why let the fire smoulder and rekindle when we can put it out?

What about…

Lockdowns?

Zero Covid isn’t endless lockdowns. Just the opposite, elimination is how you escape them. We’ve been trapped in a cycle of rolling lockdowns since March while Guernsey and the Isle of Man have been free of domestic restrictions since June. In summer 2020 we had similar case numbers to Melbourne, Australia, but there our paths diverged: Victoria pursued Zero Covid, ended community transmission, and is now opening up. Britain and Ireland tried to “live with the virus”, and both our cases and our restrictions have spiralled. While a final lockdown appears to be necessary to get numbers low enough for case-finding and isolation to finish the job, this doesn’t mean we like mass confinement. It’s a necessary evil, and we want it to stop. Zero Covid is the way out: “living with the virus” is the trap. Unless we give up and surrender to the nightmare scenario of allowing the virus to spread uncontrollably, the choice isn’t lockdown or no lockdown, but a final lockdown as part of an elimination strategy or repeated lockdowns until mass vaccination is done.

The economy?

Zero Covid is best for the economy because it allows us to reopen fully in safety. The economy isn’t separate from society: the economy is us, at its best when we are, which is why trade unions are joining our campaign. We invite businesses of all kinds to unite with us in pursuing the measures needed for viral elimination. We reject the false choice between health and wealth because the facts do: the countries that’ve eliminated the virus have the strongest economic recoveries. There’s no “balance” between health and wealth – health is wealth.

Travel?

Zero Covid isn’t international isolation. Just the opposite, ending community transmission offers a path to reopening travel. We already impose quarantine on most countries, and the handful of “air bridges” have not only been terminated at a moment’s notice, but many have stayed suspended for months as case numbers have rocketed. Only links between countries committed to Zero Covid have proved durable: if we end community transmission, then as Guernsey has already done with the Isle of Man, and Australia is in the process of doing with New Zealand, we can form travel bubbles with other Covid-free jurisdictions; any suspension due to an outbreak would be short. More and more countries are choosing to eliminate this terrible disease and forge links. The virus is the past: the only question is, how quickly do we want to join the future?

Zero Covid isn’t restrictions and isolation; it’s how to get back our lives and livelihoods.

Where now?

If you want this terrible period to be over, if you want to see an end to hundreds of deaths reported every day, an end to lockdowns, bans on visiting your loved ones, mask mandates, distancing and all the other intrusions visited on us both by the virus and our failed response to date, then the Zero Covid campaign is for you. If you want to return to life without this terrible disease and the oppressive measures required to live with the virus, we warmly welcome you to join us in working to make our islands once again Covid-free.

Skip to content