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Ending covid restrictions 'premature and attempt to buy popularity'

21 Feb 2022
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GMB Union has responded to plans to scrap all remaining covid legal restrictions in England.

Dan Shears, GMB National Health and Safety Director, said:

“The Prime Minister’s announcement is premature and nothing more than a desperate attempt to buy popularity with the public. 

"Removing covid restrictions doesn't mean the virus has gone away. Thousands of workers will continue to be infected each day and many have yet to be fully vaccinated.  

“GMB will put pressure on bosses to provide protective measures until case numbers are much lower. Workers should not lose pay or be disciplined for falling ill through no fault of their own.”   

“The real risk is, without the requirement to self-isolate, many workers drop to the meagre Statutory Sick Pay rate if they take time off from work - and face disciplinary action too.

"If Ministers want to keep people with covid at work, this is the way to do it. It will prolong the pandemic and create new cases of long covid.”

“Higher rates of Statutory Sick Pay; an entitlement to access Occupational Health services, and continued availability of testing are the path to reducing cases and restoring normality far sooner.

"The Government should be enacting this programme instead of cutting existing protections."

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