A leading Labour politician says the Government should implement its ‘plan B’ now in a bid to halt the spiralling rise in coronavirus cases.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Rachel Reeves – Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer – was asked what Labour’s position was on reintroducing restrictions such as the wearing of face coverings and working from home.
It comes as the Government is facing increasing pressure to implement its Plan B to avoid the nation stumbling into a “winter crisis”.
Mrs Reeves, MP for Leeds West, said: “Labour as a responsible opposition have always said that we would follow the science, and we’ve seen today that Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) are saying that some aspects of Plan B, like wearing masks on public transports and in shops, and also working from home more flexibly should be introduced.
“I think the first thing is the Government has got to do more to make Plan A work.
“If the scientists are saying work from home and masks, we should do that.
“So get A working better because the vaccination programme has been stalling, introduce those parts of Plan B.
“But there are also things not in A or B that need to be done, like paying statutory sick pay from day one and also better ventilation in public spaces.”
It has been reported that an ‘immediate’ roll-out of Plan B Covid restrictions is being considered by government officials, according to a leaked memo.
In an email sent from the UK Health Security Agency to local council leaders and directors of Public Health England late last week, a string of measures were outlined.
These included working from home, vaccine passports for nightclubs, and the return of legally mandated face masks.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has so far refused to trigger Plan B, despite a rise in infections.
He told a Number 10 press conference it was right to hold back on Plan B, because pressure on the NHS isn’t “unsustainable” yet.
Asked directly whether Plan B should be introduced now, Mrs Reeves said: “Yes, but let’s not let the Government off the hook with Plan A either.”
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