UK Labour Party Warns Government Against 'Rushing Into' Cutting COVID-19 Isolation Times
13:07 GMT 29.12.2021 (Updated: 14:03 GMT 29.12.2021)
© AP Photo / Ben BirchallBanksy's Girl with a Pierced Eardrum mural has been given a face mask in a nod to the coronavirus pandemic as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Bristol, England, Wednesday April 22, 2020
© AP Photo / Ben Birchall
LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Labour Party lawmaker and Shadow Work and Pensions Minister Jonathan Ashworth said on Wednesday that the government should first listen to its leading scientists and medical adviser before yielding to pressure from other scientists and the business sector to cut COVID-19 self-isolation times to five days.
"I think we should always follow the advice of our leading scientists, medical scientists like Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, and I don’t think they’ve given an opinion on this. Let’s see what they say on this before rushing into this", Ashworth told Sky News.
The opposition lawmaker said politicians "should always be careful to listen to scientific experts".
The UK Conservative government, which has already reduced from 10 days to seven days the self-isolation time for those who test positive to COVID-19 as long as they can produce two negative test results, is under growing pressure from the scientific community and the business sector to follow in the footsteps of the US and cut the period to five days.
Calls to reduce the self-isolation period come amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that saw the UK recording almost 130,000 new infections on Tuesday.
Recent studies have found that the new variant is less severe in terms of symptoms, but its high rate of transmission is leading to an increasing number of workers, including staff from the health sector, having to observe the seven-day quarantine rule.