Contact tracer demands support for vulnerable forced to isolate

23 January 2021, 16:20

By Seán Hickey

This contact tracer called for greater support for people who don't have the means to work if ordered to self-isolate.

Nora in the Wirral was sympathetic to people who "have no support whatsoever" when contacted by people like her.

Maajid Nawaz pointed out to the contact tracer that the Government have proposed a £500 incentive for people to isolate, but she felt this was putting a plaster on a bigger wound.

"I've got two student children, they'd go out and catch Covid to get that £500" she said, arguing that "there'll be a lot of people going out and getting it, possibly not isolating," to boost their bank account.

Nora told Maajid that those drawing pensions; people working from home; people on furlough and those on paid sick leave are the three main groups that are safe during the pandemic.

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"When I make calls as a contact tracer, those are the people who answer," she said, suggesting this is because those people know they can still stay afloat after testing positive or coming in contact with a positive case.

"The other 75% of people who do not answer, I'm assuming are the ones who will lose money because they're isolated."

"On a human level, do you empathise with those people," Maajid wondered. The caller insisted her job is immensely difficult.

"I had to tell a guy to shut his takeaway for two weeks – what's he going to do for money?

"If the government want to make a change here, they need to give money to those who are made isolate who don't get any other support"

"It can't cost any more than it does to furlough people," she added.

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