Boris Johnson announces Covid’s one-day sick pay right to end March 24

The Prime Minister’s ‘living with Covid’ plan will likely mean that people in poverty with the virus can only claim sick pay from the fourth day of leave.

A used rapid antigen test, also known as a lateral flow test, shows a positive test result for Covid-19
Free testing for all but the most vulnerable will also end from April 1

Britons who fall ill with Covid will no longer be eligible for statutory immediate pay from 24 March under new plans announced by Boris Johnson.

The British Prime Minister’s “living with Covid” plan will likely mean that people in poverty with the virus can only receive sick pay from the fourth day of their leave.

Ministers introduced sick pay at the start of the pandemic to those who tested positive to limit the spread of the virus.

The move is likely to be controversial as it follows widespread calls for the Government to increase statutory sick pay – currently £96.35 a week – so those struggling financially not be tempted to go back to work.

Footnote: Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement on how Britain will “live with COVID” today as he considers dropping all remaining restrictions

Downing Street has said: “There will be ongoing messages about the need for the public to behave responsibly.”

Other measures outlined in the new virus blueprint include ending the legal requirement to self-isolate from Thursday, although those who test positive are still advised to isolate.

The government will also stop offering free testing to all but the most vulnerable from April 1.

The Prime Minister told the Commons that “the link between infection and severe illness has essentially waned” and that the Government will also end routine contact tracing as part of a new strategy to deal with the virus.

Setting out “four principles” on ending all Covid restrictions in the UK, Boris Johnson told MPs: “First, we will remove all remaining domestic restrictions in the law.

“As of this Thursday, February 24th, we will end the legal requirement to self-isolate after testing positive, and so we will also end self-isolation support payments , although Covid provisions for statutory sick pay could still be claimed for another month.

“We will end routine contact tracing and no longer require fully vaccinated close contacts and people under 18 to check daily for seven days.”

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