Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…Here is the UK Covid Plan
Well, maybe not quite an article about sharks. However, the principles are the same. Just when you thought that it was safe to resume normal life, contingencies for a winter resurgence of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the UK have led to a release of the ‘5 Pillars’ of the UK Covid Plan. So, what can UK folk expect?
UK Covid Plan – Pillar 1
So, Pillar 1 relates to vaccines, and more specifically, their uptake. The authorities would like to ensure that those who are not vaccinated, do become vaccinated.
In addition, the authorities will plan for booster doses starting with priority groups 1-9 from the first rollout of the program. And, they will be offering children between the ages of 12 and 15 a first vaccine dose.
So, there is the first pillar of the response if the UK has a resurgence of the high rates seen in other waves of the Pandemic. What is Pillar 2?
The 2nd Pillar Of The UK Covid Resurgence Plan
The 2nd pillar involves giving the NHS £5.4bn towards its Covid response over the next six months, including £1bn to tackle the backlog, enabling the NHS to be in a better position to handle fresh demand on it’s services.
On a slightly more controversial note, the UK government is planning for the possibility that front-line NHS staff and those working in wider social care settings will have a mandatory vaccination requirement.
So, whereas Pillar 1 relates specifically to vaccines and their uptake, the 2nd Pillar weaves that plan into existing Health Care requirements. Does Pillar 3 Continue that trend?
The 3rd Pillar Of The Plan
This aspect of the plan revolves around identifying and isolating threats.
The Test, Trace, and Isolate Pillar of the plan means that PCR testing will continue to be available FREE of charge, and that contact tracing will continue through the NHS test and trace system.
The 4th Pillar of the plan will now shift attention to guidance, and communication.
The 4th Pillar – In Support
The 4th pillar of the plan focuses on the aspect of people being encouraged to meet outdoors where possible, and try to let in fresh air when meeting indoors and face masks should be worn in crowded areas. The aim of this? To ensure that recycled air, and trapped viral loads are not easily transmitted between those in close proximity.
Whilst this may appear to be common sense, communicating the need to maintain vigilance in these areas will likely reduce the amount of infections amongst those who perhaps have let their guard down a little.
Pillar 5 – International Obligations
As part of a thorough response, this pillar emphasises the need for the UK to play its part in leading global efforts to accelerate access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
However, it is not enough to just care about those residing overseas, the UK will maintain strong defences at the border to protect against any future variants of concern.