Ministers oppose extending the self-isolation exception, leaving self-employed people in the lurch.
TEST and Trace concerns have surfaced in recent weeks as an unprecedented number of people have been forced to sequester themselves. The government has taken measures to rectify this by granting exceptions for specific workers, but there have been requests to extend the adjustments to self-employed people as well.
Thousands of people have been compelled to self-isolate as a result of Test and Trace in recent weeks, with new statistics indicating that the NHS coronavirus app told a record 618,903 people to isolate in the week ending July 15. The government was forced to intervene as a result of the sharp increase, but the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has warned that more has to be done.
Those with two vaccine doses who produce a negative test and operate in particular areas such as retailers or food producers may be entitled to leave isolation early starting August 16.
IPSE, on the other hand, is urging the government to move this forward and broaden the list of exempt businesses to include double-vaccinated workers in self-employed-dominated areas including construction, building trades, and transportation drivers.
IPSE’s CEO, Derek Cribb, spoke on the need for this extension.
“The government’s limited self-isolation exemptions list once again leaves freelancers and the self-employed in the lurch,” Mr Cribb added.
“While it is understandable that the government has focused on key industries, it has failed to account for people’s working conditions, as well as the reality that being instructed to isolate can be a financial disaster for many self-employed people.
“Many self-employed people in the UK, from plumbers to construction professionals, are unable to work from home, resulting in up to ten days of lost wages and project delays.
“Freelancers have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s financial toll, notably the up to one million who were left completely stranded. The fact that the government has let them slip through the gaps once more will be a significant blow to many of them.
“We ask the government to examine the harm that an ever-increasing number of self-isolation orders is causing to many self-employed individuals.
“If the Government is unable to advance the test and release mechanism, we ask it to expand the list of exemptions for twice vaccinated people to include self-employed-dominated areas like construction and business trades.”
Despite these calls, Ministers have reportedly ruled off expanding the roster of workers, according to The Times. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”