Liberal Vannin leader Lawrie Hooper MHK has told Gef of his mixed feelings over the new covid and border restrictions announced by the Chief Minister today. You can see Gef’s roundup of the gov update here.
Mr Hooper said: ‘Whilst I applaud the government for taking quick action following reports from the UK of a new strain of coronavirus I am concerned that the new restrictions they are imposing are more than is required to mitigate the risk.
‘The announced increased testing is something I have been requesting for some time and I am glad the government has now implemented this. What I don’t fully understand is the rationale for charging people for these tests, it is in everyone’s interests that as many people are tested as possible and adding unnecessary barriers is self-defeating.
‘I am also not convinced that the need for a 21 day quarantine has been justified, why is a combination of increased testing alongside the ‘gold standard’ 14 day isolation period not enough? If the test was free then this new rule wouldn’t be an issue, but requiring people to pay might lock some people into a 3 week quarantine purely based on cost.
‘The same goes for removing the compassionate exemption and relocating exemptions and removing the 1 hour allowed exercise – the current system strikes a good balance between protecting public health and allowing life to carry on as much as possible and the rationale for removing these elements doesn’t seem to me to have been fully explained.
‘We have a system that relies on a balance of trust, responsibility and enforcement that has worked well for the last nine months and I don’t believe the government has fully explained the rationale for all of these new restrictions.’