Liberal Democrats

The new COVID tier system is confused and chaotic

Boris Johnson must address growing concerns before Liberal Democrat MPs can vote for the new tier system.

By Ed Davey, Nov 30, 2020 4:11

Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister
▲ Image: Chatham House

The country is desperate to get life back to normal, particularly given how much has already been sacrificed.

Time and time again, the Government has squandered the sacrifices the British people have made.

But time and time again, the Government has squandered the sacrifices the British people have made through Ministers’ unbelievable incompetence.

Once more, they have failed to put together a strategy to bring the virus under control and keep people safe.

The country needs is a transparent system of local restrictions and a test, trace and isolate system that works.

The new tier system announced by Boris Johnson is arbitrary, confused and chaotic. As it stands, we cannot in all conscience vote for this unsafe plan. 

What the country needs is a transparent system of local restrictions, an exit plan with a comprehensive strategy to roll out vaccines and a test, trace and isolate system that works.

That’s why Liberal Democrats have called on the Prime Minister to first address a series of concerns before the Party’s MPs will vote for a new system, including:

  • Full release of the scientific evidence underpinning the tier system, including economic and health impact assessments.
  • An ongoing commitment that tier decisions and local rules will be made in partnership with local authorities, and subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.
  • A new approach to the failed test, trace and isolate system that partners properly with local authorities on tracing, and provides proper incentives for people to isolate, to keep people safe and prevent new surges.
  • Urgent financial support for pubs, including removing the requirement for alcohol sales to be accompanied by a substantial meal in outdoor areas.
  • A clearer exit route from tiering with a comprehensive strategy to roll out a vaccine.

Given that less than 50% of people understood the rules last time, it’s crucial that the Government addresses growing concerns and keeps people safe.

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