About 20,000 people a day are refusing to comply with instructions from test and trace to self-isolate, the head of the service has said.
Baroness Dido Harding said low incomes, caring responsibilities, and inability to follow the rules were among the reasons people don’t stay home when they should be isolating.
The head of NHS Test and Trace was questioned by MPs after the Department of Health drew up proposals to pay everyone told to self-isolate £500 a week, in a recommendation which was later dismissed by the Treasury.
Asked about the “huge number of people every single day who could be passing on the virus,” Baroness Harding said there were many reasons why people did not comply with instructions to isolate.
She told the Commons science and technology committee: “The first is, is not understanding, not being really clear what they should or shouldn’t do – the clearer and simpler the guidance, the easier it is for people.
“Number two is ‘don’t know how to’ – ‘this is practically impossible, I haven’t got enough food in the fridge, I have got to get a prescription, I’ve got some caring responsibilities so I have to go outside.”
“Number three is financial support; ‘I can’t afford to – I’ve got to go out and work,’” she said.
Asked if the Government should do more to make up for this loss of income, she said this was not a policy area which was directly controlled by NHS Test and Trace, but was a matter for the Government.
Follow the latest updates below.