UK considers giving £500 to anyone who tests positive for Covid-19
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UK considers giving £500 to anyone who tests positive for Covid-19

PEOPLE IN England who test positive for Covid-19 could receive a £500 payout under new plans being considered by the British Government.

According to a leaked document seen by The Guardian, the British Government are exploring the potential for payouts as an incentive for people to get tested for Covid-19.

The potential payout is allegedly the "preferred position" of the Department of Health and Social Care in an effort to get more people to show up for testing if they have symptoms or are considered a close contact.

The plans come after polling by the UK Government indicated that just 17% of people experiencing Covid-19 symptoms are coming forward for testing, which could mean the levels of the virus are higher in the community than are being reported.

The same polling also revealed that just one in four people self-isolate for 10 days after testing positive, and 15% of people continue to go to work as normal.

Should the plans be put into motion, the scheme could cost up to £453 million per week, around 12 times higher than the cost of the current system, but could see more people turning up for testing and give people the financial boost needed if they will miss work while isolating.

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The Resolution Foundation, a think-tank which recently stated that only one in eight workers in the UK qualify for the currently-available financial support scheme should they miss work due to Covid-19, welcomed the proposal.

According to The Journal, Resolution Foundation researcher Maja Gustafsson said: "The current approach is not fit for purpose with statutory sick pay among the least generous of advanced economies and far too few people eligible for the £500 support payments.

"Swiftly putting in place a much more universal and generous system will make a real difference to controlling the spread of the virus."

The UK is under a strict lockdown as Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, and despite a large volume of vaccines being rolled out across the four nations, it is likely the restrictions will continue for some time to come.