In response to Government announcing the Living with Covid plan, Cllr Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils, said:
“As Government launches the national Living with Covid plan, London boroughs are grateful to Londoners for the many actions and sacrifices that have allowed us to get to this point. We will continue to support our local communities through this period of change.
“We are clear that increasing boroughs’ responsibilities for outbreak control and contact management must come with increased funding and resources. Responding to new variants or outbreaks of Covid will demand a vigilant and intensive response beyond what is needed for other infectious diseases. We will not be able to maintain extra staff and services without support.
“Vaccinations are crucial to protecting our city from Covid, so the announcement of a new Spring booster dose for older and more vulnerable people is good news. Councils and the voluntary sector must continue to be key players in the development of vaccination strategy. We are best placed to create a hyperlocal, targeted and culturally competent approach that addresses health inequalities and ensures no one is left behind.
“Boroughs would like to work with Government on the ending of the Self Isolation Support Scheme, as we have concerns that clinically extremely vulnerable people and those on zero hours contracts or in insecure employment may still need assistance if they test positive for Covid.
“The ending of free tests is also a significant change that has the potential to affect low-income Londoners who may not be able to afford tests otherwise, which is obviously a big concern.
“We are urging all Londoners to continue taking responsibility for keeping themselves and other safe should they become unwell, using what we have learned over the past two years.”