"It’s a knee jerk reaction" - Sheffield residents give their verdict on Boris Johnson’s Winter Covid plans

Plans for tackling Covid during autumn and winter in England have been unveiled by the Government – and this is what people in Sheffield have had to say on the proposals.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 4:18 pm

On September 14, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the Government’s plan to combat an anticipated rise in Covid infection rates over the coming autumn and winter.

During the televised press conference, he announced a handful of restrictions that could be introduced in England if the NHS comes under significant pressure.

In England, the number of hospital admissions with Covid has remained relatively stable over the last month.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Government already has a ‘Plan A’ in place to prevent any further restrictions from needing to be implemented.

It involves continuing the current vaccination programme, testing and isolating positive cases to limit transmission, a cash injection for the NHS, repeating the message around hand-washing and ventilation, as well as mask-wearing and restrictions on travel.

There will also be a range of ‘Plan B’ measures kept under review to help control the transmission of the virus while minimising economic and social damage.

The Government could consider asking people to work from home again if necessary, mask-wearing would become mandatory in indoor settings, and vaccine passports could be implemented for entry to large events.

Vox Pop 15/09/21.Susan Marsh. Picture Scott Merrylees

Ministers would only decide to implement these measures if necessary and if a range of metrics and indicators mean the NHS is at risk of becoming overwhelmed.

The Star have spoken to people in Sheffield and this is what they said:

Susan Marsh, aged 74, said: “The plan does not really impact us, but I don’t think the vaccine passports are going to work, people will fiddle them, they do with tests now, but with mask-wearing, we still do it indoors and on public transport.”

Maureen Parker, aged 82, said: “I think mask-wearing helps keep case numbers lower, and it stops you getting a cold and things. People are washing their hands and are more aware of hygiene, so that is definitely helping.”

Vox Pop 15/09/21. Maureen Parker. Picture Scott Merrylees

Matthew Heaton, aged 47, said: “Firstly, it is what it is. Personally, I will stick to the rules. I have no problem wearing a mask, If I have to wear one, I’ve got one in my pocket, and I wear it in small spaces and on public transport.

“I was at the Jonathan Pie show at the City Hall last week, and the whole passport situation does not bother me, but it’s probably not as good for the younger generation. I think the older you get, the more important it is to be protected, and at some point, we are going to have to live with Covid.”

Frank Parnham, aged 72, said: “I think as with previous stuff they have done, it’s a knee jerk reaction, it’s the sort of stuff that’s made up on the back of a fag packet; there’s no theme.

“We did isolation, and that worked; I’ve had both jabs. So a little steadiness would have helped, a sustained long term plan, but it’s all short-termism.”

Vox Pop 15/09/21. Matthew Eaton.Picture Scott Merrylees

“I’ve nothing against wearing a mask, and whenever I go into a shop, I wear one, some people don’t, and that is their choice. I’m a bit undecided about children getting the vaccination, but if it helps education, then again, I’m for it, but it needs explaining to them.”

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Vox Pop 15/09/21. Frank Parnham. Picture Scott Merrylees