Covid lockdown rules must return NOW demands Labour MP after spike in cases

Face masks were required in the classroom while Covid was rampant.
Face masks were required in the classroom while Covid was rampant.

Rachel Maskell has called on people to isolate if they’re infected, saying 'we need' them to do so

Published

Ministers must consider compulsory Covid isolation in a bid to ease the strain on the NHS, a Labour MP has claimed.

Rachael Maskell has called on people to isolate if they’re infected, saying “we need” them to do so.

The York Central representative, who sits on health and social care committee, says that as well as forcing arrivals from China to quarantine if they test positive, there must be a “discussion” about a return to widespread isolation.

She said: "Obviously we need people to isolate if they have got Covid.

"It’s really important that they don’t spread that to vulnerable people. So we have to follow through the logic of what this means if people don’t isolate versus if people do.

The efficacy of face masks has been a controversial topic.
The efficacy of face masks has been a controversial topic.

"The whole testing regime was the indicator of actually saying, ‘we can release people who are well’, which is a very positive thing, obviously recognising there is minimal risk, but there is some risk.”

Speaking to the Mail Online, she continued: “If people are poorly, then the risk obviously escalates and the impact on others then, is quite significant.

“So the principles which public health applied, should not change whatever stage you are of a communicable disease process.”

When questioned on whether self-isolation should be compulsory again, Ms Maskell argued: “Ultimately, public health is about managing risk.

“And at the moment, it feels like there’s a distraction from certainly the focus the Government were giving Covid and other communicable diseases.

“Now people are out and about, we know flu is really spiking now. It’s really concerning because people will die if they can’t get into the NHS when they need it, particularly people with a bad bout of community-acquired pneumonia or something.

“And that’s what I’m really concerned about. How do we keep people well, keep people alive and protect people when the NHS is just so vulnerable at the moment?”

Her intervention comes after the bosses at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) called on sick people to wear masks and delay going back to work and school.

Some have questioned the UKHSA’s guidance on a return to mask-wearing, including Tory MP Philip Davies, who claims the measure makes no difference.

Rachel Maskell believes the return of face masks could be necessary.
Rachel Maskell believes the return of face masks could be necessary.

He said: “I am afraid the control freak socialists at the UKHSA are never going to change - you cannot make a crab walk straight.

“Despite the fact that they know the public wearing of face masks makes absolutely no difference at all to the transmission of a virus they will always pull the lever of state control and project fear.

“I am afraid that any attempts to reintroduce mandatory mask wearing will rightly be met with widespread civil disobedience.

“They clearly take the public for compliant fools - but they will be in for a shock should they try it again.”

Former minister Sir Desmond Swayne said a reintroduction of face masks would represent a return to “dystopian” restrictions in a bid for a “marginal” health benefit.

“Masks were one of the more dystopian aspects of Covid restrictions”, he said.

“The marginal impact on spread is disputed, but for the social beings that communicate so much by facial expression it is deeply sinister.

“Just remember that we made children wear these filthy rags at school all day, because adults were scared.”

The return of face masks is only the start in the eyes of some experts, who have called for the reopening of Nightingale hospitals to support the struggling health service.

Consultant Professor Rob Galloway pitched a six-point plan which included using the hospitals as social care settings, after they were built in the pandemic.