UK risks sleepwalking into another winter of chaos, warn unions

·2-min read
People wearing face masks on Oxford Street in central London  (PA Wire)
People wearing face masks on Oxford Street in central London (PA Wire)

The UK could face another “winter of chaos”, trade union leaders have warned.

Union leaders — who are representing 3 million frontline workers — urged the Government to take action amid rising Covid case rates in the UK.

This week on Thursday, cases skyrocketed to more than 52,000 in a new high since July 17 and on Friday 49,298 new infections were recorded.

The unions — including Usdaw, Unison, Unite, the GMB and Aslef — hit out at the Government’s approach to managing the Covid pandemic after Boris Johnson ruled out imposing fresh restrictions.

“We all want to beat Covid once for all and to avoid further lockdowns. But without decisive action now, we risk sleepwalking into another winter of chaos,” the union leaders said, in a joint statement also signed by the TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, reported in The Guardian.

“With hundreds of Covid outbreaks at workplaces being reported to health authorities each week, events feel ominously reminiscent of last winter,” they said.

“The government must act now to reduce the spread of Covid. Failure to do so will risk public health, frontline services and the economy.”

Earlier this week, Sajid Javid announced the Government is not going to implement Plan B including bringing back measures such as face masks and work from home.

On Friday, Mr Johnson ruled out considering a full lockdown with shop closures at this time.

He told reporters: “I’ve got to tell you at the moment that we see absolutely nothing to indicate that that is on the cards at all.”

“We keep all measures under constant review,” he added.

“We do whatever we have to do to protect the public but the numbers that we’re seeing at the moment are fully in line with what we expected in the autumn and winter plan.

“What we want people to do is to come forward and get their jabs. We also want young people, we want kids at school, to be getting their jabs.”

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