The tiered system of Covid-19 restrictions is “inadequate”, did not include the spread of Covid-19 – and should be revised before England exits lockdown, medical leaders have said.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said the previous system was “inconsistent” and called for changes in a new report.
The blueprint for exiting the lockdown said there should be “triggers” through which different areas would move up and down at different levels.
It also believes that non-essential travel between tiers should be “restricted” in areas of higher and lower prevalence.
Ministers have hinted that the nation will return to a phased approach when the lockdown is completed on December 2nd.
The chairman of the BMA council, Dr. Chaand Nagpaul said the report shows a “sustainable plan” to reduce Covid-19 infections until a vaccination program is in place.
Further suggestions in the BMA blueprint are:
- The “rule of six” should be replaced by a “rule of two households”.
- A “more robust” quarantine procedure – which could potentially include: “Providing transportation for those returning home or elsewhere for quarantine, and facilities for quarantining near ports of entry”.
- Criteria for the establishment and removal of travel corridors should be published.
- The government should create an “Airline Safety Style” video explaining how to properly wear masks.
- Social mixing should be encouraged outdoors.
- A distance of two meters should be required between tables in pubs and restaurants.
- More financial support for businesses to put up screens and signage.
- The message “Work from home where possible” should continue.
- Masks should be worn in all indoor spaces where social distancing is not possible. Face coverings should also be worn outdoors in certain circumstances.
The document states: “The previous tiered system was inadequate and inconsistent in the way it was applied and did not contain the spread of the virus.
“The tiered system urgently needs to be revised, with agreed“ triggers ”for moving a level up and down.
“Whenever the tiered system is reintroduced, the government must clarify the rules for traveling between tiers. To prevent the spread of infection, non-essential travel, especially between areas with higher and lower prevalence, should be restricted. “
Regarding clearer guidelines for the hospitality industry, the report adds, “Overcrowded restaurants and pubs with little social distancing, as seen after the initial lockdown encouraged by food in support of the initiative, pose a threat to the public Health. “