Sheffield campaigners call for mandatory face masks indoors and other measures to 'prevent Christmas lockdown'

A Sheffield health campaign group is calling for urgent action to prevent ‘another Christmas lockdown.’

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:13 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:29 pm
A Sheffield resident wearing a protective face mask in the deserted city centre

“The Government must act now to prevent another Christmas lockdown this year”, said Mick Suter, speaking on behalf of the Sheffield Save Our NHS Campaign.

“Boris Johnson’s press conference last Monday showed that the Government continues to rely solely on the vaccination rollout to combat Covid in England. This is a dangerous strategy, particularly in this city since the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group revealed at their November meeting that we are facing a shortage of vaccines over the coming weeks.”

Sheffield Save our NHS wants the government to do more to protect the people during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, particularly health, care, transport and other frontline workers.

“We do not accept the notion that ‘It’s all over’ and people should get back to normal”, said Mick.

“Nor do we accept that responsibility should fall solely on the individual – the Government must act through restoring some of the previous legal measures and by setting a lead in mask-wearing and social distancing.”

The group said that there are signs of Covid-19 infection increasing again. A recent meeting was told by health staff that NHS and social care services are ‘in crisis.’

Some European countries are imposing lockdowns, but the group said their Covid infection rates are below the UK’s.

The group said lockdown was a last resort and measures that should be introduced to prevent another include:

· A ramping up of the vaccination programme, particularly focusing on reaching those who are vaccine hesitant. The group said more council outreach was needed, linking with trusted community leaders, interpreters and street workers to improve levels of the primary double vaccinations, the primary third dose for those who are immune-compromised and boosters.

· Proper support for those who need to self isolate. This means material and financial support so that people who need to are able to take time off work.

· Adequate ventilation of all public buildings, particularly places of work but also including hospitals, health centres, schools, factories, offices, restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs, and all public transport. Fitting CO2 monitors. Premises should be awarded ‘clean air status’ if ventilation is satisfactory.

· The maintenance of physical distancing and limitation of daily social contact.

· Mandatory mask wearing in all indoor venues and on all public transport