The UK prime minister’s office has denied reports it is planning to make a payment of £500 to people with Covid-19 in a bid to encourage them to stay at home and not take the virus to their workplace.
Number 10 said on Friday that the government already offers one-off payments of £500 to people who have Covid
-19 and can’t work from home, but denied reporters of making the payment universal.
“There are no plans to introduce an extra £500 payment. We already offer a £500 payment to support those on low incomes who cannot work from home,” a Downing Street spokesman told reporters.
“We’ve given local authorities £70 million for the scheme and they are able to provide extra payments on top of those £500 if they think it necessary. That £500 is on top of any other benefits and statutory sick pay that people are eligible for,” the spokesman added.
The spokesman refused to comment on a leaked document from the Department of Health and Social Care which suggested the government would bring in a universal payment for everyone testing positive for the virus.
The reports came as Environment Secretary George Eustice admitted on Friday that there were increasing examples of lockdown fatigue across the country and suggested more “draconian” measures may be necessary to combat the breaking of Covid
On Thursday, police had to break up a 400-person wedding at a Jewish school in north London. The organisers face a £10,000 fine for breaking lockdown rules. The school said it had no knowledge of the wedding’s existence.