The BRITs are finally free of all Covid rules after Boris Johnson broke them yesterday, but here’s how it could affect your finances.
The prime minister has revealed his ‘Covid life plan’, ending two years of quarantine, isolation and testing.
He said Britons no longer need to self-isolate from Thursday and can continue with their daily lives even if they have Covid.
Mr Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons: “Let’s learn to live with us, protecting ourselves and others without restricting our freedoms.”
But his post-pandemic life plan could hit your wallet – we explain everything you need to know.
Changes in sick pay
During the Covid crisis, workers who were in self-isolation and were eligible for Statutory Sickness Benefit (SSP) were able to get paid from day one.
But that will change on March 24th.
After that, Covid patients will have to wait until the fourth day of illness before they can receive SSP, which amounts to £96.35 per week.
This means that you will lose money that will help you survive if you get sick with the virus.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the shake-up would mean workers can’t afford to take vacations and end up coming to work sick.
“Failing to provide decent sickness benefits to everyone from the first day of illness is reckless and doomed to failure,” he said.
“If people can’t afford to stay at home when they’re sick, they’ll take their infections to work.”
Stopping the £500 self-isolation payment
Poor Brits were able to get a £500 payout to help pay their bills if they were self-isolating due to Covid.
You could get cash by applying to your local council if you had a low income and:
- hired or self-employed
- you or a child of whom you are a parent or guardian has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or you or the child have been told that you or the child has been in close contact with the NHS Test and Trace
- you could not work from home and would lose income due to self-isolation or staying at home to care for a child
But yesterday Boris canceled it in accordance with his new plan.
This means you will not be able to receive cash assistance on your bills starting this Thursday.
If you are struggling to pay your way if you have Covid after this point, you can apply for other assistance schemes through your local council.
The social assistance scheme means Britons can claim up to £1,000 to help pay for food, furniture, bills and more.
Whereas the Household Support Fund means you can get hundreds of pounds of free cash to help you survive, depending on who your local council is.
But since many councils have until the end of March just to release funds, that means you only have a few weeks to apply for help.
Free Covid tests no longer needed
Households will no longer be able to receive free Covid test kits from April 1st.
That’s because it cost the government a staggering £15.7bn this fiscal year and £2bn in January alone, when Omicron cases soared.
Instead, you will have to pay for your tests, although some older and more vulnerable people will be eligible for free swabs.
The government hopes to keep the cost of the tests below £20 but this has yet to be confirmed.
But the MS Society said the denial of free universal testing was “not only reckless but dangerous” for vulnerable Britons.
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