Some workers in the UK will be paid £ 130 ($ 172) to self-isolate amid the coronavirus pandemic, the UK government said Thursday. The payouts are available to low-income workers who do not work from home and who may live in areas with high numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases.
Workers who test positive for the virus and who qualify for payment will be given the equivalent of £ 13 per day for a 10-day period of self-isolation starting September 1. Meanwhile, other members of her household must isolate for 14 days, entitled to a payment of £ 182.
People outside the same household identified by the UK contact tracing system and recommended to self-isolate will also receive up to £ 182 depending on how long they were isolated.
To be eligible, those affected must already have received universal loan or labor tax credit payments. These are, for example, the UK benefit payments for low-income or unemployed people.
Payments are made to individuals within 48 hours of proof of eligibility.
The program is being piloted in the northwest areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham, which have recently been subject to local government restrictions due to a surge in coronavirus.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham tweeted that he thought it was good that the government "has finally recognized the problem of people who cannot afford to self-isolate."
However, he said the payments would leave people without enough to live on. Instead, he argued that there had to be a system like the UK jury service where wages were covered.
The UK Department of Health and Welfare was not immediately available for comment on the matter when contacted by CNBC.
Restrictions have also been noted in other areas of north-west England following local outbreaks of the virus.
The UK has reported a total of 330,967 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 41,552 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.