Avoiding a local lockdown

2 August 2020

Oldham and Saddleworth Green Party say keep safe, stick to the new guidelines, demand a better test and trace system 

The new safety measures

Oldham and Saddleworth Green Party supports new safety measures for Oldham and Greater Manchester. Infection rates have increased, we need stronger safety rules to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and save lives.

The new government guidance affects meeting with other people, visiting private homes and gardens, socialising in public indoor venues such as restaurants, pubs, places of worship and entertainment, visiting care homes. You can find out what the new guidance means for all of us and for businesses by looking at the Oldham Council website https://www.oldham.gov.uk/coronavirus  and the government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do.

We condemn attempts to use the new measures to divide us by racist scapegoating  of sections of our community.

How we were told

The government’s announcement late on Thursday was belated, inadequate and confusing. The local response to the rise in infections was speedier. Oldham Council had announced new safety guidance from the local Public Health Officer on Tuesday, giving families preparing to celebrate Eid on Friday and all of us with socially dependent arrangements some time to reorganise. Oldham’s announcement was accompanied by a clear set of rules. Whereas the government announced new rules and then left us waiting to find out what they were.

Better test and trace

These latest developments once again expose the serious weaknesses not just of the government’s confusing messaging but also their centralised approach to test and trace, dependent on phone contact. Our local public health teams have the expertise and local knowledge to deliver a locally effective test and trace system involving local GPs and services, and contacting people in a range of ways. The privatised, national test and trace system is not giving them the information they need to act fast to control local outbreaks. The government must give local public health the money, information and power to make local test and trace work in the best way for us all.

For the national Green Party response to the government’s announcement see: the Green Party press release 31 July 2020 in News on the national Green Party website: https://www.greenparty.org.uk

For the Green Party call to fund local public health teams see: the Green Party press release 20 July 2020 in News on the national Green Party website: https://www.greenparty.org.uk

The Green Party report on building an effective test and trace system, can be found at  https://coronavirus.greenparty.org.uk

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