Lib Dems get Council to agree to localised Covid testing programme
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems
At last week's full council meeting Surrey County Council unanimously agreed a Lib Dem motion criticising the Government's 'Living with Covid' plan that will put an end to universal free Covid testing.
The Council agreed to call on the Government to continue with free PCR and lateral flow tests for those residents in critical groups, such as front-line workers and those who are eligible for free prescriptions.
The Council also decided it did not want to wait to see if the Government would do the right thing and U-turn on its plans to restrict Covid testing. By agreeing the motion from the Lib Dem Group Leader, the Council committed itself to looking at the creation of its own localised testing programme for those residents it has a duty of care for and exploring the option of providing free asymptomatic testing for staff working in health and social care, vulnerable residents in care homes and other similar groups.
Lib Dem Group Leader, Councillor Will Forster, said:
"Despite the Government pretending otherwise, Covid is very much still with us. It is circulating at very high levels across our country and county. There is widespread concern that stopping providing free tests for all will make it harder to fight this virus. Charging for essential tests would hit those who can least afford it hardest, at a time when families are already being clobbered by soaring energy bills."
"I am delighted that county councillors from across the political spectrum supported my motion to call on the Government to stop withdrawing free Covid testing and to roll-out a Surrey based Covid testing programme to those the Council has a duty of care for. I know Council staff will be working to deliver this localised free Covid testing scheme as soon as possible."