7 January 2022
The Green Party has warned additional Covid measures are needed to stop the NHS from being overrun after the Armed Forces sent 200 personnel into hospitals in London to make up for staff shortages. 
After the Prime Minister earlier this week said he hoped England could “ride out” the Omicron wave of cases, Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay has urged the government to re-think its strategy and follow in Wales’ footsteps by introducing additional measures.
“It is a shocking state of affairs to see the army being drafted in to help hospitals in London deal with the latest wave of coronavirus.
“The prime minister has accepted the NHS is overwhelmed but is still refusing to take firm action to stop the spread of the Omicron variant which is on the rampage across the country. More than 3.5m people in the UK had coronavirus last week, with 1 person in 15 infected in England.
“So ratcheting up lateral flow testing, whilst welcome, won’t be enough to prevent thousands of key workers having to isolate - pushing our public services to breaking point and placing those still able to work under severe pressure.
“In addition, we fully support the emphasis on the vaccination programme to reduce serious illness - but it has become increasingly clear that it has not stopped the transmission of the virus.
“This is why, with the prospect of millions more Covid-19 cases in January, Greens believe additional measures need to be taken in relation to mass gatherings. We suggest England should look to Wales and limit indoor events to a maximum of 30 people and outdoor events limited to 50 people. Alongside this, it is vital that venues and businesses impacted by these measures are offered financial compensation.
“With so many people required to self-isolate in order to protect others, we also need to do the right thing and offer financial support to those unable to work.
“We were urged to be careful to save Christmas; now we need to be careful to save the NHS. That means, for a short time while we ride out this wave, we should put these safeguards in place.”