Incentivise self-isolating

Self isolating in particular comes at great personal cost, to varying degrees, for all of us - and no personal benefit. I’d suggest incentivising self isolating with non means tested payments. I think it would also be prudent for the government to look at the issue of compliance with lockdown measures, because the issue seems to have been entirely ignored thus far.

Why the contribution is important

It was reported last week that while a majority of the public support lockdown measures, most also do not comply with them - specifically only 23% of people told to self isolate are doing so. This seems to me a gaping hole in policy. If people are not complying with existing restrictions, adding more restrictions is surely not the answer.

by bigpurpleduck on October 11, 2020 at 04:26PM

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  • Posted by EffectiveIdeas October 11, 2020 at 17:16

    I agree that there are currently no incentives to self-isolate and plenty of reasons not to. Payments are important. Also making the isolation shorter and less strict will help with compliance. Fines and threats will just make it less likely for people to come forward to get tested. For some pragmatic ideas from Sweden see https://www.economist.com/europe/2020/10/10/how-sweden-hopes-to-prevent-a-second-wave-of-covid-19 There is no point mandating a 14-day isolation if most people don't even do 3 (perfect enemy of good). Setting a lower number, e.g. 7 for positive tests, and allowing walks and time outside to make it easier for people without gardens would increase compliance. For contacts and those who return from travel, the rules should not mandate strict quarantine but rather be more along the lines of "keep a distance from others, avoid unnecessary contact and get tested if you develop symptoms".
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