SUGGESTIONS anyone who tests positive for Covid could automatically be handed £500 to self-isolate have been slammed by Gazette readers.

According to a leaked document seen by The Guardian, the proposal is said to be the "preferred position" of the Department of Health and Social Care.

The overhaul has allegedly been promoted by Government polling indicating only 17 per cent of people with Covid symptoms are coming forward for testing.

It also indicated just one in four comply with rules to self-isolate for ten days after testing positive, and 15 per cent continue to work as normal, the paper reported.

The £500 handout scheme would cost nearly half a billion pounds a week - 12 times the cost of the current system.

But some Gazette readers said the money should go to those who are struggling during the pandemic.

Joel Skelley said: "If you are being paid sick pay from work no, if you can work from home no.

"If you are claiming [statutory sick pay] or a tiny amount of benefit or no benefit at all then yes you should be entitled to £500.

"All it takes is common sense which humanity is clearly lacking these days."

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Liza Foster added: "I do think something should be in place for front line workers because if I had to isolate all I would be titled to would be SSP which would not cover bills."

Charlotte Thurgood said: "I think it’s ridiculous, I just think no one should be out of pocket if they have to be off work so have full sick pay paid to everyone.

"But by offering this £500 to everyone it’s a kick in the teeth for people who have had covid and are at loss of wages also there will be people desperate to get a positive to claim the £500 yet I’m sure these are the people are still the ones who break the rules."

Some also questioned if people would take the money and continue to break the rules.

Des East said: "The government must be naïve if they think that this will work, people will take the £500 and swear they will isolate and then go out and spend the cash on having a party."

Rita Warren added: "Definitely not, you should be a decent person and do it to stop the spread of Covid."

Sarah Cole said: "We are all going to paying the covid credit card bill for the rest of our lives.

"And then our children will pick up the debut. If people think this sort of thing is a give away they should think again.

"Budgets for literally everything are going be slashed with massive hikes in council tax etc."