Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner has called for an urgent review of current COVID rules for emergency workers.
Steve has called for a review of self-isolation regulations for emergency workers, who have come into contact with people testing positive for COVID.
He wants healthy emergency workers to be COVID tested daily so they will not automatically be taken off front-line duties and told to self-isolate if they are contacted via the NHS Test and Trace system.
Steve has written to Health Minister, the Right Honorable Sajid Javid MP, with his concerns that healthy police officers, staff and emergency workers are being forced to self-isolate. He believes a simple daily test could allow them to return to the front line.
He has also written to Cleveland MPs Simon Clarke, Jacob Young, Andy McDonald, Matthew Vickers, Alex Cunningham and Jill Mortimer to ask them to bring forward planned legislation to test staff for COVID if they have come into contact with people, who are COVID positive.
Steve said it was imperative that the Government takes swift action to avoid putting a strain on vital public services at exactly the moment when they are most needed.
He said: “The day-to-day pressure on officers at Cleveland Police and the teams, which support them, will see a sharp increase this week as we move into the final phase of unlocking from Covid restrictions.
“We have a great plan to deal with that but without swift action from the Government, that could disintegrate due to the added complexity of officers and staff having to self-isolate through close contact despite having had both vaccinations.
“Today, I have written to the Health Minister and our local MPs calling on them to bring forward legislation that allows emergency workers to continue working as long as they produce a daily negative Covid test.
“It’s imperative we take swift action now. The link between infections, hospitalisations and deaths has been broken by the fantastic vaccine roll-out programme. I’m a strong believer that we must all now move on to living as normally as we can.
“However, there is a very real danger that we are risking the lives and safety of residents while we force fit and healthy emergency workers to sit at home rather than bring forward legislation, which is due to come into force on 14 August.”