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Bid to make covid tests free for returnees fails in Tynwald

Hooper amendment narrowly defeated

An attempt to make the £50 Covid tests free for returning travellers was defeated in Tynwald this week (30 Dec).

Ramsey MHK Lawrie Hooper tabled three amendments to government's latest Covid regulations, including one to introduce testing for everyone in an isolating household. 

Health Minister David Ashford said there weren't enough DHSC staff to do this, and defended the £50 charge as 'reasonable'.

Mr Hooper argues the fee goes against NHS principles, and creates a 'two tier system':

Mr Hooper's amendment for free tests was defeated by a single vote in the House of Keys, the other two changes were also rejected by members.

A number of amendments to the regulations made by MLC Kate Lord-Brennan were approved by Tynwald, two of which were technical. 

The third includes 'proportionality' in direction notices.

The measures are set to be reviewed by the Council of Minister next week.

Mr Hooper says he hopes ministers take onboard the concerns he raised when looking again at the regulations.

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