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There's Britain under lockdown. But many are unable to comply with the rules till now since Covid.

The pandemic has worked through the 37-year-old. Anna says she cleans an open but almost empty office building in London, as most workers work from home.

Since moving to the UK from Spain in 2013 while searching for jobs, it's a job the Ecuadorean native has done for five years. As she fears repercussions from her boss, according to the reports of CNN is not revealing Anna's real name.

During the pandemic, Anna's employer demanded that she continue to clean the house, but she cut her hours from five to four a day. She receives £10.75 per hour ($14.77).

"I have been forced to go to work in a nonessential building," she told according to the reports of CNN. "There is no one at work, I'm alone."

Anna captured Covid-19 last month. She is unclear where she picked it up from, but she said it was likely "on the bus or on the Underground." She lives in a shared house in south London and says the virus left her tired at first.

"I had a lot of coughs, fever, fatigue... and dizziness," she said. "And I [am taking a long time to recover] because this disease is very painful [and] horrible."

But Anna wanted to go to work after staying home for a few days while she recovered from the illness, as she was still getting partial pay.

UK government regulations state that patients can self-isolate for at least 10 complete days while recovering from Covid-19.

"I only felt tired and [had] a headache," she said. "That is why I went to work -- I also couldn't afford to stay at home because I received a very little salary.

"I feel guilty that I went to work and infected more people, [but] I had no other option."

Violations of self-isolation laws are rampant in the UK. According to Dido Harding, who is in charge of the country's coronavirus Test and Trace program, up to 20,000 people, a day fail to stay home when told to.

"These numbers are moving a lot," Harding told a parliamentary committee this week, adding that there was currently no isolation of "circa 20,000 people a day," Harding said she was still thinking about people who had symptoms but had stopped testing them.

For the British government, a major issue is the lack of compliance.

"My biggest concern is...the people who feel ill but don't come forward for testing at all," Harding said.

Yet specialists say that the image is more complex. The British public strongly supports lockout, according to a YouGov poll published in January. Many that do not follow the law can also not afford to do so.

"There's so much emphasis on people not breaking the rules, but the majority are actually following the rules," says Muge Cevik, a clinical lecturer in infectious diseases and medical virology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Cevik and her colleagues recently published an article in the British Medical Journal urging the government to give self-isolating individuals greater support.

Their paper points to a popular test-and-care model in San Francisco that, among other interventions, helped individuals separate themselves by ensuring home delivery of products. In the report, a similar scheme in New York that allowed individuals to choose to separate themselves in hotels is also picked out for praise.

"In the majority of hospitalizations what we're seeing is that the majority of infections are among key workers," Cevik told according to the reports of CNN.

"We're seeing huge outbreaks in warehouses, meat-packing plants, care homes ... the only thing that combines these sectors are low-paid workers, likely to live in crowded houses."

A new package to help those in self-isolation was rolled out by the UK government in September 2020. If they risk losing wages, lower revenue earners who have to stay home could be entitled to a reward of £ 500. The penalty has also risen for those violating lockdowns, with those caught now facing penalties of £ 1,000 ($ 1,370).

"This new Test and Trace Support payment of £500 will ensure that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances," the UK government said in a statement in September.

But the payment of £ 500 comes with strict requirements—in order for citizens to be eligible, some form of UK government aid, such as universal credit, working tax credit or housing benefit, must already be obtained. A study released by the Trades Union Congress earlier this week found that less than 40 percent of applicants for the grant were successful.

During her committee appearance, Harding admitted that a lack of financial support was one reason people failed to separate themselves.

Cevik and her colleagues agree more needs to be done, including providing the ability to self-isolate in separate accommodation to those in crowded homes, to curb the spread of the virus.

"If someone has tested positive, [then] at the time of testing, we could be asking them 'do you have space to isolate? And do you get sick leave?'" she says.

"These [resources] need to come as a package -- income relief, sick leave [and] accommodation is needed."

Anna says she would "of course" have stayed home if she had been given more support.

"I would have stayed home from the first day," she told according to the reports of CNN. "I felt bad, but ... low-wage workers had no choice."

"I don't blame people who are desperate, and [make that choice to work]," says Yaseen Aslam, president of the ACDU, a union representing private hire and courier drivers in Britain.

"I know a driver who had to isolate four times in two months, How does that work?" Aslam told according to the reports of CNN.

"The problem is, drivers are making at the moment £35 or £50 daily," he adds. "The £500 [payment], yeah that's good but the drivers are desperate.

"And when you're in a desperate situation, you take risks. People are choosing between their life and just being out there."

As suggested by government guidelines, Uber, among other businesses, has piloted a scheme to help protect drivers and passengers by installing partitions in 400 vehicles. The pilot scheme was carried out throughout Newcastle, Sunderland, and Durham, in northern England, in conjunction with the motoring assistance association, the AA. But drivers must consider, outside of the system, whether to pay to mount the displays.

But one driver, who asked not to be identified because he feared his employer's retaliation, said that the screens were not installed by him and his peers as they simply could not afford to.

"This is a pandemic," the man, who says he works as a driver in London, said. "It's not going to last forever -- why should I put that in if it's not going to last forever?"

Aslam also partners with an association that brings together private hire drivers worldwide, the Multinational Alliance of App-Based Transport Employees."I work with drivers in France, Amsterdam, San Francisco [and so on,]" he said. "We're seeing these problems across the world. But no one is trying to help us." An explosion of frustration against lockdowns was marked across Europe at the beginning of 2021, with demonstrations being held throughout Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands. In late January, the Dutch protests lasted for a couple of nights and turned violent.

In the UK, anti-lockdown demonstrators have also taken to the streets, most notably in several November 2020 protests. During the marches, in which some protestors spread conspiracy theories about Covid-19, hundreds of people were arrested.

"If people feel vulnerable, then they will comply with lockdown rules," Pamela Briggs, a professor of applied psychology at Northumbria University, told CNN. "For those who feel less vulnerable, then compliance becomes more of a matter of civic duty.

"If you're going to make sacrifices then you have to believe they'll be effective," she adds. "The problem comes when people can't understand why they are being asked to do these things... if people feel the rules don't make sense, they're more likely to challenge them."

Briggs believes that people ought to believe that remaining at home is worth the personal expense of their sacrifice. The three lockdowns in the UK have, to varying degrees, helped curb rising incidents."We could make people feel that their sacrifices are genuinely having an effect," Briggs said.

"There are ways to demonstrate the efficacy of lockdown and more should be done."

One year after the Covid crisis, lockdowns continue to be used as a last resort by the UK government. On the horizon, some positive news awaits — cases are starting to drop and the country's rollout of vaccinations has been widely lauded. What officials now face is the difficulty, in the face of immense mental and financial exhaustion, of helping people stay home.

Sources - CNN News

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