Janet Street-Porter has suggested that if people have Covid-19 but have ‘mild symptoms’ or don’t ‘feel infectious’, they should still go to work now, prompting criticism from several viewers on Twitter.
From February 24 this year, the coronavirus rules in England changed so that if someone were to test positive, they are no longer ‘legally required to self-isolate’.
On the government’s website, it advises that if someone contracts the virus, they should ‘stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people’.
However, given the rule change, whether or not people should or shouldn’t self-isolate if they now catch Covid has become a topic of debate across the country, as well as on Loose Women.
On Wednesday’s edition of the ITV programme, the panel discussed the case of a woman who shamed her neighbour for going to work despite having the virus.
When Janet’s turn to speak came, she expressed her belief that it’s ‘up to everybody to decide to take personal responsibility’.
‘If you’re in a job where it’s not very risky and you’re not working in close contact with other people and your symptoms are really mild, well why shouldn’t you go to work?’ she said.
‘I think we’ve got to face the reality that this version of Covid is not very severe, it’s not much different to a bad cold or a slight flu and you have to decide whether you feel infectious. Are you sneezing, are you coughing? If you’re not, and you feel you can do your job, then go to work.’
The broadcaster stated that if a person does test positive, then they are ‘going to build up antibodies’, adding: ‘The only way the whole population is going to be able to function as normal is if they go back to work if they’re not feeling too ill.’
Several viewers took to Twitter to voice their disagreement with Janet’s point of view, with one describing the decision to go into work with Covid as ‘immoral’.
‘Currently in bed with this. It’s the knock on impact on others that is important. Absolute rubbish you are speaking,’ another said.
Linda Robson admitted that she wouldn’t come into work if she caught Covid due to the number of people she would cross paths with, including elderly individuals, people in security, make-up and the wardrobe department.
She also revealed that her son, musician Louis Dunford, was devastated not to be able to attend the funeral of late music pioneer Jamal Edwards recently when he tested positive.
Stacey Solomon pointed out that for some, they may not have a choice as to whether they can stay at home if they contract the virus.
She outlined how some employers are saying that people still need to come to work, and so there are members of the public who can’t afford to stay home if they become unwell.
‘I just think it’s something we’re all going to have to live with for the next few years,’ Linda remarked.
Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.