Long Covid Support have written an open letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay. We are asking him to ensure that effective Ventilation is available in all public spaces. 

You can read the letter in full here.

The UK Is Running Out Of Clean Air  

  • A hard-hitting open letter was sent on January 30th to Health Secretary, Stephen Barclay MP from over 20 UK charities and agencies, including, Long Covid Support, Long Covid Kids and Long Covid SOS calling  for a Public Space Ventilation Bill
  • We are urging the UK Government to follow other nations who are regulating and instigating clean air policies involving ventilation and filtration, including Belgium, France, Latvia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, USA and Australia
  • The Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill, (aka Ella’s Law) is currently passing through Parliament; the Government can still include an amendment to include airborne pathogens
  • It has been estimated that the government would free up billions annually and trillions this century, by installing effective ventilation, filtration and sterilisation systems
  • Experts believe such an initiative would bring an end to Covid-19 and mitigate future global pandemics

As Covid-19 continues to kill and disable huge numbers of people in the UK and globally, the agencies, organisations and charities have highlighted to the Government that airborne pathogens should be specifically named as a biogenic pollutant in Schedule 2 of the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill 2022-23.

We are requesting that every public space, especially vulnerable communities and high risk environments such as schools and health and social care settings, upgrade their current ventilation and air filtration units and install visible CO2 monitors. We are also asking for a regulated max CO2 level of 800 ppm and an open access online monitoring system with a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) score. In addition, Government ventilation grants for indoor public spaces should be created.

Unlock £3bn annually

Should the Government invest in the proposed programme, then it has been estimated that more than trillions of pounds could be saved this century. Seasonal viruses incur costs of £8bn annually on the economy and pandemic viruses incur up to £23bn. Therefore, improved ventilation systems which suppress airborne infection would unlock an estimated £3bn of public funds, annually.

A Royal Academy of Engineering report commissioned by the Government's Chief Scientific Officer, Sir Patrick Vallance, calculated that failure to act on indoor infection control could cost the UK a total of £1.3 trillion over the next 60 years.

What the experts say

MIT nuclear engineer Charles Forsberg: “History shows that most diseases are stopped by shutting down disease transmission…the most enduring way to stop transmission is via engineered health systems.”

Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer: "Engineering interventions, such as effective ventilation indoors, can help to reduce transmission of many infections in places of work, study, at home, and on public transport.”

Royal Academy of Engineering: “It is critical to improve the infection resilience of the UK’s built environment and transportation systems.”

Claire Higham, Long Covid Support: “Anybody’s life can be affected by Covid. It’s the mark of a civilised society that we care for all. This means applying the technology we have to ensure Covid-safe air.”

Sammie McFarland, founder of Long Covid Kids: “We don’t let children drink dirty water and they shouldn’t breathe dirty air. We all have a responsibility to safeguard the future health of the next generation.”

Helen Lunt Davies, of Long Covid SOS: “Living with Covid is unsustainable with the Current level of infections and the numbers developing Long Covid. This situation is intolerable for people who are vulnerable and need to avoid infection. We must reduce community transmission to an acceptable level and the highest priority is indoor air quality. There is no downside to clean air, it will benefit everyone and reduce other pollutants, viral or environmental.”

We Need Your Help

What can you do as an organisation?

Sign and share the open letter

View organisations that have signed already

What can you do as an individual?

Sign & share the petition

Write to your MP. Find their details here. A personalised email is more effective but please use our template if needed.

Follow us on twitter and tag your MP. Tell them why Ventilation is important for you.

Help others find support

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