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09th Nov 2020

People isolating should get free access to video games, say government advisors

Wil Jones

The suggestion comes from a SAGE report

Young people who have been told to isolate during the coronavirus pandemic should be given free access to streaming and video games, says a UK government thinktank.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has published a new report on how to encourage young people to follow the rules during the pandemic, and they identify that those isolating need “good financial and other support”.

The report says that “young people asked to isolate or stay at home should be provided with good financial and other support e.g. free mobile phone data, streaming and gaming.”

“Young people are more oriented towards immediate experiences and rewards than long term consequences,” say SAGE, adding that “interventions should provide short-term rewards for adherence.”

It makes sense. Being stuck at home with a potentially life-threatening virus, and not being able to interact with friends is incredibly stressful. And offering people free entertainment could definitely be a small way of helping them through it.

The report obviously does not just focus on video games. Other suggestions include offering better financial support to those isolating who are not receiving sick pay, and providing free face coverings to young people.

It also suggests that mobile phone data should be provided for free, allowing young people to keep in contact with friends and family on social media.

England is currently under a second lockdown, but in Scotland people are told to self-isolate if they come in contact with the virus.

The website states: “If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. This is because if you have the virus, it may take up to 14 days for it to develop into an illness.”

People entering the UK from a country not on the travel corridor list are also required to self-isolate for 14 days.