Tuesday 18 May 2021
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theguardian - 29 days ago

Did ‘eat out to help out’ cost lives? – podcast

Last August, Bob Pape and his family went on a city break to Birmingham, making the most of the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘eat out to help out’ scheme. The day after he arrived home, his Covid symptoms began. Guardian writer Sirin Kale looks at the links between the scheme and the rise in Covid numbersLike millions of people, Bob Pape and his family took advantage of the government’s “eat out to help out” scheme last August. They took a mini-break to Birmingham and ate at a handful of restaurants. Upon his return, Pape fell ill, was put on a ventilator, and died a few weeks later. As part of her Lost to the Virus series, the Guardian writer Sirin Kale wrote about Pape and his family, and reports here on the story of their ill-fated holiday. She talks to Rachel Humphreys about the links between EOTHO and rises in Covid cases, telling her about her conversation with the University of Warwick economist Thiemo Fetzer. He has published a paper analysing the impact of EOTHO on Covid infections. Fetzer found that areas with higher take-up of the scheme experienced an increase in Covid infection rates, with between 8% and 17% of new Covid infection clusters attributable to EOTHO.

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