REUTERS/Toby Melville

Only one person in five in Britain with Covid-19 symptoms has sought or would seek a test, according to a study which found a link between people on low pay and poor adherence to the government’s rules.

Eighteen percent of participants in the study published in the British Medical Journal said they got or would get a test after showing symptoms and 42.5 per cent would fully adhere to isolation rules, according to the study.

“This is such an important part of any government’s pandemic control measures,” one of the reports authors – Susan Michie, a University College London health psychology professor – told BBC Radio.

“I think given that new cases a day are stuck at around 4,000 this is a … real area where we could begin to make progress.”

Michie said people told researchers they did not isolate because they needed to leave home for provisions or caring responsibilities or to go to work, often in low-paid jobs.

The survey was based on responses from 53,880 people – some of whom had contracted Covid-19 – between March 2 last year and January 27 in 2021.

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