Sumary of Limited number of critical workers to be allowed to avoid self-isolation:
- Workers from 16 key services including health, transport and energy will not have to isolate after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, as it was revealed that more than 600,000 people in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts last week.
- The raft of changes, after days of frantic talks with industry leaders, came amid open Conservative revolt over the so-called “pingdemic” with the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt warning the government that it was facing a crisis of public trust in the system.
- Separate arrangements are in place for frontline health and care staff.
- ”Once approved, workers contacted by test and trace or the NHS app would be exempt from isolating if they have been double vaccinated – though they will need a negative PCR test and must do daily lateral flow tests for 10 days.
- Alongside health and medical suppliers, essential transport and the energy industry, services including border control, telecoms and the emergency services will also be able to seek exemptions.
- On Thursday, the Co-op said it was taking on 3,000 temporary staff to help cover absences at its grocery stores and warehouses caused by the rise in Covid cases, as the Pret a Manger coffee shop chain said it had to close 17 outlets temporarily and the Milk &
- The Co-op said it was taking on more workers as it was experiencing “patchy disruption” partly caused by the NHS app.
- In an attempt to allay concerns and put the government back on the front foot after images of empty supermarket shelves spread, the environment secretary, George Eustice, held a hurriedly arranged call with retail bosses late on Thursday to set out how ministers would respond to staff shortages.