Food workers to be exempt from Covid app isolation rules
THOUSANDS of workers in the food industry will be exempt from isolating if they are ‘pinged’ by the Covid-19 app, amid food supply concerns.
Up to 10,000 supermarket depot workers and food manufacturers across the country will be exempt from quarantine rules by taking daily tests instead.
It comes as supermarkets said the supply of some products had been hit by the ‘pingdemic’ keeping staff away from work, as a record number 618,903 people were told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid app in England and Wales over the course of a week.
In Portsmouth a total of 3,261 residents received the notification on their phones in the week up to July 14 – a 33.6 per cent increase on the previous week when 2,440 had the message.
The government said workers could do daily Covid testing instead of isolating.
The new daily contact testing measures will start at 15 supermarket depots, followed by 150 depots next week, but it will not apply to supermarket store staff.
Depot workers who are alerted by the app or contacted by NHS Test and Trace will be able to continue working if they test negative, whether or not they are vaccinated.
Meanwhile, other key industries in England will also be allowed to deploy daily Covid testing instead of self-isolation for a number of essential workers – who are full vaccinated.
This scheme covers sectors including transport, emergency services, border control, energy, digital infrastructure, waste, the water industry, essential defence outputs and local government.