The ‘pingdemic’ of the Covid app is being blamed for supermarket shortages.
Because so many employees are being forced to isolate, shoppers are seeing bare supermarket shelves. As a result of the so-called “pingdemic,” food supply chains are “beginning to break,” industry leaders warned Tuesday.
Boris Johnson expressed regret to businesses for the inconvenience. He stressed, though, that the test-and-trace app, which informs users when they come into touch with a Covid case, is an important tool in the virus’s fight. As shoppers shared photographs of empty shelves in supermarkets around the country, business leaders requested immediate action to prevent more supply disruptions.
Staff in stores and suppliers should be able to work even if they receive a self-isolation notice, according to the British Retail Consortium.
“The prolonged pingdemic is putting greater pressure on businesses’ ability to maintain opening hours and keep shelves stocked,” said Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability. The government must act quickly.
“To guarantee that the public’s capacity to receive food and other items is not disrupted, retail employees and suppliers, who have played a critical role throughout this pandemic, should be allowed to work if they are double-vaccinated or can show a negative Covid test.
“As the number of community cases rises, the number of healthy retail employees who must self-isolate is rapidly increasing, disturbing retail operations.”
The growing lorry driver shortage in the United Kingdom is putting additional strain on the country’s supermarket supply chain.
According to Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors’ Association, up to 10% of their workers had been notified by the app.
“We’ve managed to keep the food supply system functioning until now,” he said, “but there’s a sense that we’re starting to collapse on that front.”
He bemoaned the fact that a government exemption from isolation for a tiny number of double-jabbed important workers was for “very, very few people.”
Staff shortages have hampered emergency services, public transportation, and postal deliveries in recent days.
The Prime Minister insists that isolation regulations will be enforced until August 16, when a testing regime will take the place of the necessity to confine fully vaccinated people.
Anyone contacted by the NHS Test-and-Trace team is compelled by law to isolate, while those reached by the app are not.
After being tagged last weekend, Mr Johnson is still working from Chequers. “I apologise to everyone in business up and.”Brinkwire Summary News,” he told MPs yesterday.