in

Iceland boss says he suspects his supermarket staff are DELETING Covid app


Supermarket workers are deleting the NHS Covid app ‘en masse’ after being left off the government’s exemption list, an Iceland chief has warned.

The frozen food giant’s managing director Richard Walker said staff were trying to avoid being ‘pinged’ to self-isolate by removing it from their phones.

He said he did not condone the move but added: ‘To be honest, who can blame them?’

It comes after the exemption list of those who do not have to quarantine if they are pinged by the app was extended.

Binmen, vets and prison officers were among the workers who qualify for the daily testing scheme instead – but supermarket workers were left off.

Meanwhile ministers were under pressure to reveal how many of the 2,000 testing sites they have promised for critical workers.

The frozen food giant's managing director Richard Walker (pictured) said staff were trying to avoid being 'pinged' to self-isolate by removing it from their phones

The frozen food giant’s managing director Richard Walker (pictured) said staff were trying to avoid being ‘pinged’ to self-isolate by removing it from their phones

He said he did not condone the move but added: 'To be honest, who can blame them?' Pictured: File photo of an empty store last week

He said he did not condone the move but added: ‘To be honest, who can blame them?’ Pictured: File photo of an empty store last week

It comes after the exemption list of those who do not have to quarantine if they are pinged by the app was extended (file photo)

It comes after the exemption list of those who do not have to quarantine if they are pinged by the app was extended (file photo)

SECTORS ELIGIBLE TO TAKE DAILY TESTS AND NOT HAVE TO ISOLATE

The Government announced that some fully vaccinated staff in some critical sectors would be exempt from having to self-isolate if they are ‘pinged’.  

People working in those sectors will be subject to daily Covid-19 testing instead, allowing them to keep working.  

The list of sectors now includes:  

  • The food industry
  • Transport workers
  • Border Force staff
  • Frontline police 
  • Fire services
  • Prisons
  • Defence 
  • Waste collection
  • Energy
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecoms
  • Chemicals
  • Communications
  • Water
  • Space
  • Fish
  • Veterinary medicine 
  • HMRC

Mr Walker told the Today programme: ‘Last week I was talking about a 50 per cent week on week increase, it was quite an alarming extrapolation if you looked at where it was heading.

‘It’s started to steady and actually the last couple of days day on day the pinging has started to drop.

‘Now our staff are law abiding citizens but with all of their sick pay used up with peak holiday season it feels to me like potentially they’re starting to delete the app on mass that they weren’t previously doing.

‘And to be honest who can blame them.

‘I’m not condoning it but I can understand why they are doing it and this is not law this is government guidelines but it has to be pragmatic and our staff are working so hard and have been nothing short of heroic throughout this pandemic.’

He said stores were facing the ‘perfect storm’ due to the pingdemic, peak holiday season for workers and a shortage of HGV drivers.

Mr Walker continued: ‘Supermarket workers are still not exempt it’s only depot and factory workers so it only fixes half the supply chain issue therefore it is a pointless solution.

‘There’s plenty of stock to go around, we’ve still got deliveries available but our staff are having to work really hard to keep the show on the road.

‘In many ways we’re now facing the perfect storm.

‘We have the pingdemic which is still affecting stores and suppliers for now, we’re in peak holiday season because everyone deserves a break having worked on the frontline for the last 18 months.

‘And of course we have this HGV driver shortage issue which is about our overly onerous quarantine rules. So everything has started to come at once.’

The government expanded the list of jobs that were exempt from self-isolation if pinged to include industries such as binmen, vets and prison officers on Monday.

Government guidance says close contacts of people who test positive for Covid are strongly advised to self-isolate for 10 days.

This unless they can take part in a daily Covid tests to confirm that they too are not infected.

The Government announced last week some fully vaccinated staff in critical sectors would be exempt from having to self-isolate if they are ‘pinged’.

Those people will be subject to daily Covid-19 testing instead, allowing them to continue to go to work. 

The Ministry of Health confirmed an expansion of sectors that can take daily tests instead of isolating on Monday.

A statement said: ‘In addition to critical staff working in prisons, defence and waste collection, people working in energy, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, chemicals, communications, water, space, fish, veterinary medicine and HMRC will also be prioritised for the 1,200 new daily contact testing sites.

The hospitality sector was not included in the expansion, meaning staff who are ”pinged” will still have to quarantine.

 

The Government is rolling out testing capability to hundreds of sites to help ensure critical sectors can continue to function

The Government is rolling out testing capability to hundreds of sites to help ensure critical sectors can continue to function

Ministers are also under pressure to reveal how many of the 2,000 testing sites they have promised for critical workers are now up and running.

The Government on Monday announced an extra 1,200 daily contact testing sites for key workers like prison staff, waste collectors and defence personnel.

That is on top of the 800 sites pledged last week for the food industry, transport workers and the emergency services.

But it remains unclear how many of the facilities are operational after reports yesterday that just 25 of 500 sites for food distribution workers were ready.

Downing Street unable to say how many of the facilities were live when approached by MailOnline.

MailOnline also contacted the Department of Health for an update but is yet to receive a response.

It emerged the beleaguered NHS Test and Trace is helping to set up the sites in the hope they will be ready this week.

It comes amid mounting concerns over the complexity of the exemption scheme so people can continue to go to work.

Business chiefs labelled the government’s handling of the ‘pingdemic’ an ‘incoherent mess’ and warned there could be food shortages due to staff absences.

Bar, pub and restaurant workers are still subject to the stay-at-home requirement if they are ‘pinged’ as a close contact of a positive coronavirus case.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said the Government is having to ‘balance’ the needs of critical sectors with stopping the spread of the disease. 

He urged people to wait for August 16 which is when the self-isolation requirement for the double-jabbed is due to be ditched. 



Source link

Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Photo of crowds storming an Aldi for the ‘special buys’ in Sydney’s Covid-hit west sparks backlash

Teenage inmates subjected to abuse at Don Dale detention centre given $35million