Businesses have continued to call for reform of self-isolation rules, with Nick Mackenzie. chief executive of pub chain Greene King, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This is a problem and I think it could get worse. It is disruptive to the business.
“We had to close, in the last seven days, 33 pubs due to lack of staff because of self-isolation.
“Across the industry we think it is about one in five of our team members who have been affected by this and therefore it is causing a real issue for us setting up business on a daily basis – we’re having to have shortened hours in some circumstances.”
Mr Mackenzie, whose group runs 2,500 pubs, hotels and restaurants across the UK, called on the Government to expand its test and release scheme to allow staff who test negative for coronavirus to return to work after being “pinged”.
Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of PureGym, told the programme: “We’ve been talking for a while internally about living in the ‘United Pingdom’ and it has become a huge challenge for individuals and businesses.
“Up to 25%, in some areas, of our staff have been asked to self-isolate – we’ve been able, through flexibility and sharing of labour, to keep sites open so far but it has been a very close call in certain circumstances, and I would echo that I think there is a different way of reacting to the pings for vaccinated people and using lateral flow tests that would help industries of all sorts a great deal and keep the economy functioning.”