Supermarket staff may be exempt from Covid-19 ‘ping’

Supermarket workers could be exempted from self-isolating if they are “pinged” by the NHS coronavirus app.

It comes as industry leaders claimed the government had created a “pingdemic” which had brought the economy to “breaking point”.

Downing Street said that essential retail workers with both vaccinations are among those who could ignore instructions to stay at home.

Healthcare, utility, transport, border and nuclear power station staff are also on the potential list.

READ MORE: ‘Pingdemic’ could close supermarkets, warn bosses

Employers will be expected to contact government departments for exemptions.

The move had been scheduled for mid-August, but the announcement suggests No.10 hopes to bring this forward.

It is likely that staff will need to have a negative Covid-19 test before heading into work.

On Sunday, Marks and Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe claimed the supermarket’s soaring numbers of self-isolating workers could mean stores closing early.

“Our Covid cases are roughly doubling every week and the pinging level is about three to one of Covid cases, so we’re seeing that growing exponentially,” he said.

Some sources believe the worst-hit shops have around 20 per cent of their staff self-isolating.

Supermarkets

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