The government of the United Kingdom has stated that it will relax COVID-19 quarantine restrictions for thousands more essential workers to alleviate worker shortages that are stifling the economy. If they contacted someone who has tested positive for the virus, most Britons are advised to self-isolate for ten days.
Staffing shortages in restaurants and other companies have resulted from the self-isolation method. With tens of thousands of new viral cases being reported every day in the UK, the system has resulted in a so-called "pingdemic," in which staff absence rates for restaurants and a wide range of other companies have skyrocketed, and gaps on some grocery shelves have emerged.
UK administration eases COVID-19 restrictions to essential workers
Instead of self-isolating, everyone who has been completely vaccinated will be allowed to take daily coronavirus tests starting August 16. However, many firms are pressing for the shift to occur sooner rather than later, Al Jazeera English through MSN reported.
Last week, the government said that food and transportation workers, border guards, police, and firefighters might opt-out of the daily testing. It expanded the system late Monday to cover other jobs, including sanitation workers and prison employees, as well as members of the military forces.
To accommodate the increasing demand for tests, the government announced that 2,000 locations would be established. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had to self-isolate after Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive earlier this month, is one of those who has been "pinged" by the app.
Per Newsweek via MSN, despite many weeks of growing infections caused by the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, Britain lifted most remaining pandemic restrictions on July 19, including mandatory mask requirements and capacity limits.
Despite this easing, cases have dropped for six days in a row, with Monday's total of 24,950 confirmed infections down more than a third from a week ago. According to scientists, the drop might be due to the end of the Euro 2020 soccer competition, which drew large audiences to games, pubs, and parties, as well as the recent end of the school year for most students.
In addition, 70 percent of people in the United Kingdom have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccination. However, officials warn the impact of the lifting of limitations on July 19 has yet to be reflected in figures. "It is very, very important that we don't allow ourselves to run away with premature conclusions," Johnson said about the infection rate.
Tesco to give a bonus to new workers
Meanwhile, Tesco PLC is giving a $1,386.65 joining bonus to lorry drivers who join by the end of September, citing workforce shortages in the UK supermarket industry, London South East reported. The reward, which is valid for new hires who start between July 14 and September 30, may be discovered on the food retailer's website in other advertising for HGV driver positions.
Following photos of half-empty shelves and claims of temporary shortages, retailers were forced to reassure consumers that there was no need to panic-buy last week.
The scenario was blamed on a "perfect storm" of exacerbating circumstances, including self-isolating workers and previous staff shortages. Last week, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned that workforce shortages were placing a growing strain on businesses' capacity to maintain operating hours and keep shelves supplied due to high numbers of workers self-isolating after being alerted by the NHS COVID-19 app.
Meanwhile, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has said that it believes there is a shortage of 60,000 haulage drivers in the UK, following the cancellation of 30,000 HGV driving exams due to the coronavirus pandemic last year.
The scarcity, according to hauliers, is due to a high number of drivers being foreign nationals who had returned to the EU, as well as truck drivers not being featured on the government's list of skilled labor, leaving new competitors in need of immigration papers. Tesco previously promised consumers that there would be enough food, and all supermarkets advised people to shop as normal.