UKH calls for more ‘pragmatic solution’ to Covid-19 staff isolation crisis

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Trade body voice: 'The sector will do all it can to provide great service, but it will be with one hand tied behind our back,' says UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls
Trade body voice: 'The sector will do all it can to provide great service, but it will be with one hand tied behind our back,' says UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls

Related tags: ukhospitality, Kate nicholls, Health and safety, Government

Trade association UKHospitality (UKH) has called for the Government to offer a ‘pragmatic solution’ to help the sector tackle the issues around self-isolation.

Last week (Thursday 22 July), the Government released its list of industries that would be exempt from Covid-19 isolation rules and would be able to join the daily workplace test scheme.

The industries including food production, transport, supermarket depots and emergency services such as police, fire and border force are able to join the scheme, which will see staff taking daily tests instead of being forced into self-isolation.

Facing the consequences

Growing numbers of people have been told to self-isolate after being caught in the so-called ‘pingdemic’ by the NHS Test and Trace app. This is causing staffing issues across many sectors including the pub and hospitality market.

However, the list did not include hospitality workers.

“It is disappointing the Government has drawn the list of roles so tightly and left hospitality and the rest of the economy to face the consequences. We now face a summer of venue closures and reduced service, when we should be at a seasonal peak. The sector will do all it can to provide great service, but it will be with one hand tied behind our back,” said UKH CEO Kate Nicholls.

Pragmatic solution needed

She added: “We all want to stop the spread of the virus, but we need a more pragmatic solution from Government. Those who are fully vaccinated should be able to test after a ping and, subject to a negative result, carry on with their lives. For those not fully vaccinated two negative tests should be sufficient to return to work.”

The news comes as the founder and executive chairman of Oakman Inns Peter Borg-Neal said he was concerned that vaccine entry requirements could be extended to pubs and restaurants. He slammed blanket policies and lack of clarity from Government and called for a move to a policy of risk assessments.

Related topics: Health & safety

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