NTIA calls for Gov to reduce Covid isolation period

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Aleviating pressures: NTIA call for reduced isolation period (Getty/simplehappyart)
Aleviating pressures: NTIA call for reduced isolation period (Getty/simplehappyart)

Related tags NTIA Coronavirus Legislation Health and safety Social responsibility

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has called for the Government to consider cutting down the Covid isolation period for hospitality workers, with the industry to examine a ‘Test & Release’ system.

This follows yesterday (Sunday 9 January)’s statement from the secretary of state for education Nadhim Zahawi, who said cutting self-isolation to five days would “certainly help” with staff absences in the workplace. 

He said the Government would follow science but would keep the potential measure under review. 

Covid challenges

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “Since ‘Freedom Day’ we have been plagued with staff and supply chain shortages, further exacerbated by the implementation of new rules due to the Omicron variant, which has since compromised our trading levels, service, and generated a level of anxiety within the workforce and in some cases compromised public safety”. 

Rules on self-isolation for people in England infected with Covid changed last month, dropping from 10 days quarantine to seven, if they tested negative on days six and seven. 

“We are asking the Government to consider the pressures on the workforce, not only as employers, but as employees trying to survive”, Kill said. 

The current isolation policy, although reduced to seven days, is still resulting in considerable losses in staff numbers to illness and isolation, which places pressure on the supply chain and workforce, causing limitations in trading capacity. 

Struggle for survival

For Kill, particular focus should be on the impact on wellbeing and the potential job losses if the sector collapses, as one of the biggest employers of 18 to 30-year-olds within the UK.  

“There is an accumulation of lost trade, workforce and supply chain isolation challenges, continual uncertainty, without consideration for people's livelihoods and proportionate support,” said Kill. 

He added: “We are already seeing an unprecedented level of the workforce and businesses struggling to survive. May I remind the Government that jobs will be lost, if businesses do not survive”. 

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