Bursting with joy and hugs in crowded nightclubs. Last Monday, Britons celebrated the end of health restrictions in the country – also known as “Freedom Day”. But many were again denied exit. If the delta variable spread puts Britons to the test again – the country records an average of 40,000 infections a day – a new epidemic has been created: the number of people forced into isolation. A phenomenon that has grown in recent days to the point that the media has found a name for it: the “epidemic”.
In this file we find the term ‘ping’ – either the sound of a notification and ‘demic’, or the end of the word ‘pandemic’, or ‘pandemic’ in English, states the regional daily. West of France. About 530,000 people in England and Wales received isolation alerts through the NHS Covid-19 tracking app during the first week of July, advising them to self-isolate for up to ten days, according to British daily reports. Watchman. A figure up 46% from the previous week. Those affected are alerted via a notification from the UK Health Services smartphone app. And in recent weeks, those alerts have multiplied.
In total, 1.73 million Britons have been called to self-isolate for ten days – including Prime Minister Boris Johnson. That’s a significant proportion in this country of over 67 million people. The British daily adds that schools are also empty at the end of the school year: More than a million children in England were out of school for Covid-related reasons in the week of 12-16 July, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Education. This “epidemiological” phenomenon may well be gaining momentum. A BBC analysis earlier this month suggested 4.5 million people could be required to self-isolate by August 16, after which fully vaccinated people would not be required to self-isolate.
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If a part of the population is called to self-isolate, who is left to keep the country going? In fact, thousands of employees do not have the opportunity to go to their workplaces. Consequences: UK business lobby group CBI has warned that a “crippling staff shortage” could hamper economic recovery. Bars, supermarkets, even car factories… are involved in all sectors. The Meat Producers and Transporters Association reported a workforce shortage. As in the case of supermarkets, the Iceland chain was even forced to close some of its stores in the country after 1,000 employees were encouraged to self-isolate. BBC, British Broadcasting Corporation.
“In fact, we have just announced the hiring of an additional 2,000 people,” its boss, Malcolm Walker, told the BBC. Same story with PureGym CEO Humphrey Cobold, who has managed to keep his gyms open despite a declining workforce: “In some areas, up to 25% of our employees have been asked to self-isolate,” he said, still on the move. BBC . The “pandemic” is a real headache for private companies, but also for public services. On British streets, waste collection tours had to be postponed due to staff shortages.
Lifting the obligation to self-isolate from some workers
Faced with these difficulties, the British Executive has promised to exempt some essential workers, such as railway workers, from the obligation to self-isolate for ten days, provided they have received their second dose for at least two weeks or more. They test negative. This has already been the case since Monday for NHS staff “in exceptional circumstances”. Business Minister Kwasi Kwarting told the BBC on Thursday that the list of exempt workers would be published “today” but it would be “very limited”.
This phenomenon could also jeopardize the departure of many Britons on vacation. Some parents who fear their children contracting the Covid-19 virus prefer to keep them at home before the start of the summer period. But another question arises: Are people who receive legal notice forced to self-isolate? In fact, if an individual is legally required to self-isolate for ten days when they test positive, being “pressured” by the NHS enforcement does not entail a legal obligation and is only technically advisory, he asserts. Watchman.
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Even among the executive branch, confusion reigns. On Tuesday, Business Secretary Paul Scully said it was up to individuals to make informed decisions about whether to self-isolate upon notification of the app. But it didn’t take long for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to contradict him on this issue. The latter said it was “very important” to isolate yourself after receiving the notification. In the UK, phones haven’t finished ringing.