“Supermarket empty shelves,” the headlines roar in the UK. There have been serious staff shortages in a variety of sectors for weeks due to a wave of quarantines, but now the problem is also affecting supermarkets. The British government is calling on people not to hoard.
Its the pingdemic. The “ping” represents the notification you get from the corona app, if youve been in touch with someone who has tested positive. If you receive such a notification, you are urgently advised to go into quarantine for ten days. Meanwhile, more than half a million people a week receive such a report, which means they cant go to work.
fact that British get pinged is due to the high number of infections in the UK. With around 45,000 infections a day, many Britons come into contact with the virus. There are virtually no more corona measures since Monday. However, the high rate of vaccination helps to keep hospital admissions and deaths relatively low.
Its not just the supermarkets that have a hard time; the entire British economy sighs under workforce shortages. In dozens of municipalities, there are problems with garbage collection, as employees must stay at home. The meat processing industrys association of interest warns that they are struggling to keep the chain running. “The place is going to burst here,” says the head of the association, Nick Allen.
In the healthcare sector, too, many people are in quarantine. Corona related sickness absenteeism among doctors and nurses has risen by nearly 60 percent, the sector reported. At the Iceland Foods supermarket chain, more than a thousand employees — about 3 percent of total staff — are in quarantine, which has forced the chain to close a number of stores.
There are no trains running between London and Northampton this weekend, as there are not enough staff available.
Last Monday, it was time for step 4 of the opening plan in England, which was renamed Freedom Day. Thats how it was celebrated in London:
It puts great pressure on the government of Boris Johnson, who, yesterday, from the address where he is quarantined after a ping, apologized to the affected sectors. Opposition leader Keir Starmer joked during the Weekly Question Time in Westminster that the country is heading for a summer of chaos – rather than the famous summer of love in 1967.
However, quarantine rules remain unchanged until 16 August, according to the UK government. “The app is an important weapon in the fight against the virus,” Johnson stressed yesterday.
There are also stories of people who get a ping while a wall separated them from their positively tested neighbors. However, plans to adjust the apps sensitivity will not be executed in a few weeks, the government announced. According to some messages, a third of users have now removed the app from their phone to prevent ping.