Today all restrictions end under Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown to reopen the economy, and the government are under pressure from businesses and unions as “Freedom Day” will easily turn into “Chaos Day.”
There are fears that a “hundreds of thousands of workers will be pinged” by the NHS Test and Trace app causing transport issues along with unions warning of food shortages in supermakets and factories possibly having to close.
Many are calling “Freedom Day” “Pingdemic Day” and the CBI are calling on the government to allow those who have been double jabbed not to self-isolate for 10 days.
CBI president Lord Karan Bilimoria said, “With restrictions being lifted and cases rapidly increasing, we urgently need a surefooted approach from government, creating confidence to secure the recovery.
“This starts by immediately ending the self-isolation period of 10 days for people who are double-jabbed and providing a route out of isolation for those not yet fully vaccinated through daily lateral flow tests.
“Against the backdrop of crippling staff shortages, speed is of the essence.
“Mask wearing in enclosed spaces, especially transport, will help create confidence for both staff and customers, as will clarity around the future availability of free testing for employees.”
Dr Roger Barker, policy director of the Institute of Directors, said, “Yet again the reopening of the economy is being impeded by poor communication and mixed messages.
“The latest guidance for businesses clearly states that, by law, businesses must not allow a self-isolating worker to come to work, but, at the same time, ministers are briefing the media that the app is merely advisory.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said, “The Government cannot watch from the sidelines as Covid runs riot.
“Ministers must urgently make wearing a mask a legal requirement on public transport and in shops, and they must toughen their vague and inadequate back-to-work guidance so workers have confidence their workplaces are safe.
“The chaos and confusion of the last few days will only grow without clear and consistent rules.
“It is reckless to gamble the safety of key workers, from bus drivers to supermarket staff, on individuals’ sense of personal responsibility.
“If we want to stop Covid ripping through workplaces, people must be supported to self-isolate.
“That means providing decent sick pay to the level of the real Living Wage and making sure everyone can get it.
“With hundreds of thousands of workers being pinged every week this is more urgent than ever.”