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‘Pingdemic’ forces petrol stations and supermarkets to close amid staff shortages

by LLB staff reporter
22nd Jul 21 8:53 am

The NHS Test and Trace system has caused a “pingdemic” with hundreds of thousands of workers off work across England.

Petrol stations and supermarkets are having to close amid staff shortages, Iceland has more than 1,000 staff off work.

Supermarkets are struggling to keep their shelves full as Marks and Spencer has warned 20% of their workforce will be in isolation by mid-August and their opening hours will be reduced.

BP has had to close petrol stations due to a shortage of fuel due to delivery drivers being pinged by the app to self-isolate.

As result of shortages Iceland boss Richard Walker is urging customers not to panic buy, as not everywhere has been affected as badly.

He told BBC Radio 4, “There is certainly no problem with supply of stock and there’s absolutely no need for people to panic buy.

“We certainly don’t want to go back to the dark days of April 2020, because panic buying is only an option for those who can afford it, and it often means that others go without.

“Our supply chains are resilient. Yes we do have some availability issues, which are probably as bad as they’ve been over the last year, but there is enough to go around.

“The dramatic pictures that you might have seen in the media are isolated incidents and not widespread.”

British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson warned, “We are already seeing a serious impact on retail operations as a result of staff having to self-isolate and this will only get worse right across the economy, as cases are already rising fast and the final restrictions are eased.”

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