Coronavirus UK news – Pingdemic panic buying leaves shelves empty as NHS app forces 618,903 people to isolate last week

SUPERMARKETS say there's just 48 hours to fix the pingdemic or shoppers will face empty shelves, with stores already running out of staples such as beer and bread.

Huge numbers of staff have had to self-isolate after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, which has hit supplies – while The PM again refused to change the app’s system.

The crisis is hitting supermarkets’ opening hours and starting to cause gaps in fresh meat, salad, bottled drinks and freezer sections.

There was a shortage of fresh fruit and veg, fridge food, water, beer and kitchen roll at a Tesco in Cambridge, while nearby Asda ran short of bread and greens.

Figures released on Wednesday revealed how up to a million people — double the week before — have been forced off work.

Read our coronavirus live blog for the very latest updates…

  • [email protected]

    RESPONSE TIMES MAY BE HIT BY STAFF ABSENCE, POLICE CHIEFS WARN

    Police response times are being affected as some forces experience “higher levels of absence”, it has been suggested.

    The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said that in some forces, functions such as control room operations are seeing higher staff absences than the national police absence rate, which is 7.3%.

    This has an impact on a force’s ability to respond quickly to calls from the public, the NPCC said.

    The comments came after one police and crime commissioner warned the public that call response times will rise due to the so-called “pingdemic”.

    Steve Turner of Cleveland Police said the force has had to cancel rest days and annual leave for some officers, as well as bringing in others from different shifts, to fill gaps caused by staff having to self-isolate following close contact with someone with Covid-19.

  • [email protected]

    EXPLAINED: WHERE WILL FACE MASKS STILL BE NEEDED?

    In London, Sadiq Khan has said face masks and coverings will still be compulsory on the capital’s transport network.

    Passengers in bus stations operated by combined authorities West and South Yorkshire, on the North East’s Metro and Greater Manchester’s Metrolink tram services will also be required to wear them under local rules.

    Supermarket chains – including Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – will encourage customers to keep masks on.

  • [email protected]

    DOMINIC CUMMINGS CLAIMS HE TRIED TO OUT BORIS JOHNSON BECAUSE HE ‘DIDN’T HAVE A PLAN’

    Cummings claimed he tried to out the PM because he “didn’t have a plan.”

    He said:“I had a plan, I was trying to get things done, he didn’t have a plan… he didn’t have an agenda, you know the Prime Minister’s only agenda is buy more trains, buy more buses, have more bikes and build the world’s most stupid tunnel to Ireland, that’s it.”

    The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg asked him if it made him a “treacherous” person for plotting against the PM, to which he replied: “In some ways yes.”

  • [email protected]

    EXPLAINED: ESSENTIAL WORKERS WHO CAN AVOID SELF-ISOLATION:

    Double jabbed workers who can avoid self-isolating if pinged:

    • Railway signallers
    • Air traffic controllers
    • NHS staff
    • Care home workers
    • Food production workers
    • Train drivers
    • Medicine manufacturers
    • Border security guards
    • Water and electricity supply workers

    GOVERNMENT NEED TO ACT FAST ON THREAT OF FOOD SHORTAGES

    Andrew Opie, of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The Government needs to act fast.

    “Retail workers and suppliers, who have played a vital role throughout this pandemic, should be allowed to work provided they are double-jabbed or can show a negative Covid test, to ensure there is no disruption to the public’s ability to get food and other goods. With community cases soaring, the number of healthy retail staff ­having to self-isolate is rising fast, disrupting retail operations.”

    Retail bosses say the heatwave and a surge in demand for barbecue food, ice creams, soft drinks, beer and salad have added to the problems.

    Yesterday photos showed empty shelves at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Iceland and Lidl at stores in Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Southampton.

    There was a shortage of fresh fruit and veg, fridge food, water, beer and kitchen roll at a Tesco in Cambridge. A nearby Asda was short of bread and greens.

    CASH BACK

    Millions of Brits forced to self-isolate because of coronavirus can claim £125, Martin Lewis has said.

    Workers can get the money if they are “pinged” by the NHS Covid app and can’t go to their workplace.

    Anyone who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or is self-isolating after being pinged by the NHS app can make a claim, Martin Lewis has explained.

    In his Money Saving Expert newsletter Martin said that HMRC has confirmed to him that claims can be made in these circumstances – not just when your employer tells you to work from home.

    The rules of the scheme say anyone who is required to work from home by their employer can claim tax back of up to £125 a year.

    NO 10 DENIES CUMMINGS’ CLAIM PM WANTED TO SEE THE QUEEN EARLY IN THE PANDEMIC

    Downing Street has flatly denied Dominic Cummings’ allegation that Boris Johnson wanted to visit the Queen early in the pandemic despite coronavirus having hit No 10.

    The former chief aide in No 10 alleged that he had to convince the Prime Minister out of visiting her by warning of the potentially grave consequences.

    But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “This didn’t happen and we’ve been clear about that.”

    Mr Johnson ultimately took a 15-month break from his face-to-face weekly audience with the Queen after meeting her on March 11 2020 and they instead spoke on the phone.

    But Mr Cummings, who has been engaged in a war of words with Mr Johnson since leaving No 10 in November, alleged Mr Johnson wanted to visit her a week later, on March 18.

    ‘KEEP LIFE MOVING’

    The government will unveil their new their new Covid slogan urging “keep life moving” this summer.

    The “hands, face, space” slogan is due to be ditched following freedom day on Monday – despite hundreds of thousands being pinged into self-isolation by the NHS Covid app.

    Around 1.7m are believed to be self-isolating after being contacted by the app, the Times reported.

    NEARLY 620,000 PEOPLE TOLD TO SELF-ISOLATE BY COVID APP

    618,903 people were told to self-isolate by the NHS test and trace app in the week to 14 July.

    Of these 607,486 alerts were sent to people in England – where nearly all restrictions were lifted on Monday.

     

    • [email protected]

      WATCH: CHINA TO DEPLOY 'WARRIOR TROLLS' TO SPREAD FAKE NEWS ABOUT ORIGINS OF COVID-19

      China unleashes army of ‘warrior trolls’ to peddle myth that Covid pandemic was sparked by US bioweapon

    • [email protected]

      ERIC'S CLAMPDOWN

      Eric Clapton won't play shows where the attendees are required to prove they've been vaccinated against Covid.

      The guitarist, 76, made the announcement after previously revealing his "disastrous" reaction to getting two vaccinations.

      Eric shared his stance in reaction to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that vaccine passes would be required to enter nightclubs and other venues.

      “Following the PM’s announcement, I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own,” Eric said via a statement on architect and anti-vaxxer Robin Monotti Graziadei's Telegram account.

      “I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present.

      "Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”

    • [email protected]

      HOW MUCH DO NURSES EARN?

      The Royal College of Nursing estimates that the average annual salary of an NHS Nurse is £33,384.

      However, nurses are paid in different bands relating to their knowledge and experience.

      However, doctor and nurses will get a 3 per cent pay rise, the Government announced this week.

      Ministers awarded the salary hike after initially proposing only a 1 per cent increase, which was lambasted by NHS staff as derisory.

      The Department for Health estimates the average nurse will pocket £1,000 more each year, while hospital cleaners an extra £540.

      The 3 per cent uplift also includes GPs, consultants, paramedics and dentists.

    • [email protected]

      WHY IS THE 'PINGDEMIC' CAUSING CHAOS?

      Currently parents are pulling kids out of school early to avoid the "Pingdemic" and having to cancel their summer holidays.

      Youngsters are being kept at home by their worried parents to avoid the risk of being "pinged" or told to self-isolate ahead of the summer holidays, it's been revealed.

      Meanwhile a tube line has been suspended and two others affected after the "Pingdemic" cut staff numbers.

      Train services are being affected by a staff shortage triggered when workers were told to self-isolate.

    • [email protected]

      WHAT IS THE 'PINGDEMIC'?

      A ‘Pingdemic’ is currently sweeping the nation, with pubs, factories, hospitals and airports being forced to shut because of staff isolations.

      The NHS Test & Trace app has ordered a record 520,194 to stay home in just a week, a 46 per cent rise on the previous seven days.

      This means a staggering two million Brits are now thought to be stuck at home.

    • [email protected]

      STAYING SAFE

      Spain is unlikely to be added to the amber plus list anytime soon, the government has confirmed – providing some relief for Brits.

      Last week, France was excluded from the new amber list rules which lets fully vaxxed Brits skip the 10-day quarantine when returning to the UK.

      Fed-up holidaymakers in France were forced to return to the UK at short notice due to the last minute change.

      Dubbed the new “amber plus” list, it was feared that Spain and Greece could also be added, due to the rise in Covid cases which are the Beta variant which may be more resistant to the vaccine.

      Spain has recorded 162 cases of the Beta variant in the week to July 1 (8.8 per cent of sequenced cases) compared to France’s sequenced cases over the same period which was just 3.5 per cent.

    • [email protected]

      US WARNS TRAVELLERS AGAINST HEADING TO THE UK OVER ‘VERY HIGH’ COVID CASES

      American citizens have been warned against travel to the UK over spiralling coronavirus cases.

      The UK was placed on the highest level of the United States travel guidance – “Level 4: Very High” – on Monday, warning that even fully-vaccinated travellers could be at risk.

      The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued the update on the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson ended mask-wearing and social distancing laws, while reopening nightclubs.

      Americans were told to “avoid travel to the United Kingdom” but advised to make sure they are fully vaccinated if travel is essential.

      “Because of the current situation in the United Kingdom, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants,” the guidance added.

    • [email protected]

      GOVERNMENT NEED TO ACT FAST ON THREAT OF FOOD SHORTAGES

      Andrew Opie, of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The Government needs to act fast.

      “Retail workers and suppliers, who have played a vital role throughout this pandemic, should be allowed to work provided they are double-jabbed or can show a negative Covid test, to ensure there is no disruption to the public’s ability to get food and other goods. With community cases soaring, the number of healthy retail staff ­having to self-isolate is rising fast, disrupting retail operations.”

      Retail bosses say the heatwave and a surge in demand for barbecue food, ice creams, soft drinks, beer and salad have added to the problems.

      Yesterday photos showed empty shelves at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Iceland and Lidl at stores in Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Southampton.

      There was a shortage of fresh fruit and veg, fridge food, water, beer and kitchen roll at a Tesco in Cambridge. A nearby Asda was short of bread and greens.

    • [email protected]

      CHANGES TO THE FURLOUGH SCHEME (CONTINUED)

      But from July 1, the rules changed so that the government is only paying 70% of wages up to a maximum of £2,187.50 – employers now have to make up the difference so everyone still gets 80% pay.

      From August 1, the government contribution will reduce again and the amount companies put in will rise.

      The government will only pay 60% of furloughed workers’ wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875.

      Again, your company will have to pay the remaining 20% so that you still get 80% of your wage in total.

      One thing to note is that you could miss out if your company was voluntarily paying extra.

    • [email protected]

      CHANGES TO THE FURLOUGH SCHEME

      Changes to the rules around furlough mean that your employer will have to fund more of your wages – but what does it mean for your pay?

      Companies will have to foot more of the bill for anyone furloughed under the coronavirus job retention scheme from 1 August.

      The government extended the scheme until September 30, 2021, but revealed that employers would have to shoulder an increasing share of the financial burden.

      The good news is that the amount you take home each month shouldn’t change, although it could if your company was voluntarily paying you extra.

      Under the original scheme, the government paid 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

    • [email protected]

      RESTRICTIONS WON'T LAST "A DAY LONGER THAN NECESSARY"

      Sajid Javid has vowed he doesn't want the remaining Covid rules to last "a day longer than necessary".

      But the isolating Health Secretary, who tested positive for the virus last week despite being double jabbed, admitted there will be no big bang ending to the pandemic as we learn to live with the virus.

      Mr Javid also said his experience dealing with the pandemic has been "rather more personal than I would have wanted."

      In an article for The Spectator today he joked: "Testing positive for Covid-19 definitely wasn't in the 100-day plan" and revealed he's even had to isolate from his own wife on their wedding anniversary.

      But he stressed that "curtailing people’s precious liberties, as vital as it has been, is never something that’s come easily to me" as a Conservative.

    • [email protected]

      OVERSEAS NO-GO

      Double-jabbed Brits could miss out on overseas holidays because NHS mistakes mean their second vaccinations may not be recorded properly.

      An investigation found that many of those who have had two doses of a Covid jab do not have any official proof on the NHS app, the Telegraph reported.

      Currently, many holiday destinations need proof of vaccinations to allow entry or to avoid quarantine.

      But health officials have warned vaccine staff could make the mistake of not filling in fields in documents correctly or failing to properly “save” jab data.

      They have told anyone who has had their second jab recorded incorrectly to get in touch with their GP.

    • [email protected]

      CASH BACK

      Millions of Brits forced to self-isolate because of coronavirus can claim £125, Martin Lewis has said.

      Workers can get the money if they are “pinged” by the NHS Covid app and can’t go to their workplace.

      Anyone who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or is self-isolating after being pinged by the NHS app can make a claim, Martin Lewis has explained.

      In his Money Saving Expert newsletter Martin said that HMRC has confirmed to him that claims can be made in these circumstances – not just when your employer tells you to work from home.

      The rules of the scheme say anyone who is required to work from home by their employer can claim tax back of up to £125 a year.

    • [email protected]

      EXPLAINED: WHERE WILL FACE MASKS STILL BE NEEDED?

      In London, Sadiq Khan has said face masks and coverings will still be compulsory on the capital’s transport network.

      Passengers in bus stations operated by combined authorities West and South Yorkshire, on the North East’s Metro and Greater Manchester’s Metrolink tram services will also be required to wear them under local rules.

      Supermarket chains – including Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – will encourage customers to keep masks on.

    • [email protected]

      HEALTH MINISTER HAS ‘ROWED BACK ON ALL SORTS OF THINGS’ DURING PANDEMIC

      A health minister has said he had “rowed back on all sorts of things” during the pandemic after being tackled over plans for so-called Covid passports, previously criticised by Boris Johnson and other Government members.

      Tory frontbencher Lord Bethell said he made no apology for changing his mind during the coronavirus crisis, arguing it had been “a learning experience” for everyone.

      His comments came after the Prime Minister announced this week that evidence of full vaccination would be a condition of entry to night clubs and other venues with large crowds in England from the end of September.

      People would need to use the Covid certificate option on the NHS app to be able to enter.

      The plans face growing opposition at Westminster from Tory rebels and now Labour signalling it would not support the measure, raising the prospect of a possible Commons defeat.

    • [email protected]

      EXPLAINED: ESSENTIAL WORKERS WHO CAN AVOID SELF-ISOLATION:

      Double jabbed workers who can avoid self-isolating if pinged:

      • Railway signallers
      • Air traffic controllers
      • NHS staff
      • Care home workers
      • Food production workers
      • Train drivers
      • Medicine manufacturers
      • Border security guards
      • Water and electricity supply workers

        Source: Read Full Article