NHS Covid app pings HALF A MILLION in a week as minister admits it's too sensitive and will be changed

HALF a million people have been pinged by the NHS Covid app in just one week – as a cabinet minister admits it's too sensitive and will be changed.

A total of 520,194 Covid alerts were sent out to users of the app in the week up to July 7.

The alerts tell people that they have been in close contact with some who has tested positive for the bug.

The number is up 46 per cent from the previous week, with an additional 356,677 alerts.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Government is "concerned" about the number of people off work as a result of being pinged by the NHS Covid app.

He told LBC radio: "It is important that we have the app, that we take it seriously, that when we do get those messages we act accordingly. But we are going to give further thought to how we can ensure it is a proportionate response.

"We have indicated that for those who have been double vaccinated there are opportunities to take a more proportionate approach.

"We are concerned about absences as a result of being pinged, for example. That is one of the reasons why we do need to move to a more proportionate approach."

Some companies have reported they are missing 20 per cent of their workers.

Workers' union Unite said that some factories are in danger of having to close down due to the high number of employees forced to isolate after being pinged by the app.

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It comes after many fed-up Brits decided to delete the tracing app.

Ministers faced fury after they announced that double-vaccinated Brits will have to wait until August 16 to escape self-isolation rules.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said the ultra-strict rules are devastating businesses already hammered by rolling lockdowns.

She saids: “Around a third of our staff are self isolating at any one time at the moment because they have been pinged.

“The app is pinging more and more people, and that number is going to go up in the coming weeks.

“The economy is going to grind to a halt.

“It is overzealous and people are just starting to delete it. My timeline is full of people saying they have turned it off because their sister’s wedding is coming up and they don't want to miss it.”

Many restaurant and bar workers have already deleted the app or turned off the bluetooth to stop it working so they do not get pinged, which could mean days of missed work and vital income.

Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith told The Sun earlier this month: "What will happen now is as people walk into the pub, they will delete the app.

"For the hospitality sector this is worse not better than the semi-lockdowns, and the Government have to rethink this – will they let restaurants stay with the original provisions?

"Instead of just a group of six being pinged, the whole pub will be told to.

"Customers will decide not to go out, or just to delete the app."


 

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