BORIS Johnson is facing calls to make more people exempt from the NHS Test and Trace app – with fears supermarkets could close.
The PM announced yesterday that thousands of critical staff who are double jabbed will be freed from the draconian rules to stop the country grinding to a halt.
Currently, anyone alerted by Test and Trace is forced to self-isolate for 10 days to stop the spread of Covid.
Some within the Prime Minister’s own government claim he hasn’t gone far enough with the exemptions to the rules.
A cabinet minister told the Telegraph that public service jobs like binmen should be included.
The minister also said they understood the public’s “frustration” with the self-isolation rules – which mean many are forced to take time off work.
A source close to another cabinet minister said workers in hospitality and supermarkets should also be able to avoid stay-at-home rules.
The source told the Telegraph: “What counts as a critical worker? In my view, logistics would count. In my view supermarkets would count. In my view hospitality would count.”
Government insiders claimed that those working in supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, Post Offices or collecting rubbish would not be approved for exemptions to self-isolation rules.
Downing Street has said there are “no plans” to let the rest of the country escape house arrest if they are pinged.
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One government minister with an economic brief told the Telegraph that when exemptions are approved for businesses and their staff, that will only apply to those pinged in the future – not those who are already self-isolating.
Some UK supermarkets have been forced to close due to a lack of staff as many employees were told to self-isolate.
From August 16, people who have had two vaccines will be able to take daily Covid tests rather than have to self-isolate.
Multiple government sources reportedly told the Telegraph that there is no chance of the app being changed to alert less people to self-isolate.
Yesterday, Boris told a press conference, which he took part in virtually from Chequers as he is isolating, that he would add more workers to the list that can escape strict quarantine rules.
Essential workers in the energy industry, telecoms, food supply and parts of law enforcement will be allowed to head out to work if they have a Covid contact.
The PM said: “I want to assure you that we will protect crucial services including the staffing of our hospitals and care homes, the supplies of food, water, electricity and medicines, the running of our trains, the protection of our borders and the defence of our realm, by making sure that a very small number of named, fully vaccinated, critical workers to leave isolation solely for this work.
But he added: “But for the vast majority of us, myself included, we do need to stick with the system for now.”
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