BORIS Johnson is under pressure to overhaul Covid self-isolation rules before they “cripple” the economy, it’s reported.
Business leaders have called for reforms to the system, including the NHS app which pings Brits who’ve come into contact with anyone carrying the virus.
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Boris Johnson is facing calls to reform Covid self-isolation rules[/caption]
A new dail testing system would prevent jabbed Brits who have had contact with Covid carriers from having to self-isolate[/caption]
Contacts of Covid cases must self-isolate for 10 days, with fears up to a million Brits A DAY may have to quarantine if infections continue to rise.
Bosses have said the self-isolation rule is causing chaos with firms left short-staffed.
Hospitals, bars and restaurants are among the workplaces faced with absent workers forced to quarantine at home.
Dr Adam Kucharski, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group, which advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), called on the government to try alternatives to the 10-day self-isolation period.
‘MILLION A DAY’
Dr Kucharski told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: “If we get to a situation over the summer where there’s 30,000 to 40,000 cases per day, you’ll be potentially looking at maybe even over a million contacts per day who may be eligible for quarantine.
“In situations where you’re quarantining large numbers of people you do end up with similar outcomes to lockdown.”
In May, it was reported strict rules will be relaxed for 40,000 in a pilot scheme launched by the Government.
It comes as government ministers are understood to be considering bringing in daily testing so vaccinated Brits don’t have to quarantine.
NHS Test & Trace is becoming a huge issue for our pubs
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA)
Surces have told the Daily Mail the change could be introduced “soon” – with the possibility the system will be overhauled before July 19’s ‘Freedom Day’.
Last week, around 400,000 people were told to self-isolate by Test and Trace staff or the NHS app.
Business chiefs have urged the government to amend the current rules to stop staff having to stay at home if the app alerts them.
Julian Metcalfe, founder of Pret a Manger and Itsu, said: “With the amount of rising infections among young people you can’t close down every other business every other day.
“It’s like telling a business they can’t operate if there’s a flu going round.”
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said: “Looking ahead, NHS Test & Trace is becoming a huge issue for our pubs.
“Already, pubs are closing or greatly reducing their opening hours due to staff shortages caused by app pings – despite staff testing negative on lateral flow tests.
“Reports that anyone with both jabs will not have to isolate from an NHS Test & Trace ping so long as they test negative on a lateral flow test will not work for our sector.
“We urge the government to work with us to find a sensible solution to this that still ensures staff and customer safety.”
The number of people testing positive for Covid has surged by almost 75 per cent in just a week.
Another 27,125 Brits tested positive overnight, while 27 more have died of the deadly virus.
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Meanwhile, the number of patients admitted to hospitals with coronavirus has also jumped by almost 17 per cent.
But the UK is set to continue preparing for ‘freedom day’ this month – after MPs vowed to continue with Boris Johnson’s roadmap.
Experts admit the numbers testing positive have now reached an “unsettling” level.