Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre says the current ‘pingdemic’ is threatening to derail economic recovery for indies as many are being forced to close because of staff shortages. A record number of people were ordered to self-isolate by the NHS track and trace app last month as cases rose rapidly across the UK. Business owners have become increasingly concerned about the impact of the ‘pingdemic’ on staffing, which is also causing product supply issues for retailers.
In a piece written for the Daily Express, Goodacre comments: “In a small shop, if one member of staff tests positive it is likely that nearly all of the team will be deemed to be in close contact, including the owner.”
From August 16, those who’ve been given two vaccinations won’t be required to self-isolate. However, Bira says retailers may still continue to struggle with staff shortages – especially if they have staff who have not yet been offered both jabs. For this reason, it is urging local authorities to distribute some of the £800 million allocated for Restart Grants to independent businesses facing further closures.