As the full reopening of hospitality approaches on Monday, the number of people pinged by the Covid app to self-isolate is causing further closures of hospitality businesses due to the lack of people available to work.
For an industry already severely limited by people and skills shortages, further limitations are pushing many businesses to the absolute limit of endurance.
The lifting of most restrictions in England saw cases of new Covid infection rise yesterday to 48,553 the highest since the start of the third lockdown, alongside further increases projected. The consequential increase in people told by the Covid app to self-isolate naturally follows.
The convergence of increased cases of infection and self-isolation alongside the reduction in restrictions looks set to transform what was a perfect storm for the hospitality industry, and government, into a super storm.
Government set expectations for infections to rise in the run up to their reopening strategy being announced. The forecast being that by Monday 19 July cases could be as high as 50,000 a day, and set to increase to 100,000 a day in August. The first looks set to be surpassed today.
If the issue of increased self-isolation threatening businesses ability to operate was factored into the government’s equations prior to reopening being announced, the outcomes are still hidden.
Yesterday, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC government accepted the Covid app needed tweaking, saying: “We’re going to give further thought to how it is a proportionate response. Government is going to be setting out its plans in the coming weeks.”
The trouble with that is in the next couple of weeks demand for hospitality will be at its highest since pre-pandemic, with even more people forced to self-isolate, and businesses unable to meet demand.
With yet another perfect storm set to imminently transform into a super storm in the availability of people to work in hospitality, is the time right now to temporarily lift restrictions on non UK nationals working in hospitality? If you think it is please sign the petition asking government to do as much.
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Hospitality & Catering News: Covid app compounding people shortages as reopening and self-isolation convergence sets hospitality super storm in motion. – 16 July 2021 – Covid app compounding people shortages as reopening and self-isolation convergence sets hospitality super storm in motion.
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