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Iceland shuts stores after staff told to self-isolate

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Iceland has been forced to shut several shops due to staff having to self-isolate after being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid app.

The supermarket said 1,000 employees had been told to isolate by the app.

Chief executive Richard Walker told the BBC that the chain has also had to reduce opening hours at some stores.

He said 4 per cent of Iceland’s 30,000-strong workforce was now absent.

Walker told the BBC’s Today programme: “It could get a lot worse a lot quicker.”

Pub chain Greene King has also had to close 33 pubs in the past week due to staff self-isolating.

More than 500,000 people in England and Wales were told to self-isolate by the app in the week to 7 July, up 46 per cent on the previous week.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said staff shortages were being “felt acutely” across all sectors, particularly across the “struggling sectors in hospitality and leisure”.

The business group has called on the government to bring forward its plans, currently set for 16 August, to allow double-jabbed people not to self-isolate if they have been ‘pinged’.

CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimoria, said: “Against the backdrop of crippling staff shortages, speed is of the essence.”

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