Industry executives fear new Covid isolation rules could trigger staff crisis – .

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Industry executives fear new Covid isolation rules could trigger staff crisis – .


New self-isolation rules to tackle the Omicron variant could trigger a second outbreak and cost Britain £ 2 billion a month, ministers warned yesterday.

From today, close contacts of anyone catching the new Covid strain will need to self-isolate at home for ten days.

Industry executives have warned Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng that the rules could lead to a damaging pingemia as Christmas approaches.

The former caused chaos for businesses, schools and individuals over the summer, with millions of people forced to isolate themselves in their homes.

Pingdemic refers to notifications from the NHS Covid app telling individuals to self-isolate.

From today, close contacts of anyone catching the new Covid strain will need to self-isolate at home for ten days (stock image)

Rules were dropped in August for those who were fully vaccinated.

Boris Johnson announced this weekend that self-isolation will be restored as part of measures designed to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

Even fully vaccinated people will now be legally required to self-isolate if identified as close contact from someone who tested positive for Omicron.

The Institute for Economic Affairs think tank warned the rule change could cost the economy £ 2 billion if businesses are crippled by large numbers of employees forced into self-isolation as the approach approaches of Christmas.

There are also fears that a return to self-isolation could cause a repeat of the chaos seen in schools last year, when entire classes were asked to stay at home.

It has also been claimed that the new rules are unlikely to prevent the spread of infections.

Industry executives have warned Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng the rules could lead to damaging pingemia as Christmas approaches (file image)

Currently, only 20% of positive Covid samples are fully sequenced, which means that a large number of cases of the new variant are unlikely to be detected.

Full sequencing of cases can also take several days, which means people may be contacted too late.

Julian Jessop, IEA, said: “The main short-term risk to the economy comes from the tightening of self-isolation rules, which could trigger another pingemia.

“The impact of a grade repetition could now be greater, as rules are tightened during the school year and when labor shortages are a bigger problem. The new self-isolation rules could cut up to 1% of GDP in December, costing the economy at least £ 2 billion.

Stephen Phipson, head of the Make UK manufacturers group, told the Financial Times that there was a risk that the self-isolation rules would exacerbate “an already difficult situation. [staffing] situation, ”adding,“ We ​​don’t want to go back to pingemia.

Downing Street insisted the new rules were proportionate, but acknowledged they would pose a challenge for some businesses and individuals.

Currently, only 20% of positive Covid samples are fully sequenced, meaning that a large number of cases of the new variant may go undetected (file image)

Currently, only 20% of positive Covid samples are fully sequenced, meaning that a large number of cases of the new variant may go undetected (file image)

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