Pubs welcome end of pingdemic after 'tiny number' of cases had huge impact

Suffolk pub bosses have welcomed a change in the self-isolation rules and hope they could bring an end to the pingdemic

Suffolk pub bosses have welcomed a change in the self-isolation rules and hope they could bring an end to the pingdemic - Credit: PA

Pub bosses have welcomed the news that double-jabbed people will no longer have to self-isolate after being pinged, after their "hands were completely tied" by the pingdemic.

From today, people in England who have had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine will no longer have to spend 10 days in quarantine if they are a contact of a positive case.

They will be advised to take a PCR test, but that will not be compulsory and they will not have to self-isolate while they wait for the result.

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Southwold-based brewery Adnams, said this was "helpful news".

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams - Credit: JAMES BEDFORD/ADNAMS

He estimated it would mean that two-thirds of his 300 strong workforce would no longer have to self-isolate if they were pinged.


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"It just takes the stress off watching our phone go ping," he said. "It reduces the impact on our business because we have been quite heavily hit over the last couple of months."

Mr Attfield added that a "tiny number" of cases had had an outsized impact on the business due to the number of close contacts hospitality workers had.

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He added it would mean the chain's properties could better take advantage of the boom in staycationers visiting East Anglia.

"Before today we've felt our hands were completely tied," he said.

Chris Mapey, who runs pubs in Woodbridge, Ipswich and Elmswell, said: "We need to start getting back to normal. And this is another step on that road.

Chris Mapey also runs The Angel in Woodbridge and The Duke in Ipswich

Chris Mapey also runs The Angel in Woodbridge and The Duke in Ipswich. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"We don't want to be the catalyst for a salesperson to suddenly have to have 10 days off work just because they come down the pub for a few beers."

But Philip Turner, chief executive of the Chestnut Group, said the end of the pingdemic would not completely end hospitality's labour woes.

Philip Turner, owner of The Chestnut Group Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Philip Turner, owner of The Chestnut Group Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

He explained: "What we're seeing in the industry is that a structural shortage of staff - so firstly we need to encourage people coming into the industry that this is a career and not just an in-between job, as well as restoring confidence that the industry is open and stable.

"I'd also lobby government to look at VAT and business rates cuts. A lot of companies have used the funds that would usually go towards those fixed costs to increase wages to encourage more people into the sector."

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