London mayor Sadiq Khan urges Johnson to change isolation rules Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
MAYOR of London Sadiq Khan has urged UK prime minister Boris Johnson to end self-isolation for contacts of Covid cases if they are fully vaccinated to save the country’s economy from ‘pingdemic’, stated media reports.
The mayor reportedly has written to Johnson on Friday (23) asking for a change in Covid-19 rules so that those who are fully vaccinated can avoid self-isolation by taking daily test.
Writing on behalf of the London Covid Business Forum, Mr Khan cited “the continuing mixed messages from ministers around self-isolation” and the harmful effect it was having on the capital’s businesses, media reports said.
“Many hospitality businesses, such as pubs and restaurants, are already struggling with staff shortages,” the letter from Khan, joined by UK Hospitality, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the capital’s branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said.
“These shortages have been exacerbated, in some cases leading to temporary closure, by large numbers of employees being simultaneously advised to isolate by the NHS Covid app.”
He expressed concerns that closures in the “crucial summer months” might jeopardise the long-term prospects of these businesses before outlining his proposed solution.
“We are therefore calling on you to ensure that the necessary testing is in place to enable people who have been double vaccinated for longer than two weeks and pinged by the NHS Covid app, to immediately return to work, following a negative PCR test, rather than having to self-isolate,” the letter said.
This would help employers and employees to retain faith in the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales, the signatories said.
Nearly 608,000 contact tracing alerts were sent in England in the week between 8 and 15 July – a record high.
Meanwhile, Friday’s daily figures showed Covid cases were down for the third consecutive day in the UK, with 36,389 new infections.