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UK Covid live: minister says list of critical workers exempt from isolation rules will be limited UK Covid live: minister says list of critical workers exempt from isolation rules will be limited
(32 minutes later)
Kwasi Kwarteng says scope of exemptions will be ‘very narrow’, implying that shop workers won’t be included despite pressures caused by ‘pingdemic’Kwasi Kwarteng says scope of exemptions will be ‘very narrow’, implying that shop workers won’t be included despite pressures caused by ‘pingdemic’
Good morning. On Monday Boris Johnson said that some critical workers would be allowed to use testing as an alternative to isolation after contact with someone testing positive, to save them from the “pingdemic”. But he refused to give details. No 10 said a bit more at lobby on Tuesday, but at PMQs yesterday Sir Keir Starmer said he had read the briefing several times and “I haven’t a clue what it means.” Richard Walker, managing director of the supermarket firm Iceland, told the Today programme this morning that although there is not a widespread problem with food shortages in stores now, the problem could soon get worse unless the government addresses the “pingdemic”. He said:
Good morning. On Monday Boris Johnson said that some critical workers would be allowed to use testing as an alternative to isolation after contact with someone testing positive, to save them from the “pingdemic”. But he refused to give details. No 10 said a bit more at lobby on Tuesday, but at PMQs yesterday Sir Keir Starmer said he had read the briefing several times and “I haven’t a clue what it means”.
This morning Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, was doing the morning interview round for No 10 and he said that today guidance will be published saying which critical workers will be exempt from the current isolation rules. He said:This morning Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, was doing the morning interview round for No 10 and he said that today guidance will be published saying which critical workers will be exempt from the current isolation rules. He said:
But, when asked on the Today programme if the food industry would be exempt, he refused to say. And earlier, in an interview on BBC Breakfast, he said the list of people exempt would be “very narrow”. He said:But, when asked on the Today programme if the food industry would be exempt, he refused to say. And earlier, in an interview on BBC Breakfast, he said the list of people exempt would be “very narrow”. He said:
If the food industry is not included on the critical workers list, retailers will be disappointed. With supermarkets under increasing pressure, partly because of the pingdemic, to keep their shelves stocked, retailers want an exemption. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, told BBC Breakfast this morning:If the food industry is not included on the critical workers list, retailers will be disappointed. With supermarkets under increasing pressure, partly because of the pingdemic, to keep their shelves stocked, retailers want an exemption. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, told BBC Breakfast this morning:
Here is the agenda for the day.Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: The ONS publishes the latest quarterly crime figures for England and Wales.9.30am: The ONS publishes the latest quarterly crime figures for England and Wales.
10.30am: Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccine deployment minister, makes a statement to MPs.10.30am: Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccine deployment minister, makes a statement to MPs.
11am: NHS test and trace publishes its latest performance figures.11am: NHS test and trace publishes its latest performance figures.
After 1.30pm: MPs begin a backbench debate on the public administration and constitutional affairs committee report (pdf) making recommendations for the Covid inquiry.After 1.30pm: MPs begin a backbench debate on the public administration and constitutional affairs committee report (pdf) making recommendations for the Covid inquiry.
2pm: Public Health England publishes its latest weekly Covid surveillance report.2pm: Public Health England publishes its latest weekly Covid surveillance report.
Politics Live has been a mix of Covid and non-Covid news recently and that will probably be the case today. For more coronavirus developments, do follow our global Covid live blog.Politics Live has been a mix of Covid and non-Covid news recently and that will probably be the case today. For more coronavirus developments, do follow our global Covid live blog.
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