Pingdemic: Bar staff being told to delete NHS app


Pingdemic: Bar staff being told to delete NHS app



More than 600,000 people using SLOTXO the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts in the week between 8 and 15 July.

And about one in five hospitality workers are isolating.

It's caused staff shortages in lots of industries, including the hospitality sector which employs over three million people.

With whole teams being "pinged" at once, pubs, restaurants and hotels have been forced to temporarily shut, pushing some hospitality staff to delete the app.

'I've lost so much money'
Rachael tells Radio 1 Newsbeat isolating has cost her between £300 and £400 in missed shifts.

The 22-year-old who lives in Brighton and, until two weeks ago, worked in a bar explains: "I've been pinged twice while on my way to shifts.

"Both times I've tested negative on lateral flows and PCRs. I don't agree with not self-isolating, but the app gives you no context on who you've been near."

Although isolating after being pinged isn't a legal requirement, the government urges people to do so.

In a recent interview, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told the BBC: "If you are pinged, you should self-isolate. I know it poses challenges but the rules are clear and I think they should be followed."

'I'm not willing to put people at risk'
Ralph (not his real name) can relate to this pressure. He's 27, works in a bar in London and has been told to delete the app, although he's decided to go against his manager.

"Having the app is the right thing to do and whether or not I've got a manager telling me to have it, I'm going to keep it," he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

Ralph has also been told to ignore being pinged, even after doing a shift with a colleague who tested positive.