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Nearly one in five Metropolitan Police officers are currently absent from duty amid pingdemic chaos

Nearly one in five Metropolitan Police officers are currently absent from duty after being forced to self isolate amid pingdemic chaos. 

Around 17 per cent of the forces’ officers are currently self isolating, the highest since the start of the pandemic. 

Police were made exempt from self isolation on Thursday, but only if their employers specified their names and they were double-jabbed against Covid-19.

Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh said the force was ‘massively struggling’. 

‘We are not performing the role properly. We were not offered the jab and now we have got almost one in five officers off sick or self-isolating. 

‘It is coming home to roost and the Government is going to come unstuck,’ he told the Telegraph.   

Nearly one in five Metropolitan Police officers are currently absent from duty after being forced to self isolate amid pingdemic chaos

Police were made exempt from self isolation amid pingdemic chaos on Thursday, but only if their employers specified their names and they were double-jabbed against Covid-19

Police were made exempt from self isolation amid pingdemic chaos on Thursday, but only if their employers specified their names and they were double-jabbed against Covid-19 

The government on Thursday published a list of exemptions for key workers in energy, waste, water, and food supply and production. 

Police, border officers, train and lorry drivers were added to the list on Friday night. 

Workers who avoid self isolation after contact with someone who has Covid will instead be tested daily, allowing them to keep working provided the tests remain negative.  

The Government on Saturday said in a statement that an expected initial extra 200 testing sites would be opened so that daily contact testing could be ‘rolled out to further critical workplaces in England’. 

But currently around 2.3million people from critical areas and jobs have been forced into isolation due to being pinged. 

It is understood Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to open more testing sites so more industries can be added to the exemption list in the coming weeks.  

He previously said people who have been double vaccinated would be exempt from self isolation after August 16, provided they have a test. 

More than a million people have been told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid app in recent weeks, with 618,903 alerts sent in the week ending July 14. 

The toll is a 17 per cent increase on the previous seven and another record high.

The guidance lists 16 sectors: energy, civil nuclear, digital infrastructure, food production and supply, waste, water, veterinary medicines, essential chemicals, essential transport, medicines, medical devices, clinical consumable supplies, emergency services, border control, essential defence and local government

The guidance lists 16 sectors: energy, civil nuclear, digital infrastructure, food production and supply, waste, water, veterinary medicines, essential chemicals, essential transport, medicines, medical devices, clinical consumable supplies, emergency services, border control, essential defence and local government

The app has caused widespread chaos, but it was claimed on Saturday the system causing the problem could not be stopped – because there is not enough testing capacity to allow the ‘test and release’ method to take over. 

There has been mounting pressure for weeks on the government to tweak the sensitivity of the app or make exemptions for key workers and fully vaccinated Britons following warnings that it could lead to food shortages and major disruptions as the epidemic grows.  

UK supermarkets are in the midst of a perfect storm of staff and stock problems with tens of thousands of workers self-isolating because of the ‘pingdemic’. 

The struggle to stack shelves and staff stores and warehouses is being made worse by a lack of lorry drivers to deliver food.

Empty shelves in Asda as Britain was caught in a perfect storm of staff shortages and a lack of lorry drivers

Empty shelves in Asda as Britain was caught in a perfect storm of staff shortages and a lack of lorry drivers

Empty shelves and signs on the soft drinks aisle of a Sainsbury's store in Blackheath, Rowley Regis. Bosses asked customers to 'bear with us' blaming 'high demand'

Empty shelves and signs on the soft drinks aisle of a Sainsbury’s store in Blackheath, Rowley Regis. Bosses asked customers to ‘bear with us’ blaming ‘high demand’

The Road Haulage Association believes the country is 100,000 HGV drivers short – and thousands of prospective drivers are waiting for their HGV tests due to a backlog caused by lockdown, while many existing ones have returned to the EU from the UK after Brexit.

It came as businesses, including one of Britain’s largest food distribution firms, Bidfood, began taking the crisis into their own hands and began advising workers who are pinged by the NHS app to take tests and continue working rather than stay at home for up to ten days as the Government suggests. 

Meanwhile Transport for London has been forced to close both the Circle and Hammersmith and City Tube lines for the entire weekend after 300 staff were ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid tracking app. 

There will also be changes to the District and Metropolitan lines and short cancellations elsewhere as the so-called ‘pingdemic’ continues to bring transport networks to their knees. 

Reduced timetables will also hit railways across England in a bid to improve reliability following a spate of last-minute cancellations.  


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