With celebration of “Freedom Day” drowned out by a refrain of greater than 600,000 “pings” from the NHS Take a look at & Hint app, and pictures of empty grocery store cabinets circulating on social media, the federal government has belatedly – and maybe reluctantly – agreed to exempt a restricted variety of staff from self-isolation.
Round 10,000 staff within the meals provide chain, and a restricted variety of key workers in important sectors from power to the emergency companies will as an alternative be topic to Take a look at and Launch.
Till now the system has solely been utilized in 20 trials, together with the scheme in Whitehall that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak briefly tried to hitch to dodge self-isolation earlier than an outcry compelled a swift U-turn.
Meals producer apetito has been working a extra credible scheme for months and provided Sky Information an perception into its operation.
The corporate, based mostly in Trowbridge in Wiltshire, makes meals for care houses and hospitals, and has been working the scheme amongst its 500 manufacturing line and distribution employees.
As a substitute of isolating, any shut contacts of COVID-positive staff take a lateral movement check for seven days and, if every one is unfavourable, they’re able to proceed working.
Director of company affairs Lee Sheppard mentioned that whereas the scheme has saved the variety of isolating staff down, Take a look at and Launch isn’t sufficient by itself to regulate COVID-19 outbreaks.
“The numbers of isolations are rising,” he advised Sky Information.
“Ours are nonetheless comparatively low, however every day contact testing is unquestionably serving to, and as these numbers improve it should grow to be much more useful.
“However testing alone is not the reply. Testing is vastly useful, it lets you determine these asymptomatic circumstances that in any other case you would not discover. However the true focus right here is on prevention of transmission.
“And that’s the place I believe (we’d like) COVID security measures, a relentless give attention to social distancing, face coverings, one-way techniques segregating staff and so forth.
“We very consciously have not relaxed our tips since 19 July as a result of now we have seen the challenges on the market.
“(Take a look at and Launch is) useful, there isn’t any doubt about it – folks that we in any other case would have misplaced from the office due to isolation, we will convey again in.
“However with out all the opposite COVID measures it is not sufficient. It is acquired to be a mixture of the entire image.”
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