Retail shop workers have not been included as one of the 16 key sectors on the government’s list allowed to be exempt from isolation rules.
The list, revealed by the government last night (22 July), includes workers from digital infrastructure, food production and supply, waste, water, veterinary medicines, energy and nuclear, essential transport, medicines, and medical devices, emergency services, border control and local government.
While employees in the food supply chain at distribution centres and food manufacturing sites will not have to isolate if double jabbed, shop floor staff at supermarkets will continue having to quarantine for up to 10 days.
The scheme will see those selected allowed to leave their Covid-19 isolation to attend work while being tested daily by their employer. The exemption does not allow for recreational activities and they must immediately quarantine if they receive a positive result.
The guidance also reveals that the exemption will only be allowed for a “limited number of named workers”.
The news comes as it was revealed that over 600,000 workers were asked to self-isolate in the week up until 14 July.
Commenting in the news regarding food distribution, BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson, told Sky News: “Retailers are working closely with the government to identify hundreds of key distribution sites that will benefit from the new daily contact testing scheme. It is absolutely vital that government makes up for lost time and rolls out this new scheme as fast as possible.
“Disruption is limited at the moment and retailers are monitoring the situation closely. The government will need to continue to listen to the concerns of the retail industry in the coming days and must be prepared to take further action if necessary.”