A ‘very narrow’ list of key workers will be allowed to skip self isolation to carry on attending their jobs (Picture: Getty)
A list of sectors whose workers will be exempt from self isolation rules if they are double vaccinated has been published by the Government.
Ministers are allowing a ‘very narrow’ group of key workers to bypass the current regulations amid concerns that the UK is grinding to a halt due to the so-called ‘pingdemic.’
According to the updated guidance, officials will ‘agree the roles and workplaces that are likely to meet the criteria’ for the self-isolation exemption ‘on a daily basis’.
It adds that ‘where a specific case meets the criteria, the employer will receive a letter from the relevant department setting out the named critical workers designated and telling them what measures they and those workers need to follow’.
Millions of people have been forced into self isolation since restrictions were eased and the Delta Covid variant began spreading.
A record 618,903 alerts were sent to app users in England and Wales in the week to July 14, the latest NHS figures show.
Businesses have been reporting staff shortages in key industries, with food disappearing from supermarket shelves because so many delivery drivers have been pinged.
Workers in the industries listed will be able to continue working even if they have been told to self isolate for ten days after coming into contact with a Covid positive person.
But they must have received two jabs of a Covid vaccine and take a PCR test, followed by daily lateral flow tests.
Frontline NHS and social care workers have already been granted exemptions from self isolation ‘in exceptional circumstances’ to alleviate pressure on hospitals.
Sectors exempt from self isolation rules
The guidance lists 16 sectors:
food production and supply
clinical consumable supplies
But it adds that ‘in some exceptional cases’ there may be critical roles in other sectors which could be agreed on a case-by-case basis.
Separate arrangements are in place for frontline health and care staff.
The updated guidance says ‘in the small number of situations where the self-isolation of close contacts would result in serious disruption to critical services, a limited number of named workers may be able to leave self-isolation under specific controls for the purpose of undertaking critical work only’.
The policy only applies to named workers if their employer has received a letter from the relevant government department.
‘This is not a blanket exemption for all workers in a sector,’ the guidance said.
Since Monday, bosses have been able to decide on a case-by-case basis whether employees should be allowed to come into work, but only if their absence would ‘lead to a significant risk of harm.’
Even if staff are …read more
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