London. Everyone is free to quarantine. However, in the only country that has just lifted all anti-Covid restrictions, a record number of people are forced to self-isolate because they have come in contact with an infected person. This is the domino effect caused by the British Health Service’s COVID app, which sent 619 thousand warning messages last week alone. Currently 1.7 million people in the country are forced into quarantine despite being vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine. Such high figures run the risk of paralyzing some production and business sectors that find themselves short of staff (the restaurant at the Ritz Hotel was also closed, which remained open during the Nazi bombings »). Yesterday all the front pages of major national newspapers published images of desolate empty shelves of some supermarkets where goods did not reach their destinations due to a lack of heavy vehicle drivers. Beer, fruits and vegetables and personal hygiene products are among the hardest items to find, even though distribution chains themselves have been quick to declare that these are isolated cases, easily resolved and Customers are urged not to panic. However, it is an objective fact that many supermarkets, such as Iceland or Co-op, have been forced to hire thousands of temporary workers to avoid closing some stores altogether. And Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have had to apologize to users for the “limited options” in their stores. The Consortium of British Consumer Goods has asked the government to take immediate action to allow its employees and anyone who tests negative to return to work without isolating themselves. «The current situation is unstable – says Helen Dickinson, president of the consortium –. Shops are closing, opening hours are being reduced, the choice of goods is very limited ». There is also concern that more and more employers are asking employees to ignore the app’s suggestion of healthcare. Many companies have provided daily tampons for employees to get back to work. Yesterday, former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt, responding to a parliamentary report by Vaccine Minister Nadim Zhawi, said the testing and tracking system risks losing public consensus if the problem of self-isolation is not addressed briefly. “It’s time to allow people who have already been vaccinated to avoid quarantine – Hunt said – otherwise more and more people will cancel the app,” Hunt said.
However, the pandemic has also had a positive effect. Many young people have decided to enroll in the Faculty of Medicine. In Exeter, the number of students has grown so much that the university has offered £10,000 and free housing to those who postpone the start of their studies for a year.
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