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Covid 'pingdemic' and Brexit mean food and gas shortages in parts of UK

July 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 34.7%. 1 min read.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dinendra Haria/LNP/Shutterstock (12225940a) A shopper looks at nearly empty shelves of ice cream in Lidl in Tottenham, north London after food shortage fears due to the pingdemic. A number of supermarkets are reporting empty shelves as they, wholesalers and hauliers are struggling to ensure food and fuel supplies after the Covid-19 NHS app alerted workers to isolate after being in contact with someone with COVID-19. Food shortage fear, London, UK - 22 Jul 2021

A dramatic surge in Covid-19 cases is forcing hundreds of thousands of workers to stay home in Britain, causing shortages of food and gasoline and heaping stress on supply chains that were already strained by Brexit.

It blamed a lack of truck drivers in the United Kingdom, and said it had been forced to temporarily close a fuel distribution terminal because workers were isolating after potential exposure to coronavirus.

UK workers are required to isolate at home for 10 days if they test positive for the virus or if they're told to do so by the national test and trace service, which alerts people via an app "ping" if they've had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

The rising virus caseload — and subsequent increase in the number of isolating workers — is also exacerbating a shortage of truck drivers caused in part by Britain's exit from the European Union.

Rod McKenzie, managing director of policy and public affairs at the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said the United Kingdom is facing a shortage of around 100,000 truck drivers, 20,000 of whom are EU nationals that left the country after Brexit.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News on Thursday that the government will publish a new list of essential workers eligible for exemption from self-isolation "very soon," but cautioned that it will be "quite narrow. " He said the UK government was monitoring the shortages at supermarkets.

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