George Eustice, the Environment Secretary has today revealed that 20% of all workers in the food sector have been forced to self-isolate due to the NHS Covid app ‘pinging’ them.
The cabinet minister said that there are no “plans at the moment to use the military” but that “they are always on standby”.
“We always have that option to call on the contingency the MoD always has in place for situations, but we don’t need that at the moment.”
These comments come at a time when the government is to allow 10,000 employees to be exempt from the quarantine to work across 500 key sites in the UK. These also include critical parts of the supply chain such as depots, bakeries, and dairy companies, but not the supermarket stores themselves.
Ranjit Singh Boparan is one of the UK’s largest food producers and has said that the industry is at “crisis point”, and that we are facing the “most serious food shortages that this country has seen in over 75 years.”
Mr Borapan has said; “No-one could possibly have predicted that this toxic cocktail would come together at this time.
“It started with the pandemic – and in the last week or so with pingdemic, but since May this year the operating environment has deteriorated so profoundly I can see no other outcome than major food shortages in the UK.
Phil Langslow, the trading director of Cheshire-based county milk products has said that “We has a long-standing lorry driver shortage that’s been exacerbated by Covid.
“There’s nothing more important than food. The centre of government policy should be the provision of safe affordable food.”
Supermarkets are urging people not to panic buy, and many are hiring temporary staff to tide them over.