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Weddings to be cancelled if bride or groom pinged by NHS Covid-19 app

The government has warned weddings have to be cancelled if the bride or groom is pinged by the NHS Covid-19 app.

Downing Street has said it is “crucial” that people self-isolate after receiving an alert from the NHS Covid-19 app.

No 10 moved to clear confusion after business minister Paul Scully said it was a decision for individuals and employers whether they should isolate after a “ping” from the app.

In the first week of July, more than half a million people were told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app with that number continuing to rise.

Now, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson has confirmed even those getting married will be forced to cancel their wedding if they receive a notification from the app.

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: “Yes we recognise that would be a difficult situation for anyone, but the app is carrying out an important function.

“We know that one in three people contacted either by Test and Trace or by the app go on to develop coronavirus symptoms so that demonstrates the importance of people isolating when asked to do so.”

A rise in people being pinged by the app as Covid cases rise – dubbed a ‘pingdemic’ – has caused chaos across a range of industries and weddings will not be exempt from being cancelled.

As more and more people are told to self-isolate, British industry is struggling to keep up with demand.

Retailers are under “increasing pressure” to keep shelves fully stocked amid staff shortages caused by the “pingdemic”, industry bosses have warned.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged the Government act to change self-isolation guidance for workers.

 Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the BRC, said staff in stores and suppliers should be allowed to work even if they get an alert to self-isolate.

“The ongoing ‘pingdemic’ is putting increasing pressure on retailers’ ability to maintain opening hours and keep shelves stocked,” he said.

“Government needs to act fast. Retail workers and suppliers, who have played a vital role throughout this pandemic, should be allowed to work provided they are double vaccinated or can show a negative Covid test, to ensure there is no disruption to the public’s ability to get food and other goods.

“With community cases soaring, the number of healthy retail staff having to self-isolate is rising fast, disrupting retail operations.”

Food industry bosses also warned that supply chains are “starting to fail” because of workers isolating over coronavirus contacts.

British Meat Processors Association chief executive Nick Allen also criticised “confusing messages” from the Government as he said ministers have not clarified who is applicable.

It came as Boris Johnson apologised to businesses for the “inconvenience” on Wednesday, but told them to stick with isolation rules.

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