Britain fears labor shortages due to 'pingdemic'

Tesco supermarket in
(Image credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.K. is facing a so-called "pingdemic" as hundreds of thousands of people are being told to self-isolate after being in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Between July 8 and July 15, over 600,000 people using the NHS' COVID-19 app received alerts telling them to self-isolate for up to 10 days, BBC News reports. Now, "the drastic reduction in staffing that has resulted has sown chaos through sectors as diverse as food supplies, haulage, supermarkets, hospitality, manufacturing and media," Reuters reports. According to Axios, the supermarket group Iceland said it had to close a number of stores because of staff shortages.

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