Ministers have been accused of “flying by the seat of their pants” amid widespread confusion about whether to allow self-isolation “pings” from the NHS coronavirus app.
As isolation-induced absenteeism multiplied, industry figures complained that the government had fabricated its policy “on the crack without proper organization or consideration”.
Meanwhile, the boss of a nightclub has attacked boris johnson On plans to impose a vaccine passport on the industry. Raycom UK chief executive Peter Marx said the PM was too easily influenced by public opinion and lacked leadership skills.
Mr Marks said Mr Johnson acted in a “populist claptrap” and would not offer vaccine passports for 42 of his clubs – including the Prism chain – until it became a legal requirement.
Government accused of ‘stealing money’ for refusing to increase sick pay amid ‘ping-demic’
The government has been accused of “pinching the money” after rejecting an opportunity to extend sick pay during the Covid crisis, despite forcing a growing army of workers to self-isolate at home.
Millions of workers are expected to be “pinged” by the NHS COVID app and told to isolate this summer – many of them forced to take off work at risk of hardship, writing Adam Forrest.
The government had promised to consider expanding statutory sick pay eligibility to give more low-paid workers access – but announced on Tuesday there would be no change to the rules.
john sherman21 July 2021 08:12
Nightclub chain owner attacks PM’s ‘populist claptrap’
A nightclub boss has attacked Boris Johnson for his lack of leadership and dealing with a “populist claptrap” over plans to impose a vaccine passport on the industry.
Raycom UK chief executive Peter Marks said he believed clubs had been “clobbered” because the PM understood it would be highly unpopular for pubs to impose similar restrictions.
Raycom’s brands include Prism, Eden and Fiction.
Mr Marx told the PA: “What we’ve got here is a government, especially a prime minister, that is healthy in my view, that is driven more by public opinion and opinion polls.
“Sometimes you have to show leadership and I don’t think this guy has that. I question his judgment. I think he’s really good at lifting spirits, and I’m definitely Boris.” Not antagonistic, but I think it was a terrible wrong decision on his part.
“There is no basis other than populist messaging to highlight the nightclub industry and I completely disagree with that.
“Just to say, bang, [and introduce vaccine passports]In the vain hope that nightclubs are so popular in the under-30s that it’s going to force everyone to shrug their shoulders and get passports, it’s an illusion.
“We will not accept a passport as an entry requirement unless we are instructed to do so because it is a suicide note for us.
“I’m not going to break the law if it’s enforced. I never do. But the reality is I’ll be drumming until it’s common sense, but that’s because it’s populist claptrap .
In response, the government said its plan was to protect people in settings where COVID-19 was most likely to spread.
Vaccine passports will not arrive until September, a spokesperson said, adding that “by this point everyone 18 and older will have the chance to be fully vaccinated”.
He said: “The NHS COVID Pass has been designed to be simple and easy to use and we announced this change two months ago to give notice to prepare venues.”
PA. Additional reporting by
john sherman21 July 2021 07:53
Business feedback on ‘unviable’ Pingdemic discount scheme
Ministers have been accused of “flying by the seat of their pants” over Covid controls, as business leaders warned that the plan to exempt key employees from self-isolation was “impractical”, writing Andrew Woodcock.
In a day of chaos, Downing Street was twice forced to intervene after a minister suggested businesses could ask employees to ignore “pings”, calling them Covid contacts. May ask to quarantine for days, and that pub was taken out of the plan “Covid Passport”.
Industry organizations warned that absenteeism was increasing “rapidly” due to self-isolation in sectors such as food supply and manufacturing, with firms across the country closing their doors to make up for staff shortages. Meanwhile, data from the Department of Education showed that more than one million children were out of school in England last week due to Covid-related reasons.
john sherman21 July 2021 07:48