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Executive urged to amend Covid app isolation requirement

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Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI.

Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI.

Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI.

Local retailers are facing widespread staff shortages and even threat of temporary closure as a result of the Covid-19 contact tracing app, says Retail NI.

The retail sector body is urging the Northern Ireland Executive to follow the lead of England, which from August 16 will require ‘pinged’ workers to take a PCR test instead of self-isolating for 10 days.

“This situation is getting serious, and we need the Executive to act before shops, the supply chain and our wider economy face widespread disruption with staff shortages,” said Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI. “Independent retailers are struggling in particular given they have smaller staff teams.

“At the very least we need the Executive to bring Northern Ireland into line with the English date of 16th August, which allows ‘pinged’ double vaccinated workers to take a PCR test, rather than self-isolation for 10 days.

“Retail NI is also disappointed that the roll out of public hand sanitiser units in our town centres and high streets has been virtually non-existent outside of Belfast City Centre. This needs to happen if we want to reduce transmission of the virus and provide confidence to shoppers.”

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