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TO APP OR NOT TO APP: That is the question


The NHS covid-19 app is causing some disruption to businesses - we’ve been asking you if you still have the app.

One in five people have deleted or switched off the NHS Covid app, as 1.7million people were forced to self-isolate in recent days.

The Government is under pressure to tackle the “pingdemic” after alerts have been grinding workplaces to a halt with more people coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. It comes as 26 per cent of Brits said they would be unlikely to self-isolate even if they are told to do so by the app, according to a YouGov poll.

Downing Street has now urged people to follow the app’s instructions and that employers should not be encouraging staff to not use the app. The Prime Minister also said critical workers would be exempt, and could use regular testing instead, provided they are fully vaccinated against Covid.

We have been out and about asking if you have the app -  have you deleted it? Do you feel it serves
its purpose? Do you have any concerns about the amount of people getting pinged, as it means
more people have coronavirus?

The “ping-demic”

A police and crime commissioner has warned the public that call response times will rise due to the so-called “pingdemic”.

Cleveland Police have had to cancel rest days and annual leave for some officers, as well as bringing in others from different shifts, to fill gaps caused by staff having to self-isolate following close contact with someone with Covid-19.

It was reported that five officers were taken off duty and self-isolating in just one incident after they came into contact with a virus-positive prisoner.

Police and crime commissioner Steve Turner called on the Government to review the rules for emergency workers who are pinged.

He called for healthy emergency workers to be tested daily for coronavirus so they will not automatically be taken off frontline duties.

He told the BBC: “We have got to provide a service. We suddenly find ourselves cancelling rest days and cancelling leave and bringing officers in from other shifts to cover where we have got the gaps.

“However, our call times will go up, we will miss some calls we would normally pick up because we have less resilience in the call centre and all of these things will have a knock-on effect for the Cleveland public.”

The force declined to say how many officers were off after being alerted by the Test and Trace app.

A spokesperson said: “We’re seeing an increase in demand on requests for service due to the heatwave, restrictions being lifted and the school holidays.

“We’re also seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases and self-isolation across the workforce which is having an impact on the front line.

“We have put swift plans in place to ensure that we can respond to the most vulnerable in our communities and deal with 999 emergencies, however the public may experience delays in call answering for non-emergency incidents and we’re asking people to use the website to report or ask for advice if they are able.

“For operational reasons we don’t provide the details of current levels of sickness as part of our overall strategy to keep the public safe from interested criminals.”


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