More big names join the call for action: M&S, Boots, Eddie Stobart and Young’s chiefs urge Boris Johnson to put end to the pingdemic madness crippling the economy

  • Nearly 50 top bosses representing hospitality have joined Daily Mail campaign
  • In addition, more than 20 bosses of smaller firms across UK have added name
  • Ministers announced measures on Thursday which will exempt some workers 

Boots and Marks & Spencer yesterday joined the Mail’s rallying cry to Boris Johnson to end the ‘pingdemic’ madness crippling the economy.

They were among dozens more business leaders and entrepreneurs backing our open letter to the Prime Minister, which demands an end to self-isolation rules for all double-jabbed people.

It means nearly 50 top bosses representing and employing millions of hospitality, retail, food supplies, manufacturing and transport workers have now joined the campaign.

The new signatories to the Mail’s letter include M&S boss Steve Rowe (pictured), Boots chief Sebastian James, Caffe Nero’s Gerry Ford, former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King and the executive board of haulage firm Eddie Stobart Logistics

The letter states that ‘people who have been double-vaccinated should be able to avoid having to self-isolate so they can carry on working’, adding that they should ‘instead have regular tests’. Pictured, Sebastian James, chief executive of Boots

In addition, more than 20 bosses of smaller firms across the country added their names after contacting the Mail. The letter states that ‘people who have been double-vaccinated should be able to avoid having to self-isolate so they can carry on working’, adding that they should ‘instead have regular tests’. It continues: ‘The Government is already proposing this from August 16. We are simply asking them to bring forward the start date, with immediate effect.’

Ministers announced measures on Thursday night which will exempt some workers from 16 key sectors from having to self-isolate if pinged by the NHS Covid app.

But the current rules still threaten to ruin the domestic holiday plans of millions yesterday as hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are being forced to close due to staff being pinged by the app.

Hundreds of rail services also face being axed as the rate of train crew absences soars. In recent days, there have been gaps on supermarket shelves, as an existing shortage of delivery drivers has been exacerbated.

Car plants and other manufacturers are cutting production and shifts. Postal services and rubbish collections are also failing in many areas, and concerns have also been raised about petrol supplies. Estimates suggest 2.1million people could be forced into up to ten days of self-isolation by next week after being pinged or contacted by NHS Test and Trace. The vast majority have already been double-jabbed against the virus.

The new signatories to the Mail’s letter include M&S boss Steve Rowe, Boots chief Sebastian James, Caffe Nero’s Gerry Ford, former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King and the executive board of haulage firm Eddie Stobart Logistics.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs are backing the Mail’s open letter to the Prime Minister, which demands an end to self-isolation rules for all double-jabbed people

Mr King said: ‘Thousands who could be working are isolating and the whole purpose of managing Covid undermined.

‘We have a positive option, for those double-vaccinated at least, of daily testing when pinged.

‘This will rebuild confidence in the app and improve all our safety. We should do this now.’

There are increasing fears the app is losing public support, with one estimate suggesting usage is declining by 15 per cent a week.

Patrick Dardis, of Young’s pub chain, said: ‘The fact that 97 per cent of our staff that get pinged and forced to isolate do not get infected, suggests that it’s a sledgehammer to crack a nut and not successful.

‘The hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens that have deleted the app confirms that.’

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