It is being called ‘pingdemic’.

People across the country have been getting ‘pinged’ by their NHS track and trace apps, informing them that they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The increase in people who have been told to isolate as a result is causing huge concern to businesses and services across Cumbria.

It was only last week that Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that Covid-19 restrictions would be lifted on, what has been called “freedom day”, on July 19.

For businesses like BE Uniforms and Stanwix Park, the busiest time of year is fast approaching.

"It’s a huge concern for us," said BE Uniforms managing director, William Smillie.

"We're coming into this peak period and we need everyone working.

"It's not like we can close the the shop for a week or so. It's one of the few places where they [customers in the area] can buy uniforms."

In Carlisle, Covid-19 cases increased by 28 per cent between July 6 and 13, and there were 585 cases per 100,000 people, according to government figures.

Stanwix Park in Silloth is also facing its busiest time of year as it opens its facilities fully and the school holidays begin.

Between 15 and 20 members of staff at the holiday park are having to isolate due to the NHS Covid app, according to co-owner, Steven Stanwix, who said the situation is a "nightmare".

He added: "We don't know who's going to get pinged, who's going to be able to come in and we're operating with a very small number of staff anyway because there's no one applying for jobs.

"I'm sure we will get through it, but the uncertainty makes it a nightmare."

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce Managing Director, Suzanne Caldwell, said: "Businesses in a whole range of sectors across the county, from hospitality to manufacturing to retail to haulage and others, are increasingly struggling because of staff having to isolate. "Many were already wrestling with the challenges of trying to recruit staff who are just not there and increasingly, staff being off with Covid.

"The huge numbers of people being pinged and having to isolate is just exacerbating the situation even more, and it appears set to worsen given the changes in place from today.

"It's putting more and more pressure on other staff.

"Some businesses are having to cut down their range of products.

"Some are turning away customers.

"And smaller businesses are being put in a position where they have to close while the whole team isolates or because key staff (like chefs) are isolating.

"There’s a real danger of production lines having to be shut down."

“And this is all at a time when we need businesses to be making money to refill their coffers, pay back Covid borrowing and pay taxes to help the country start paying back the massive costs of Covid.

"The Government needs to act quickly to address this, bringing forward the date from 18th August so that those who’ve been double vaccinated don’t have to isolate unless they’ve had a positive PCR test.

"They should also bring back compulsory mask wearing and some distancing and consider daily lateral flow tests in place of isolation."

Conservative MP for Carlisle, John Stevenson, said: "I share the concern of businesses, because we could end up in a position where we have a lot of people unecessarily self-isolating.

"When someone has been jabbed twice, tested negative, has no symptoms, and has had no huge direct contact with someone who has Covid-19, then there should be a greater flexibility in the system. 

"I support the government's attempt to return our society back to normal. I would say people should still exercise personal responsability about what they do and how they go about doing it. 

"I also think the government has to ensure that there is a degree of flexibility and a sensible approach to track and trace so that businesses do not end up being without their staff unecessarily."