There are calls for ‘pinged’ staff in the hospitality and tourism sector in Cumbria to be able to avoid isolation if they have tested negative for Covid-19.

Cumbria’s official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) is calling for the Government to allow workers with negative Covid-19 test results to continue to work, after reports that businesses are struggling to accommodate bookings.

With over 600,000 people in England having been alerted by their NHS apps between July 15 and 21, according to NHS figures, the so-called ‘pingdemic’ has resulted in businesses across the country operating on shorter staff levels.

“Now should be a time for celebration,” said Cumbria Tourism chair, Jim Walker.

“It’s a glorious summer, the industry is permitted to open and visitors are desperate to enjoy our world-class hospitality.

“Instead, businesses have a constant fear of having to deal with a sudden staff shortage and the knock-on effects to productivity, customer satisfaction, reputation and morale.

“As an industry we have worked hard to put the safety of staff, visitors and communities first through a wide range of Covid-secure practices, yet a single ping can take us back to square one.

“That’s why we’re calling on the Government to allow the industry to bring back double vaccinated workers following a negative test, and potentially single vaccinated workers following two negative results.”

This request is the latest in a comprehensive campaign lead by the DMO.

Cumbria Tourism is working closely with industry leaders and Government representatives to help the industry recover.

A lack of overseas staff due to international travel restrictions and recent immigration changes has also led to the DMO calling for a seasonal worker scheme and creation of a short-term working visa initiative.