'It cost us £30,000 in one weekend!': Chef explains devastating impact of NHS app pings

19 July 2021, 13:59 | Updated: 19 July 2021, 14:01

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A chef has told LBC the devastating cost of closing for just one weekend due to NHS app 'pings" which cost him £30,000.

Chef Paul Askew from the Art School Restaurant in Liverpool was speaking to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty on 'Freedom Day' as England entered Step 4 of unlocking from Covid rules.

Paul told Shelagh his restaurant "unfortunately lost father's day weekend" after three staff were "pinged" by the NHS app.

The chef revealed closing over the weekend meant he lost 300 bookings and around £30,000 in revenue.

He explained it would be hard for an independent restaurant to take another hit like that.

Paul said his industry had spent the last 16 months "in and out of lockdown" which has led to an uncertain future for revenue.

Explaining how difficult it can be to "open and close businesses three or four times in the space of 12 months," you lose out.

"Everything is stacked against you."

Today marks so-called "freedom day" in England which sees most remaining legal coronavirus restrictions lifted.

After months of pandemic-related constraints, the country has finally reached the last step in the Government's unlocking road map.

The rules mean social distancing limits are largely over, with no more "rule of six" and "one metre plus" restrictions.

Groups of more than six people from multiple households will be able to hang out indoors and outdoors.

Businesses will reopen, including shuttered nightclubs who can welcome party-goers back to dance floors.

The comments come as the Government ruled out tweaking the sensitivity of the NHS Covid-19 app in response to the rising number of people being "pinged".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We recognise that with high cases that also means a high number of people being required to isolate and that does present significant challenges to businesses.

"We need to strike the right balance between protecting lives and livelihoods.

"That's why we believe it is entirely right that people asked to do so do isolate because we know it prevents onward transmission and eases pressure on our NHS which is facing a significant challenge."

He said the Government would "constantly review" issues around critical workers and critical infrastructure.

Asked whether the app was working as expected and so would not be tweaked, the spokesman said: "That's correct."

More Shelagh Fogarty News

See more More Shelagh Fogarty News

'Better late than never': Economist reacts to Rishi Sunak's cost of living support package

'Better late than never': Economist reacts to Rishi Sunak's cost of living support package

'Why did I bother sticking by the rules?': Chris Bryant tells of lockdown struggle to find care for dad

'Why did I bother with the rules?': Chris Bryant's lockdown struggle to find care for dad

'He should be absolutely ashamed': Shelagh Fogarty slams PM over Partygate

'He should be absolutely ashamed': Shelagh Fogarty slams PM over Partygate

Minister calls for collaboration to tackle 'absolutely horrific' spiking of students

Minister calls for collaboration to tackle 'absolutely horrific' spiking of students

Mother tells LBC 'systemic racism' in Met 'shattering faith' of black youth

Mother tells LBC 'systemic racism' in Met 'shattering faith' of black youth

Children's social care 'crumbling' and 'not fit for purpose' warns foster carer

Children's social care 'crumbling' and 'not fit for purpose' warns foster carer

Shelagh Fogarty: I think anyone who invades a football pitch is an idiot

Shelagh Fogarty: I think anyone who invades a football pitch is an idiot

'Moronic nutters' invading pitches 'bring shame' on football, John Stapleton fumes

'Moronic nutters' invading pitches 'bring shame' on football, John Stapleton fumes

'We're told to smile whilst we're sexually harassed': Campaigner aims to end street sexual harassment

'We're told to smile whilst it happens': Campaigner aims to end street sexual harassment

Tory Cllr: Boris Johnson has 'without a doubt' harmed party's reputation

Boris has 'without a doubt' harmed party's reputation, Tory councillor says

Caller, who lost mother, brands Boris Johnson a 'proven liar' before breaking down in tears

Caller, who lost mother, brands PM a 'proven liar' before breaking down in tears

Importing overseas nurses hides 'gaping wound' of UK nurse supply, warns RCN Deputy Nursing Dir

Importing overseas nurses hides 'gaping wound' within NHS, warns nursing chief

Britain's ability to sign trade deals will be damaged if it unilaterally dumps the Northern Ireland protocol according to Nick Thomas-Symonds

Truss damaging UK's reputation with NI Protocol 'threats', Labour MP warns

Liverpool fans booing national anthem was 'misdirected', says ex-Bishop of city

Liverpool fans booing national anthem was 'misdirected', says ex-Bishop of city

'Terrified': Stella Creasy tells LBC of gang rape threats at university

'My gang rape fear': Stella Creasy tells of sex harassment hell at Cambridge

'It's like sending people to Rwanda': Ex-Labour MP blasts neighbours' extensions voting plan

'It's like sending people to Rwanda': Ex-Labour MP on neighbours' extensions voting plan