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Sadiq Khan: London's 999 workers, food supply and TfL staff must be exempt from 'pings'

22 July 2021, 10:51 | Updated: 22 July 2021, 10:52

By Asher McShane

Sadiq Khan today called for key workers to be exempt from isolation if alerted by the NHS app, to keep London running smoothly during the 'pingdemic'.

The Mayor of London told James O'Brien on Speak to Sadiq: "We are talking to the government about extending the exemption scheme so that those key workers across our city, not just in TfL, police, fire, food supplies, if they've had both jabs and they have a negative test, if they can continue working.

READ MORE: ‘Pingdemic’: Shops face increasing pressure to keep shelves stocked

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"If they continue to have these numbers of people being forced to self-isolate I worry about these essential services."

The Mayor's comments come as supermarket shoppers report empty shelves around the country and industry figures warn of supply chain issues.

Iceland has been forced to close branches and some BP garages have shut due to shortages of lorry drivers.

Shoppers have been warned not to stockpile goods, with supermarkets saying they are continuing to receive regular deliveries.

The UK's biggest supermarkets described any shortages as "patchy" across stores but said there was no need for customers to change their shopping habits.

They said any gaps on the shelves were temporary as they awaited deliveries, and were occurring in pockets rather than across supply chains.

The "pingdemic", the shortage of HGV drivers and the hot weather were all contributing to delivery glitches, grocers said, while stressing to consumers that panic buying would create a problem that did not exist.

A Co-op spokesman said: "We are sorry that we are running low on some products. Like many retailers, we are impacted by some patchy disruption to our deliveries and store operations but we are working closely with our suppliers to get re-stocked quickly."

A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said: "We are working hard to ensure customers can find what they need.

"While we might not always have the exact product a customer is looking for in every store, large quantities of products are being delivered to stores daily and our colleagues are focused on getting them on to the shelves as quickly as they can."