Fears of the “pingdemic” have led to one in five NHS Covid app users turning off contact tracing and a tenth deleting it completely, according to a new survey.
The YouGov poll also found one in three Britons has been avoiding using the app to check-in at venues.
These findings come as the businesses and services are being left in chaos because of staff shortages caused by the people being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app telling them to self-isolate.
Currently, around 1.7 million people are thought to be isolating after being alerted by an app, or contacted by Test & Trace.
Yesterday, Royal Mail announced it had been affected by the so-called pingdemic when it announced 12 areas where post could be delayed because staff were having to isolate.
Number 10 is rolling out plans to help with the movement of goods by speeding up tests for HGV drivers.
It is also considering letting shop staff avoid isolation if ‘pinged’ in a bid to keep supermarket shelves stocked, reports the Mail Online.
And, weeks before the policy rollout across England, the Government has announced that critical frontline NHS and social care staff will be able to avoid self-isolation to go to work if they are double-jabbed.
It comes as people are reporting fuel and food shortages as well as cancelled bin collections.
There have also been rail delays and schools and businesses having to close amid the pingdemic.
Some parents, keen to ensure they can have a summer break, have even taken their children out of term early for fear of a “ping” derailing holiday plans.
Around 20% of parents polled for survey app Parent Ping said they were not ruling out removing their children from school before term’s end to ensure they did not catch Covid-19 or asked to self-isolate.
Meanwhile, in a bid to deal with the chaos, more key workers could be given an early exemption.
Downing Street said it had not ruled out fully vaccinated supermarket workers given exemption from isolation.
But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said there will be no list covering individual sectors.
He told Mail Online: “It’s not a blanket exemption and my understanding is we’re not going to be producing a list covering individual sectors, these business-critical areas will be able to apply for exemptions to their host departments.”
They added that there would not be a “list covering individual sectors” but said those in “critical industry” or those who want to raise potential issues because of isolation can “contact departments and get advice and where necessary get exemptions.”