How hospitality sector desires to overcome ‘Pingdemic’ hurdles


  • Hospitality sector has been the worst-hit industries in last 16 months
  • Pingdemic is hurting the businesses and operations as firms face staff shortages
  • UKHospitality has welcomed the proactive initiative of pinging the people
  • The trade body has also urged to devise a mechanism that can benefit businesses.

The hospitality sector in the United Kingdom has been the worst-hit industries among others due to the wide-ranging impact and unforeseen implications of the coronavirus pandemic and Covid-induced lockdowns and stern restrictions.

The phased reopening of sectors and the recent withdrawal of social distancing guidelines by the government has regenerated the hopes of a meaningful turnaround for the ailing businesses as people are now allowed to roam freely and can attend large gatherings. The nation has managed to relax the restrictions following the successful roll-out of the vaccination across the country.

But now, most of the enterprises are facing severe difficulties when it comes to operating the businesses at full scale due to acute staff shortages across the country. Over the course of the last few weeks, UK businesses are encountering a dearth of workforce, even when the employees want to return to the workplaces.

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All of this happened because of the pings sent by the National Health Service’s mobile application to the users who have been in close contact with an infected individual, leading to a so-called ‘pingdemic’. A record number of people have been told to self-isolate for a couple of weeks in order to avert a devastating situation that may lead to a potential outbreak of cases in the country.

The businesses operating within the hospitality industry are now desperately looking forward to capitalise the opportunity as the Covid landscape continues to remain uncertain with the resurgence of cases in the domestic locations, as well as the emergence of a high number of cases associated with the Delta variant and its sub lineages in several parts of the world.

Hospitality businesses are primarily driven and operated with a definitive headcount of people that remain responsible for managing separate tasks that collectively lead to the greater good of the corporation.

As the ailing enterprises look forward to getting back on track before the commencement of the holiday season of 2021, the hospitality trade association of the UK -- UKHospitality -- has welcomed the government’s proactive initiative of pinging the people who have been in contact with infected people.

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Furthermore, the industry body has urged the government to update the guidance for the individuals as it would be difficult for the businesses to operate if double-jabbed people will be told to self-isolate. UKHospitality has asked the government to bring forward a workable test to release scheme that can benefit and support the enterprises so that they can consider reopening at a larger scale.

As per a separate research conducted by the UKHospitality, more than 250,000 workers employed in various businesses are being affected by the ping sent by the NHS Covid application.

The total alerts sent by the NHS Covid app to the people belonging to England and Wales subsided by 43% to 395,971 in the week ending 28 July. Earlier in the last week, as many as 689,313 pings were sent by the application, effectively increasing the overall count of people under self-isolation.