Greene King shuts 33 pubs as staff hit by 'pingdemic'

Logo of Greene King, based in Bury St Edmunds

Greene King, based in Bury St Edmunds, has had to close 33 pubs after staff were "pinged" - Credit: Archant

Suffolk-based pub chain Greene King has had to temporarily close 33 pubs in the last week due to the "pingdemic" - and is warning the situation could get worse.

A Greene King spokesperson said today: “People having to self-isolate because of getting pinged through the app is becoming an increasing problem.

"In the last week alone, we had to temporarily close 33 pubs, which is making it even more challenging to rebuild trade as we reopen and is very disruptive for our team members.

"Along with the rest of the hospitality industry, we are calling on the government to roll out a ‘test to release’ scheme to impacted industries, allowing people to continue working if they receive a negative lateral flow test result.”

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of the Bury St Edmunds-based group, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This is a problem and I think it could get worse. It is disruptive to the business.

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"We had to close, in the last seven days, 33 pubs due to lack of staff because of self-isolation.

"Across the industry, we think it is about one in five of our team members who have been affected by this and therefore it is causing a real issue for us setting up business on a daily basis.

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"We're having to have shortened hours in some circumstances."

The Greene King group runs 2,500 pubs, hotels and restaurants across the UK, including many across East Anglia.

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