Pubs and restaurants including Wetherspoons forced to close venues due to self-isolating workers

PUBS and restaurants including Wetherspoons are being forced to close venues due to self-isolating workers.

A raft of businesses have shut their doors to punters because staff are being told to stay home by the NHS Covid app – leaving boozers too short-staffed to open.

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Covid rules mean everyone has to check-in with the NHS Covid app or hand over personal details when visiting a boozer or restaurant.

The app tells people if they have been in close contact with someone who turns out to have coronavirus, sending out an alert advising self-isolation.

Many hospitality workers who come into close contact with a lot of different people due to the nature of the job are being told to stay at home by the app.

It's left businesses short-staffed and some boozers have had to close because they don't have enough people to cover shifts.

Do I get sick pay if I have to self-isolate?

IF you can’t work because you are self-isolating you could get statutory sick pay (SSP).

If you qualify, you'll get £96.35 per week, for the period you have to be at home.

To be eligible, you'll need to earn an average of at least £120 per week.

Usually you need to have been sick for at least four days in a row – including non-working days – but with coronavirus it starts from the first day.

Sick pay is one of the rights employees are entitled to as part of their contracts, along with others such as maternity or paternity leave, rest breaks and time off.

But if you're self-employed or a contract worker, the rules about what you're entitled too are different.

Your employer may offer a sick pay that offers more than the minimum SSP.

Last week, 46 Wetherspoons staff working at the chain's Cabot Court Hotel branch in Weston-Super-Mare were told to self-isolate by the app.

Other boozers have had to shut too because of self-isolation alerts, which are part of the government's rules for managing the spread of the virus.

Pub rules in place designed to protect staff and punters also include the wearing of masks, screens and table service only.

Mark Derry, from restaurant business New World Trading Company in Cheshire, told the Financial Times that all the company's pubs have so far lost out on 35 days of trading from four of its 29 venues, calling it "complete chaos".

While other boozers, such as Lu Ban Restaurant and Bar in Liverpool, have been left without staff at short notice, according to Mail Online.

Dave Critchley, Lu Ban executive chef and director, said: "We lost five people over the weekend at minimal notice after they were pinged by the app."

It marks a blow to cash-strapped hospitality businesses, which are desperately trying to get back money lost due to the Covid crisis.

Pubs, bars and restaurants were forced to close for months when the third national lockdown started in January.

They have reopened gradually since April 12 when outside service was allowed, and inside service resumed on May 17.

But the delay to restrictions lifting in full from June 12 to July 19 means that staff still have to self-isolate if they get an alert.

The delay also means many pubs and bars are still operating at lower capacities than before the pandemic and table service requires more man power.

The industry has also struggled to hire staff back with shortages also leaving boozers short.

Wetherspoons revealed a major menu changes as its Steak Club, Curry Club and Fish Fridays have been extended to seven days a week

The popular pub chain reopened 860 of its pubs on May 17, with full menus returning.

But six locations remain closed and won't be opening their doors just yet.

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