The United Kingdom (UK) has lifted coronavirus restrictions on July 19, 2021, in hopes to help businesses get back on their feet. But as supermarkets and pubs resume their operations, they are now facing the threat of employee shortage. Currently, the UK has implemented the use of a COVID-19 app that lets people know if they have potentially been exposed to the virus and need to self-isolate at home. There will be fines for those who fail to comply with the rules.

Greene King, London’s leading pub has temporarily shut 33 branches as employees were required to go into quarantine after coming into contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. The UK is set to ease the compulsory self-isolation rules starting Aug 16. With new coronavirus cases hitting 50,000 each day and more people are told to isolate by the app, businesses are calling on the government to ease the rules for fully vaccinated individuals much sooner than next month. Moreover, Helen Dickinson, the CEO of the British Retail Consortium said that they are already facing a severe impact on retail operations due to staff having to self-isolate. “Considering the effectiveness of the ongoing vaccine roll-out program, the government should adjust the August 16th date so that people who are fully vaccinated or have a negative test are not forced to self-isolate when they are alerted by the app.” she added. Meanwhile, Tesco, Britain’s largest grocer was not able to complete some online deliveries on July 18, 2021 after having a shortage of truck drivers. Marks & Spencer (MAKSY) CEO Steve Rowe told The Times newspaper on July 16, 2021 that they could be forced to reduce store hours as a result of labor shortages.