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Bury St Edmunds West Suffolk

Greene King shuts 33 pubs after staff isolation

Greene King, the Bury St Edmunds based brewer and pub operator, has been forced to close 33 pubs across the country as staff are told to isolate.

The news comes in the midst of what is being called a ‘pingdemic’ which is causing staff shortages across a number of industries.

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, Greene King’s chief executive, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it was a problem and he expected it to get worse.

He continued: “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.

“We’re having to have shortened hours in some circumstances.”