BOURNEMOUTH’S hospitality sector shared their joy as self-isolation rules relaxed earlier this week, marking the hopeful end of the ‘pingdemic’.

From Monday, August 16. people in England who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, or are under 18, will no longer have to spend 10 days in quarantine if they are a contact of a positive case, a change which has been hailed a “welcome step forward”.

NHS figures show 3,960 people in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole were "pinged" by the Covid app in the week to August 4 – the latest available data.

People who have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine will now be advised to take a PCR test, but that will not be compulsory and they will not have to self-isolate while they wait for the result.

Brewhouse and Kitchen’s chief executive, Kris Gumbrell, said: “My industry has been massively impacted by the pingdemic and it’s costing a considerable amount of jobs, alot of working hours and it’s having a significant impact on our business on top of all the other challenges we have such as the availability of hospitality teams and all the trials and tribulations of the last 18 months.

“It’s a very welcome step forward for the sector.

“We’ve had to be very flexible and agile and our staff have been amazing moving around to cover for people who have been pinged.

“This will be a welcome start - more than 80 per cent of our staff are now vaccinated, the majority of which are under 30, so we’re really proud of our team and they have really rallied around and are pushing forward.

  1. “It’s good news for us.”

The hospitality sector has also been significantly impacted by staff being pinged by the NHS app.

Bournemouth Echo:

Tim Seward chair of BAHA.

Tim Seward, chair of BH Area Hospitality Association said: “It’s good the pingdemic is over - now if people are positive they stay off and if they’re negative they can work so that’s 100 per cent positive for the industry.

“We are pleased to see the back of it but with Bournemouth still being busy across all of our hotels we want everyone to be safe and this is a good thing for the industry.

“Hopefully it will all be much easier for everybody now.”

As the hospitality and tourism industry reopens in the wake of the pandemic, landlords are now hopeful that consumer hesitancy to enjoy local restaurants and pubs will ease as restrictions relax.

Owner of The Goat and Tricycle, Pat Rigbey said:“It’s hard to know what impact this will have, originally the pingdemic did have an impact because staff were getting pinged.

“But in the last couple of weeks there hasn’t been any pinging and it went mad initially but it’s slowed right down and now managers at my sites aren’t having any issues at all.

“I’m not sure how it will affect me, I think people will continue to come out as they have been doing and hopefully people will feel more confident about coming out as rules relax.”

Bournemouth Echo:

The Goat and Tricycle.

If someone develops symptoms of the virus, the Government says they should self-isolate and get a PCR test, and stay in isolation until the result comes back.

People who test positive will still be legally required to self-isolate.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said it would “strongly urge” people to continue to take “sensible precautions” as new guidance came into effect meaning the double-jabbed who are contacts of a person who tests positive for Covid-19 no longer have to isolate unless they have symptoms.