Shortened isolation periods for critical workers now essential
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has said that the introduction of shortened isolation periods for Covid cases of critical workers is urgently required in the face of Covid-related staff shortages across several essential industries.
Existing isolation protocols, coupled with capacity constraints on the country’s PCR testing facilities, mean that many organisations are facing significant staffing challenges in the days and weeks ahead.
In order to minimise widescale disruption, the business community seeks that reforms to self-isolation protocols must be in place before next Tuesday (January 4th), when most organisations resume post-holiday operations.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “Since the outset of the pandemic in 2020, business has supported public health guidelines in full. However, thousands of businesses across Ireland are entering 2022 with great uncertainty. Increasingly we are seeing many organisations become crippled by staffing shortages induced by the ‘pingdemic’ effect of close contact guidelines. The well documented delays in access to PCR tests across the country are further catalysing staffing challenges.
“Government must urgently engage in a practical, ongoing review of self-isolation protocols. Failure to introduce measures such as the introduction of shortened isolation periods for Covid cases of critical workers will result in the temporary, or possibly permanent closure of essential organisations across industries as diverse as manufacturing, retail and experience economy.
“Crucial now to avoid adding a short-term economic crisis to the public health crisis.”