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Couple's wedding was cancelled with less than 24-hours notice after staff at the venue were 'pinged' by NHS Covid app

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

A couple's dream wedding was cancelled with less than 24-hours' notice after staff were pinged by the NHS Covid app.

Sarah, 35, and Darren Alexander, 37, were due to get married at Kings Norton Golf Club in Birmingham on July 17, but the day before they received a devastating call from the venue saying everyone had been forced into self-isolation.

Mrs Alexander, a customer services adviser, said: 'This ''pingdemic'' has gotten out of control. After waiting nearly three years, my entire wedding was cancelled the day before.

'Getting that call and finding out the staff had all been pinged and that the wedding wouldn't go ahead was absolutely soul-destroying.'

It came as Boris Johnson today came under mounting pressure to end the pingdemic by bringing forward the date for exempting fully vaccinated people from self-isolation rules.

Keir Starmer has joined calls to bring the August 16 timetable forward to August 7 - pointing out that is what Wales has chosen to do.

Scotland is also due to remove the requirement for the double-jabbed who come into contact with positive cases from August 9 - but the PM has refused to budge despite stricken businesses warning of food shortages.
Sarah, 35, and Darren Alexander, 37, were due to get married at Kings Norton Golf Club in Birmingham on July 17, but the day before they received a devastating call from the venue saying everyone had been forced into self-isolation

The Alexanders, from Kings Heath, miraculously managed to find a new location, Manor Hill House in Upton Warren, and the wedding went ahead the next day. But they still feel frustrated at the stress they had to go through.

'Thankfully we found a lovely venue who had a cancellation, but it was the most stressful day of my life,' Mrs Alexander said.

The pair had already been forced to move their wedding three times previously due to changing lockdown rules.

Mrs Alexander asked the golf club if staff could carry out a deep clean and recruit agency staff, but was told this was not possible.

'I had never felt that low and it was not what either of us needed after the year we'd had,' she said. 'I had 190 people coming to our reception to let down.

'But then my friend came across this gorgeous venue called Manor Hill House, in Upton Warren.

'By some miracle, they'd had a cancellation and they actually had availability for the next day.

'They should just ask them to do tests and prove they're negative so they can go back to work. Now staff shortages are causing havoc everywhere. It's unnecessary and crazy.'

Steve Dougan, the club manager at Kings Norton Golf Club, said: 'Sadly just before Sarah and Darren's wedding a new member of our staff was pinged and had to isolate.

'Shortly after he tested positive. Then, nearly every other member of staff at the club was pinged and forced to self-isolate.

'This 'pingdemic' is affecting businesses everywhere and it has been really tough. 'The problem is the NHS Track and Trace app doesn't give anyone information so nobody knows where it's from. It has been disastrous.'
In total, when children sent home to isolate from school are included, there were more than 2.5million people told to quarantine last week — or four per cent of the entire population. However, some people pinged by the app would have also been contacted by Test and Trace. And some of the people who tested positive may have also been pinged or told to self-isolate
A record 1.5million people were asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace last week, official data showed yesterday

In recent weeks the government has come under increasing pressure to bring forward the date at which double-vaccinated people will be exempted from self-isolation.

In a round of interviews this morning, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps reiterated that there is no intention of changing the date, although he admitted: 'We are being, if you like, slightly cautious about it.'

However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said in a statement: 'This has been a summer of chaos for British businesses and British families.'

'The Tory government has never been able to explain the logic of their self-isolation rules and has just repeated the same mistakes over and over again.

'While the British public have been trying to do the right thing, we saw this Government's instincts when Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak tried to avoid the isolation millions have had to endure.

'The Government's slapdash approach to this global pandemic is crippling our economy and creating real problems for businesses and families alike. Welsh Labour has shown what can be done and it's time for the Tories to do the same.'

Wales's change will come into effect on the same day the country is expected to move to alert level zero – when most coronavirus restrictions will be lifted.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or has symptoms must continue to isolate for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status, the Welsh Government has said.
It came as Boris Johnson today came under mounting pressure to end the pingdemic by bringing forward the date for exempting fully vaccinated people from self-isolation rules 

It will also advise those identified as a contact of a positive case to have a PCR test on day two and day eight, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

MPs and business leaders have been pleading with Mr Johnson to bring forward the date in England after a rise in Covid cases led to a surge in people being 'pinged' by the app, causing huge disruption.

Mr Shapps did not completely rule out changing the date this morning, but said it was the 'only lever we have' to control infections after legal restrictions were aced on July 19.

The government is also facing demands to recall Parliament amid concern Covid vaccine passports had been introduced by 'stealth' via the NHS app.

Confirming the rule change for Wales, Mr Drakeford said: 'Self-isolation on symptoms or a positive test result continues to be a powerful measure in helping to break the chains of transmission and stop the spread of the virus.

'It is important we retain this, even for people who have been fully vaccinated.

'But we know a full course of the vaccine offers people protection against the virus and they are far less likely to contract it when they are identified as close contacts.

'This means they no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days.'
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 75 per cent of respondents to a survey published today aged between 18 and 34 said they fully adhered to the isolation requirements for the entire 10-day period after testing positive for coronavirus 

Data published on Thursday showed the number of people being told to self-isolate reached another record, with almost 700,000 alerts sent to Covid app users in England and Wales.

The so-called 'pingdemic' led to 689,313 alerts being sent to users of the NHS Covid-19 app last week telling them they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

Some frontline workers are exempt from isolation, including those in prisons, waste collection, defence, the food industry, transport, Border Force and police and fire services.

Daily negative test results enable those eligible workers who have been alerted by the NHS Covid-19 app or called by NHS Test and Trace as coronavirus contacts to continue working.

Elsewhere, figures from Public Health England estimated Covid vaccines have prevented an estimated 22 million infections and 60,000 deaths in England.

The data also suggested jabs are estimated to have directly averted more than 52,600 hospital admissions.

The figures were published as England's deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said he hoped the worst of the pandemic was over in the UK, while warning there could be 'one or two bumpy periods' ahead.

On the NHS app, a tweak to the wording on the NHS Covid Pass section has raised concerns.

It now includes a 'domestic' section, which states: 'You may need to show your NHS Covid Pass at places that have chosen to use the service.'

The Government has said it wants to make vaccine passports mandatory for some settings – such as nightclubs – and crowded events from the autumn.

Comments / 34


At a time such as this with no real understanding of this pandemic or how it works why are people still planning such functions?

user in IN

If that's the worst thing that happens during their life together, they should count their blessings.

Pamela M

Getting Covid-19 would have been far more inconvenient. And being double jabbed is nit the protection you have been told it is. Our veterinarian hospital had an after hours emergency case come in, two vet techs, and a veterinarian took the call. The patient's owner qas fully vaccinated, as were all the employees. I don't know if someone slipped up and didn't wear a mask or what, but two days later the pet owner tested positive for Covid-19, she called right away, both vet techs and and the veterinarian tested positive too, they all became symptomatic over the next couple of days. There were 19 more cases in the employees at the veterinarian hospital, and now it is ripping through the employees families. One of the first vet techs had had dinner with his parents and 14yr old brother, his dad and brother were both vaccinated and both have it.


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