LGA responds to concerns about self-isolation for critical workers

"It is clear that the current high prevalence of COVID-19 has resulted in large numbers of close contacts being required to self-isolate, which is placing pressure on some council services due to staff shortages. Most councils have been able to keep services running but there is a concern that, if rates increase further, many will be forced to prioritise services that protect the most vulnerable in their communities."


Woman sitting on a sofa and staring out the window

Responding to the exemption of certain critical workers if requested to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

“Councils have been working hard throughout the pandemic to keep services running as best as possible and communities safe, closely following government advice. Protecting the health and wellbeing of our workforce and residents remains our top priority as restrictions ease and life returns closer to normal for many of us.

“It is clear that the current high prevalence of COVID-19 has resulted in large numbers of close contacts being required to self-isolate, which is placing pressure on some council services due to staff shortages. Most councils have been able to keep services running but there is a concern that, if rates increase further, many will be forced to prioritise services that protect the most vulnerable in their communities.

“In exceptional cases and only after a risk assessment, councils need discretion on who they class as critical workers to reflect the changing staffing demands across services as they look to redeploy staff, if there is a risk to the delivery of critical local services.”