// M&S boss Steve Rowe warns store hours may have to be cut as Freedom Day approaches
// Rowe said by mid-August as many as 1 in 5 supermarket workers could be in home isolation
Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe has warned that store hours may have to be reduced in the wake of ‘Freedom Day’ next week.
Rowe said the number of test and trace app ‘pings’ is growing rapidly – at about three times the rate of Covid cases.
He added that by mid-August, as many as one in five supermarket workers could be in home isolation.
“If there’s shortages we’ll have to manage it by changing hours of stores [and] reducing hours,” Rowe said.
His warning comes amid fears of food shortages when supply chain workers were part of the track and trace net, which meant supplies would rot before they can be sold.
Tesco recently told ministers that 48 tonnes of food was being wasted each week due to a driver shortage.
The NHS test and trace app has been in use since last year, sending alerts to ‘close contacts’ of Covid cases and telling them to self-isolate to reduce the risk of asymptomatic infection.