// Iceland’s Richard Walker encourages Brits to get vaccinated as staff shortages rise amid Omicron
// “Please let’s all get jabbed folks! Last thing we want or business needs is another lockdown.” – said Walker
Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker has encouraged people to get vaccinated as the number of staff forced to take time off amid the spread of the Omicron variant has risen.
Walker said that the absence rate at Iceland had surpassed levels reached during earlier lockdowns.
He tweeted: “Interesting to note that previous lockdowns all coincided with our Covid absence rate breaching 600-650 colleagues. Today’s is 700.
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“Please let’s all get jabbed folks! Last thing we want or business needs is another lockdown.”
Walker’s comments echo concerns among some other retailers, who fear that more cases of the fast-growing Omicron variant and associated self-isolation is likely to create pressure as staff shortages increase. However some businesses are confident that they have the flexibility to ride out any turbulence.
The new variant has led to the introduction of further restrictions across the UK and in Europe, including the mandatory use of face coverings inside shops.
Public concern and guidance to work from home has hit footfall in key retail locations such as London’s West End, and there is speculation that Covid rules may be tightened in England next week.
Yesterday, the UK reported more than 100,000 new daily infections for the first time. However, news reports have indicated that the Omicron variant may cause milder illness than the Delta strain.