// Iceland warns of staff shortages amid spread of new Omicron variant
// Fully-vaccinated people have been advised to self-isolate if in contact with someone who has tested positive
// Iceland said 1 in 10 of its workers are currently self-isolating
Iceland has warned of staff shortages as one in 10 of its workers are currently self-isolating due to Covid-19.
The frozen food retailer said about 3300 people were currently at home – representing 11% of its entire workforce.
Current government guidelines mean fully-vaccinated people have been advised to self-isolate if in contact with someone who has tested positive as the Omicron variant adds to disruption.
Iceland said the rates of staff absences in recent days were more than double last year’s peak during the so-called ‘pingdemic’ when users of the NHS COVID app, identified as coming into close contact with someone who had tested positive, had to isolate for 10 days.
The company said it closed two stores on New Year’s Day to spread available store workers around.
Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker has encouraged people to get vaccinated amid the spread of the Omicron variant.
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.