Iceland managing director Richard Walker has said staff absence rates are now double the usual number, with the figure rising 50% “week on week” due to people being told to self-isolate by the NHS app.
Mr Walker told the Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’ve now got over 1,000 staff off, who’ve been pinged. That’s double the normal rates, and it’s rising at 50% week on week.
“Our big concern is that we’ve kept all of our shops open throughout the pandemic, but now we have had to close one or two shops and reduce hours in others.
“But that could get a lot worse a lot quicker, unless the country’s system is sorted out.”
Mr Walker urged shoppers not to panic buy, saying: “There is certainly no problem with supply of stock.
“Panic-buying is only an option for those who can afford it and it often means that others go without.”