Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones has welcomed exemptions that are being made to the Covid-19 self-isolation rules after accepting the track and trace ‘pingdemic’ has been creating real challenges for employers.
The Conservative MP was speaking at the latest policy hour meeting organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for its members in north Warwickshire.
Mr Jones said the pandemic had changed with a significant number of people vaccinated, and the number of people being admitted to hospital and their length of stay being reduced.
But he said that the success of the track and trace system was causing some employers difficulties and he welcomed the change to daily testing in August.
He said: “I am well aware of some of the challenges with the system, which is interesting because some time ago people were complaining that it wasn’t successful, and now in many ways it’s almost too successful and clearly it’s causing a lot of employers a great deal of challenges.
“To reflect that, there are a number of industries that are immediately going to move to a daily testing system. That’s important so we can ensure supply chains into supermarkets, for example, can work.”
Also discussed at the meeting was Mr Jones’ support for a gigafactory at Coventry Airport, the possibility of a Minister for SMEs, and the effect of the pandemic on supply chains and the shortage of staff in some sectors. He was also told how small businesses were particularly fragile with the winding down of the Covid-19 support packages.
There was an update on the Transforming Nuneaton scheme which has so far secured over £150million of funding from the public and private sector.
“There is a massive opportunity in Nuneaton which has been well supported through the Towns Fund and the Future High Streets Fund, and I’m also involved in a bid to the Levelling Up Fund,” he said.
“Together with the investments from council and the private sector we have around £150million committed, and that will help to begin to create a better mix of the number of people living and working in town, and a place where they spend their leisure time.
“I’m really excited by the fact that we are in the cusp of lifting the economy of Nuneaton, especially with all the commercial development on the outskirts which is likely to start in the next 12 to 18 months.”
Tom Mongan, President of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Chamber’s north Warwickshire branch, said: “It was good to hear from Marcus and the opportunity to get some of the issues that were raised with him on the government’s radar.
“We agree with Marcus that there are now rightly some exemptions from self-isolation but we would like to see this go further and cover more sectors.
“The economy is getting moving again as we begin to emerge from the pandemic and major schemes in our area, such as Transforming Nuneaton, will make a massive contribution to not only returning it to pre-pandemic levels but even stronger growth into the future.”