Fallout of the ‘pingdemic’: should the close-contact rules change?

Staff shortages caused by the self-isolation mandate for close contacts of cases of Covid-19 are leading to closures and reduced service in pubs and restaurants, as well as in shops, pharmacies, factories and supply chains

Asheesh Dewan of Chakra in Greystones, Co Wicklow: ‘Financially it is crippling, but that is the repercussion of it, you have to do the right thing.’ Picture: Bryan Meade.

On the Wednesday before Christmas, Asheesh Dewan should have been preparing for the busiest period of the year at Chakra By Jaipur in Greystones.

Instead, he was contacting his customers to cancel around 1,400 bookings.

With one staff member a close contact of a positive case and no tests available, a team operating as a bubble had been taken out of action.

Dewan acted decisively and closed the restaurant completely for two weeks, knowing that ...