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Key refuse workers now exempt from coronavirus self-isolation as govt updates list

Key refuse workers are now able to avoid coronavirus self-isolation after the government extended its list of industries whose staff are eligible for exemption.

Last week, MK Council made the decision to suspend food and garden waste from 26 July due to staff shortages with 28% of refuse workers either ill or self-isolating with COVID.

With almost 620,000 people being told to self-isolate by the NHS app in just one week, the “pingdemic” has caused councils across the country to reduce collections due to staff shortages.

However, the government has now responded and expanded the list of workers exempt from self-isolation in a move that will benefit MK Council and its ability to reintroduce food and garden waste collections.

The local Conservatives said that they were “pleased” that the government have acknowledged the challenges on local services and responded with an expanded list of exemptions, adding that they are “looking forward” to MK Council restarting full waste collections.

Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of the Conservative Group, said:

“We recognise that the challenges on waste collections and other frontline services from people having to self-isolate is tough so we are pleased to see the government respond swiftly.

With refuse workers now exempt from self-isolation, we are looking forward to MK Council getting the daily testing capacity sorted and then restarting food and garden waste collections ASAP.”

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick added: "Critical workers up and down the country have repeatedly stepped up to the challenge of making sure our key services are delivered and communities are supported.

"We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude and will continue to support them to do their jobs safely and securely.”


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