Tesco is informing staff at some of its stores to turn off the NHS Track & Trace app to avoid false positives.
Employees at a Tesco store in Redruth, Cornwall, have been instructed by the retailer to pause the NHS Track & Trace app when leaving their phone in lockers while at work.
According to Cornwall Live, which first reported the story, this is intended to prevent the app’s algorithm from generating “false positive” alerts.
These could occur if an employee’s phone is placed in a locker next to another employee’s phone who later tests positive for COVID-19.
Anyone who is alerted by the NHS app that they’ve come into close proximity with someone who has tested positive for the virus must self-isolate for 10 days by law.
One worker told the publication the move was “cheeky as hell”, adding that if “someone with Covid walked past your locker, you’re still working with these people.”
Official NHS guidelines state that users should pause the app if they “store (their) phone in a locker or communal area, for example while working or taking part in a leisure activity like swimming”.
A Tesco spokesperson confirmed that it encouraged employees to download the app and pause it when phones are stored in lockers.
“A very small number of colleagues at our Redruth store have tested positive for Covid-19. Their close contacts have been informed,” the spokesperson added.
“The safety of our colleagues, customers and suppliers remains our number one priority and we are working with local public health authorities, following all Government guidance and taking the relevant precautions.
“We have extensive measures across all of our stores to help keep everyone safe, including protective screens at every checkout, social distancing signage and regular cleaning.”