Tesco workers told to pause NHS Track & Trace app when at work to avoid “false positives”

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.

READ MORE: Tesco and Boots to help distribute Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

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.”

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Michelle Cook
    January 7, 2021 7:01 pm

    Marks and Spencer are telling all their staff in every store to pause app while at work so they can keep stores open

    • Why didn’t we all have a swipe card instead Covid app is ridiculous my phone battery died so I couldn’t find out if I had contact near someone if I’m asymptotic I wouldn’t be tested this app is stupid

  • Morrisons are telling staff to turn off the app when on the shop floor and those that get a notification to isolate through the app are told by managers they must still come to work. Too many staff off isolating so they’re willing to take risks now.

    • It explains why Ashford B&q in Kent my aunt went down with the virus and quite a few of her colleague she claims were off sick some are calling in sick frightened to work during this. Supermarkets and corner shops the worst some letting young no masks it’s so bad!

  • I work in a restaurant, we ask people to use the NHS check in otherwise we don’t serve them. Someone walked in , checked In and than I processed their order. Just after she paid her phone had a new notification saying she has to self isolate and I was right next to her. I told my line manager about it , they could not care less.

    • The phone app doesn’t work my friend was told to isolate he said he went only to coop but 3 days before he didn’t get a notification for 3 days!!! Telling people to only isolate for 6 days is why we have this issue as well. If we all had smart cards we could track and trace and then not pick up cases I think govt screwed up the app don’t work I can’t be bothered with it and people who don’t have a phone with apps such as often older people could have it and not tell anyone or know and have contact with infected younger person. That’s why a smart card is a better idea govt messed up here

  • Common sense says turn off your app or bluetooth when its not with you or else it’s your phone getting a result!

  • Tesco will not inform staff members if another staff member has COVID , no wonder we can’t keep on top of this, all about money pure greed, no care about staff


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