The number of pubs and restaurants forced to close due to staff being told to self-isolate by the NHS Test & Trace app has been described as “complete chaos”.

Mark Derry, CEO at Brasserie Bar Co, also sits on the board at New World Trading Company which has lost 35 days of trading from four of its 39 venues so far, he told the Financial Times. “We are all moving people around to make up for people who have had close contact notifications.”

While Will Beckett, co-founder at Hawksmoor, said the notifications were having a “profound implication” on its restaurants and its staff personally who have been earning so much less on furlough.

The business said it received 25 test and trace notifications within four weeks of reopening.

The issue of the vast number of hospitality workers being ‘pinged’ on the app was discussed on MCA’s The Conversation last week.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive, UKHospitality said the trade body had been pressing the government to introduce a ‘test to release’ scheme for hospitality workers so that they can avoid having to self-isolate for 10 days every time they are notified of exposure.

“We have raised it as a matter of urgency and have asked for a test to release scheme for workers and some kind of enhanced regime for those workers that are double-jabbed.”

Matt Snell, chief executive, Gusto Italian told MCA he’d had to close its Leeds restaurant for lunchtime service recently as it didn’t have enough staff due to one chef testing positive for Covid and 11 others then needing to self-isolate.