The streets of Britain may soon be choked with trash as garbage collectors grapple with staff shortages due to Covid.
Manchester, Essex, Somerset and Buckinghamshire councils have reduced and in some cases canceled trash collections as staff absences increased by a quarter.
Chelmsford Council said 23 staff were absent and canceled three days of garbage collection.
While the United Hospitals of Lincolnshire declared a critical incident due to “extreme and unprecedented” staff shortages.
A series of overwhelmingly positive studies show Omicron to be milder than other strains, with the first official UK report showing that the risk of hospitalization is 50-70% lower than Delta’s.
Covid booster injections protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get vital additional vaccines in the arms of the British to avoid the need for further restrictions.
It comes as the government is preparing to announce its intention to prioritize public sector workers for lateral flow testing, as they expect 25 percent to be absent from work.
The Local Government Association said garbage collectors should also be given priority for testing.
Thousands of working Brits are struggling to get their hands on the DIY side-flow kits, which have sold out in drugstores and are regularly unavailable online.
The surge in cases of the Omicron variant has triggered a shortage across Britain, where another 137,583 cases of Covid were recorded yesterday with 73 deaths.
It emerged yesterday that UK rapid test makers are still awaiting approval – the majority coming from China.
Meanwhile, education officials are scrambling to make sure every school has enough tests to swab every student before term begins this week.
Ministers are optimistic that there is no need to add further Covid restrictions to tackle the new Omicron wave.
No10 is expected to review the current restrictions this week, but should not make any changes.
Health Minister Ed Agar said hospitalizations were not crippling the NHS – although he expected them to increase, but revealed only 789 people were on ventilators.
He said, “I don’t see anything in the data right in front of me in the immediate situation, which suggests a need for further restrictions. “
“We need composure and calm. We need to look at the data and we need to do everything we can to avoid any restrictions – restrictions or restrictions should be the absolute last resort. “
The minister said Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Sajid Javid monitor the data every day.
Current Plan B measures – for Covid passes and masks in some contexts – will be reviewed this week, but insiders don’t expect anything to change.
Mr Agar said he expected to see the number of hospitalized patients increase with such a high number of cases.