A holiday park owner has asked guests to clean toilets if “healthy” staff are forced to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace app.
The email, titled "Dunkirk Spirit", was sent to guests by Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park asking for volunteers to "help clean toilet blocks", amid a potential staff shortage over the summer.
The holiday destination based in Padstow, Cornwall, blamed the current NHS Test and Trace app. It said the technology had sent notifications to "healthy" staff members telling them to self-isolate for ten days.
Owner Patrick Langmaid, 56, says he has had no choice but to ask guests to help out due to "desperate times". The email said if guests weren’t prepared to help they might have to cancel bookings.
It read: "Dear Guest, Apologies if this email causes distress, but, we are perilously close to closing our toilet blocks and cancelling touring holidays, all because healthy staff who’ve tested negative are nevertheless required by law to self-isolate following an NHS ‘ping’.
"With your help, toilet blocks could be kept open, and touring holidays saved.
"The crunch time will be from now through to end-August. We reckon that by September the law will have been changed to allow healthy staff with negative tests to continue working.
"Please email [email protected] if you are willing to give up some of your own holiday to help save holidays for touring guests like you. The work will involve cleaning toilet blocks.”
Patrick Langmaid at his holiday park in Padstow, Cornwall
Credit: South West News Service
He added that he appreciated it was “a very big ask” and said nobody would be forced to help.
He said he was sending the email to “test the water” and added that holidaymakers would get full refunds if trips were cancelled.
The NHS Covid App sends a "ping" alert if a person spends longer than 15 minutes and within two meters’ distance of another who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Those who are "pinged" are advised (but not legally obliged) to self-isolate for 10 days.
Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Langmaid said that two of his 27 members of staff have recently been pinged by the app, adding: "I’m not trying to ruin anyone’s holiday, I am genuinely exploring all means to keep the business open while healthy people are still being told to isolate.”
One guest, who received the email, told the BBC she thought the request was “outrageous".
A week in the most expensive Diamond caravan costs £1690, during the summer holiday.