Damian Walters, CEO BiKBBI, Pingdemic,

KBB installers not exempt from ‘pingdemic’ isolation rules

Kitchen and bathroom installers will not be exempt from having to automatically isolate if ‘pinged’ by the NHS Test and Trace app, the government has confirmed.

The update comes just days after Damian Walters, CEO of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) revealed that it was lobbying the government to add KBB installers to the exempt list in order to prevent further disruption to businesses in the sector.

A recent survey of BiKBBI members revealed the extent of the problems caused by the app with almost half (46.4%) of the 5,000-plus respondents revealing that the app was disrupting their business.

The BiKBBI said thousands of home-improvement jobs have been cancelled, which, based on the average cost of jobs, means that millions of pounds have already been lost to the incomes of installers – mostly self-employed sole traders and SME workers. 

Speaking about the Government’s decision not to make installers exempt from having to self-isolate Walters (pictured) said: “I’m sorry to report that the Government has confirmed to us [BiKBBI] that KBB installers (or any tradesperson) will not be added to the list of exemptions from those having to automatically isolate if ‘pinged’ by the Track and Test app, despite safe operating procedures being in place.

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“We’ll keep speaking to the Government on the industry’s behalf to ensure support is in place for long-term success”

There is a silver lining on the horizon however, as the Government recently announced that from August 16, those who have been double-vaccinated will not need to self-isolate if they are pinged and can simply carry out a series of tests.

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