Families 'pinged' by test and trace app 24 hours before holiday unable to travel

  • Watch the full report by ITV Meridian's James Dunham


Families across the South, who were due to go on holiday, have now had to self-isolate after being 'pinged' by the NHS test and trace app.

The uncertainty is making the summer getaway more complicated, at a time when breaks are so important for rest and recuperation.

A mother from Christchurch in Dorset, says she is devastated after having to cancel a holiday to Cornwall, just hours before they were due to leave.

Penny Ballyntyne recieved the notification that she would have to self-isolate for 10 days on Thursday (22/07) afternoon.

  • Penny Ballyntyne:

In Crowthorne, a mother-of-four says she is "gutted" after not being able to travel to Ibiza.

Reim Nahaboo has had to cancel her second holiday this pandemic, after one of her sons tested positive for Covid.

Reim says the family has successfully avoided catching the virus up until this point.

  • Reim Nahaboo:

Meanwhile, people are unpacking their bags and are pitching their tents at Fairthorne Manor in Hampshire.

Jim Hooper, Community Director says they've had 20 staff who have had to self-isolate due to the NHS Covid app.

He says this has impacted their ability to deliver their service to holiday-makers.

  • Jim Hooper, Community Director:

In Brighton, the fun of the fair has been overshadowed by the impact of isolation.

Anne Ackford, Chair, Brighton Tourism Alliance says small and big business have had to close or reduce their trading hours because of a lack of staff available.

She says the 'pingdemic' is "like a lockdown by the back door".


To prevent food shortages, the Government is allowing some isolating workers to return in they test negative.

Priority testing sites, including the largest supermarket distribution centres, have been earmarked for rollout this week - with up to 500 sites poised to partake in the initiative next week.

Although Gatwick, Easyjet and Tui aren't currently affected by reduced staffing, there are calls for quarantine rules to be relaxed for the aviation industry and passengers.

Gemma Antrobus, a travel agent from Haslemere, says a lot of people are in really difficult situation because they are not guaranteed a refund on their holiday if they are required to cancel it due to self-isolation.

  • Gemma Antrobus, Travel Agent:

With weekly increases in Covid cases, scientists say we shouldn't be shocked to see large numbers of people having to quarantine.

Almost 620,000 have been 'pinged' by the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales - the highest weekly figure ever recorded.

In the week to July 14, 618,903 people received notifications telling them to self-isolate, as they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.