The Speaker
Friday, 12 April 2024 – 11:58

Weekend travel disruption expected amid ‘pingdemic’

Passengers are being advised to check before they travel on many transport networks this weekend as the ‘pingdemic’ continues to cause significant disruption.

Transport for London has suspended the Circle and Hammersmith & City line all weekend due to a shortage of staff, while the Metropolitan Line is suspended until midday on both Saturday and Sunday. Some other Underground lines are also disrupted, with delays, part closures and part suspensions.

On trains, a number of operators have revised their timetables due to a shortage of train crew, while some services are being cancelled at short notice. Many services are operating but are crowded, as a result of more passengers trying to board routes during the hot weather, summer holidays and from cancelled services.

Buses have also been cancelled in some areas, with increasing numbers of staff being told to self-isolate and not go to work in person. Meanwhile, a number of major UK airports have said they are expecting their busiest weekend since the pandemic begun.

The ‘pingdemic’, has seen huge numbers of people told to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The number of people isolating has caused significant disruption this week, with transport disruption, shortages of some items in supermarkets and some businesses having to close their doors.

The Government has so far resisted calls for the testing scheme alternative to isolating to be brought forward from next month. Workers in a limited number of key occupations can now be exempted from isolating if identified as a close contact if them isolating would have a “major detrimental impact” or present a risk to national security.

309,742 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK in the last 7 days according to official data, though daily case numbers do appear to have started falling.

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