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BBC Breakfast axes regional news due to ‘pingdemic’

The BBC has been forced to make some changes to BBC Breakfast (Picture: BBC)

BBC Breakfast has scrapped its regional news bulletins as a result of staff shortages caused by the ‘pingdemic’.

National and regional news coverage had been commonplace on the flagship morning programme, usually fronted by Dan Walker and Louise Minchin, however, local reporting has now been shelved until September.

It comes as crew members have been forced to isolate after being notified by the NHS test and trace app.

‘Like employers in every area of the economy, we’re experiencing unprecedented staffing shortages caused by Covid,’ a BBC spokesperson said.

‘Apart from a few exceptions, we have maintained a normal service so far.

‘Our priority is to protect the most popular news programme on TV; the regional news at 6:30pm on BBC One.

‘To do this, we are implementing some short-term measures to ease pressure on our teams.’

A record number of people in England and Wales were ‘pinged’ as contacts by the test and trace app and told to self-isolate for up to 10 days in the week to July 14, with 618,903 alerts sent to users.

People in England who are fully vaccinated will not have to self-isolate if identified as a contact from August 16, nearly a month after restrictions on social mixing were lifted and at a time when cases have soared.

Alongside the measures to protect food supplies, the Government published guidance last Thursday setting out limited exemptions for other critical workers.

Employees providing critical services would only be able to keep working and avoid self-isolation after being identified as a contact if they were named on a list kept updated by officials.

The exemptions – mainly in 16 sectors including essential transport, the emergency services and energy industry – will allow people identified as contacts by the app to carry on working if their failure to do so would have a ‘major detrimental impact’ or risk national security.

BBC Breakfast airs daily from 6am on BBC One.

Credit: Original article published here.

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