THE managing direcor of Iceland is calling on Covid-19 isolation periods to be cut after absences at the firm shot up.

Richard Walker revealed via Twitter that the firm has seen absences increase by around 70 per cent in a week.

He said the absences had risen by almost 700 week-on-week, putting them at 1,700.

The company, which was founded in Oswestry's Leg Street, is said to have a workforce of around 30,000.

Mr Walker said it would be "very helpful" if the isolation period for those who have tested positive for Covid-19 was reduced.

He explained: "Our Covid absences have risen by almost 700 [week-on-week], now at over 1,700. It would be very helpful to business if the isolation period was cut."

The isolation period currently stands at seven days in England, having been reduced from 10 days by the Government in December.

However, this is only if individuals received negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven of their isolation, and they are still strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces and to work from home.

At that time Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid said: "We want to reduce the disruption from Covid-19 to people’s everyday lives.

"Following advice from our clinical experts we are reducing the self-isolation period from 10 days to seven if you test negative on a LFD test for two days running.

"It’s vital people keep playing their part by testing regularly and isolating if they test positive. And I urge you to Get Boosted Now to protect yourself and those around you."