Coronavirus latest: THE ARMY is on standby to step in and help secure the nation's food supplies if the Pingdemic worsens, a Cabinet minister said today.
Environment secretary George Eustice revealed up to 20% of workers in the sector have now been forced into self-isolation.
Last night the Government scrambled to exempt 10,000 employees from strict quarantine rules to stop supermarkets running bare.
The move came amid warnings the country could be set to face its worst food shortages in 75 years with half of deliveries being delayed.
MPs have even called for troops to be deployed and tasked with vital roles like shipping goods and stocking shelves.
Mr Eustice said there are no "plans at the moment to use the military" but that "they're always on standby".
He said: "We always have that option to call on the contingency the MoD always has in place for situations, but we don't need that at the moment."
The senior cabinet minister said 10,000 food sector workers at over 500 key sites will now be exempted from self-isolation rules.
They include critical parts of the supply chain like supermarket depots, large bakeries, and dairy companies but not stores themselves.
Army on standby as 20% of Britain’s food workers hit by Pingdemic self-isolation & ‘half of deliveries DELAYED’
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