A HEREFORDSHIRE cocktail bar and restaurant has been forced to temporarily close amid staff shortages caused by the coronavirus "pingdemic".

Leonards at 39 in Ross-on-Wye's High Street said this week that it was with their deepest regret that they would be unable to open for the rest of the week due to several members of the team having to self-isolate.

"We have been left with extreme staff shortages and are unable to open for the rest of the week," the business said.

The popular venue is one of many hit by the effects of the "pingdemic", which has caused problems across the hospitality and food industry, with businesses forced to close as a result of staff isolation and the supply chain hit by a shortage of drivers.

Across England, more than 295,000 cases were transferred to the contact tracing system between July 15 and 21, with 597,000 people identified as coming into close contact with someone who had tested positive.

The Government said it was expanding its daily contact testing for frontline sectors who are exempt from isolation.

Around 260 sites across the country are available for people working in prisons, waste collection, defence, the food industry, transport, Border Force and police and fire services.

A further 800 are in the process of being set up, with 1,200 more due to be established in the coming days.

Daily negative test results will enable eligible workers who have been alerted by the NHS Covid-19 app or called by NHS Test and Trace as coronavirus contacts to continue working.