Debbie McGee has said she supports the method of daily testing to avoid isolation if individuals are double-vaccinated.
The TV and radio star, 62, spoke about the effect of isolation and ‘pinging’ on industries reopening as she attended the opening night of the West End show Wonderville at the Palace Theatre.
The magic and illusion show, which features mind reader Chris Cox, Britain’s Got Talent magician Josephine Lee and record-breaking Magic Circle triple champion Edward Hilsum, was previously delayed after a member of the production team tested positive for Covid-19.
McGee first rose to fame as the assistant of magician Paul Daniels, who she was later married to for 28 years before he died of a brain tumour at the age of 77 in March 2016.
She told the PA news agency: “Actually I’m on the side now of all the testing – I think if you have both the jabs, and if you can test all the time, I think then you should be exempt from the pinging.
“I don’t think it’s quite worked. I think the idea was good but you know, in reality, we know that can’t work, especially in the hospitals and other places where people have fought to help us, they can’t just all be off because they’ve been pinged.
“And they don’t know when or where they were near somebody. So I sort of agree with the whole testing thing.”
There have been increasing calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bring forward his wider relaxation of quarantine rules for the fully vaccinated from August 16 as businesses were hampered by staff being told to isolate as coronavirus cases soar.
In a bid to calm the concerns of industry, ministers published a limited list of sectors whose double-jabbed workers are eligible to avoid isolation if they undergo daily testing before the wider easing of rules for England.
McGee also spoke of how tough it had been for performers during the coronavirus pandemic, explaining how her friends who worked in theatre took up jobs driving for supermarkets or painting and decorating to get by.
McGee said: “The Government has helped a lot, but I think that the arts are going to need a lot more help than they’ve had, and I think a lot of it is more than money, it’s encouragement of how safe it is to go back to the theatre.
“And so many people have put so much money into making theatres safe.
“I mean, I was actually lucky that I did a pantomime at the Theatre Royal in Windsor, and I felt safer there than I did in the supermarket or anywhere else.
“So I’m really not scared about coming out of the theatre and I hope the Government will encourage that.”
McGee shot back into the public eye after making it to the final of series 15 of Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 with professional partner Giovanni Pernice.
She will be reunited with Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood as he plays the Wicked Stepmother to her Fairy Godmother character in Cinderella the pantomime at the Mayflower Theatre later this year.
McGee will also soon be taking her one-woman show, Debbie McGee: A Life Sawn in Half, on tour.