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Ed Sheeran has bought a mobile phone after four years without one so he can respond to the government's quarantine check-in calls.
The Shape of You singer ditched his phone back in 2017 and was happily living without a device, but he has reluctantly reintroduced a basic Nokia 3310 back into his life as a result of travelling amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as people who return home to the U.K. after being overseas receive calls from the government to make sure they are self-isolating.
"I've been doing promotion overseas and quarantine afterwards," he told fellow singer Jessie Ware on her Table Manners podcast. "The Government call you but I didn't have a phone for them to call me on. They were really on me. I think they were trying to catch me out."
Ed explained he followed the five-day test release scheme which allows people quarantining after a trip abroad to stop self-isolating on day five if they have a negative test result, and he was called by the Test and Trace team shortly after leaving the house.
"I don't know if they have GPRS tracking but we did a five-day test to release thing and on the fifth day I left and then they rung and were like, 'You've left your house,'" he recalled. "So I don't know whether my neighbours are just ringing up. But I basically got the all-clear on an email just saying, 'You're ready to go' so I left and within half an hour they were like, 'Why have you left?'"
He added that the phone is only designed for calls and texts so he isn't the one uploading content to his social media accounts.