Nightclubs and other venues with large crowds are set to be legally forced to adopt Covid passports from the end of September in a bid to drive up vaccine uptake among younger people.
In a reversal of his previous stance, Boris Johnson has become convinced that such virus status checks should be legally mandated for clubs, according to aides.
Appearing virtually from Chequers due to his self-isolation, Mr Johnson also told a Downing Street press conference that scores of workers in "critical" industries will be able to do Covid tests rather than self-isolate if they come into contact with someone with Covid.
Stephen Armstrong laments how even Game of Thrones is not safe from "pingdemic" lunacy but Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned "we are quite close" to the size of winter wave of infections, and that step four is "a big inside mixing step" so it will go higher. Read on for details.
Elsewhere, Covid vaccines are on hold for most children amid concern that they offer little benefit and could trigger heart conditions, the Government’s advisers have said.
The jabs will be recommended for around 370,000 children aged 12 to 15 who are most vulnerable to Covid, including those with severe learning disabilities or who are immunosuppressed.
Meanwhile, supermarkets were facing a mask backlash from shoppers today amid complaints that staff, rather than customers, were failing to follow face-covering advice.
Fears more countries to be added to ‘amber-plus’ list
Today is amber list "freedom day" too, with fully-vaccinated Britons having their pick of quarantine-free holiday destinations. Yet a number of travel experts fear fully-vaccinated holidaymakers risk quarantine on return to the UK thanks to the Government’s creation of a new "amber plus" list, which could soon include Spain and Greece. One holidaymaker has revealed they have taken their child out of school to prevent him being told to isolate and ruining their summer plans. It comes as France’s junior European affairs minister called the Government’s stricter restrictions "excessive". Yet as Emmanuel Macron threatens his citizens with obligatory vaccinations for everyone, Naomi Firsht analyses who the President has put himself in a hole of his own making.
‘It feels normal and weird’: the return of nightclubs
At a few minutes past midnight, in the purple light of Oval Space in Hackney, people began to cluster together on the dance floor with tentative enthusiasm. This was London’s first proper club night since March 2020 and Susannah Goldsbrough reveals it did not take long for clubbers to remember how it feels to be young and unselfconscious. A top hospitality chief says restaurants and pubs should not be blamed if there is a spike in Covid cases as a result of lifting restrictions while William Sitwell describes the joy of walking in to a pub and being able to order a pint of ale at the bar. Two people enjoying life without facemasks were the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as they enjoyed an impromptu walkabout in the grounds of Exeter Cathedral.
The end of lockdown: What Front Page readers think
We asked Front Page readers to let us know what you will be doing differently after Covid restrictions ended today and what you are thankful for. This week, we will share some of your contributions.
"In this year of our 50th wedding anniversary we are going to revitalise our lives with visits to our five children and seven grandchildren, who give us so much joy. We want to give them courage to face the future, whatever it may hold in store for us."
Timothy & Andrea Tindal-Robertson, 81 & 79, Exeter
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Heatwave warning | The Met Office has issued its first ever "extreme heat" warning as the scorching temperatures across the UK are set to remain for a number of days. Read what to expect and what you should do. Three people pulled from the water died on Sunday as crowds flocked to beaches and waterways looking for relief from the heatwave. It comes amid a spate of extreme weather events to emerge around the world. Watch this video on why extreme weather has spread.
- Pictured | Australia deports Katie Hopkins after hotel quarantine boast
- Christ Church Dean | Supporters launch campaign to save his career
- Hate speech | Anjem Choudary’s first public statement since release
- Israeli software | Tool used by governments to ‘spy on journalists’
- Dambuster dies | Squadron Leader ‘Benny’ Goodman – obituary
Around the world: Tensions flare in Cyprus ghost town
When Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan returns to North Cyprus this week to commemorate the anniversary of Turkey’s intervention on the island, he is expected to make an announcement about the future of the ghost town of Varosha. Since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a Greece-backed coup, the Tulip and the rest of Varosha has been cordoned off by the Turkish military. Mr Erdogan’s visit will likely fan the flames of division, as Campbell MacDiarmid reports from the once glamorous beach resort famed for hosting 1970s Hollywood stars.
‘This was skulduggery of Schumacher proportions’
Lewis Hamilton after winning the British Grand Prix
Credit: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Lewis Hamilton’s polished reputation has taken a hit after his 180mph collision with Max Verstappen. Oliver Brown analyses how the seven-time world champion has shown his ruthless side – but ‘dirty driving’ claims will reverberate around the F1 paddock
Read the full article
Comment and analysis
- Ross Clark | Too many punters have missed the point of freedom day
- Ben Marlow | ‘Freedom day’ is a sinister lockdown by stealth
- Henry Hill | Greedy Bercow never could resist a perk
- Andrew Orlowski | Car industry may have forgotten how to make cars
- Simon Heffer | A strong MCC could have killed off The Hundred
Business and money briefing
Inflation debate | The divide at the Bank of England over fast-rising inflation has deepened after a top rate-setter warned against an early withdrawal of support as the Covid surge threatens the recovery.
- State pensions | Spending billions more is ‘absurd’, warns IFS chief
- Taxing work | ‘I led a 45-year campaign to change the tax year’
- On top of markets | Live stocks and shares updates 24 hours a day
Athletes are continuing to arrive in Tokyo before the start of the Olympic Games on Friday and, predictably, some are bringing Covid with them. An unnamed American gymnast and a Czech beach volleyball player are the latest to test positive. As Ben Bloom writes, Tokyo is a city trying to welcome up to 100,000 foreigners at precisely the same time its own Covid cases reach a six-month high. In other news, a famous Japanese musician, Cornelius, has resigned from his role in the opening ceremony after controversy about his abuse of mentally ill classmates. Sign up to our Olympics Briefing newsletter for daily insight on the Games.
Today’s other sports headlines
- Eoin Morgan | ‘English cricket needs the Hundred to succeed’
- Will Greenwood | My starting XV for the Lions’ first Test
- The Greatest Lions XV | Part 1: the back three and head coach
Three things for tonight
- Watch | Taken: Hunting the Sex Traffickers, Channel 4, 9pm
- Listen | The 21 best summer songs to play in a heatwave
- Play | Telegraph Puzzles featuring today’s Crossword and Sudoku
And finally… for this evening’s downtime
Leg up | It has been a sweltering day but that does not mean your legs have to be on show. Krissy Turner reveals how to get through the heatwave in style if you don’t like having your legs out.
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