Tuesday evening UK news briefing: Freedom day: Expecting pingdemic exemption? You’ll have to apply

Key workers will have to apply for Boris Johnson’s promised exemption from the "pingdemic" because there will be no official list, Downing Street has said. 

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced that staff in certain critical industries could soon leave self-isolation to attend their workplaces if they had been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days. 

But pressed on how the new rules would work, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: "It’s not a blanket exemption." Read on for details. 

It comes after small business minister Paul Scully was earlier slapped down by Number 10 for suggesting people could make their own "informed decisions" about whether to self-isolate after being pinged by the NHS Covid app. 

Meanwhile, MPs have warned ministers that it would be “outrageous” to make Covid vaccine passports a requirement for MPs to attend the House of Commons. Sir Lindsay Hoyle said this.

If you are not yet feeling confused, double-jabbed travellers arriving from amber list destinations have been advised to "lie" about their intention to self-isolate, in order to avoid lengthy border control queues, an immigration source has advised. 

Perhaps it is little wonder the US State Department has elevated the UK to "do not travel" status amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Britain. 

Meanwhile, teaching unions have warned that children could be pulled out of the classroom in final week of term amid fears that the "pingdemic" could scupper family holidays, as it emerged more than a million pupils are now off school.

French navy dumps boat of migrants on TV crew

A French warship has been accused of escorting a dinghy crammed with 13 migrants and leaving them with a TV news crew. Journalist Pip Tomson was on board a boat in the English Channel reporting for ITV’s Good Morning Britain on the crisis when the migrants were dumped on them by the French officials. The French authorities then vanished, forcing the TV crew to act as guardians until the British border officials were able to arrive. Watch the situation unfold. It comes after at least 430 migrants made the journey across the English Channel to the UK on Monday, a new record for a single day. See pictures of them landing.

Amazon founder Bezos makes private flight into space

Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man on Earth, has made history after his Blue Origin capsule blasted off – and landed safely – taking him and its three other crew briefly into space. The rocket lifted off at 2.15pm UK time, taking off from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas to take Mr Bezos up 62 miles, above the Karman line on its 10-minute and 10 second mission. Blue Origin’s first human mission is a key moment for the fledgling private space flight industry seeking to make the final frontier accessible to elite tourists. See images and video of the flight nine days after Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson made the voyage on July 11. Mr Bezos biographer Brad Stone explains why the billionaire sees today’s rocket-propelled adventure as a way of giving back to society.

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.

"I have just chaired a council zoom meeting and great as it was, there is something special about the "real thing". Similarly, I can attend a full church, we can all sing again with the choir and worship. Marvellous!"
Chris Burke, 68, Lincoln

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Extreme weather | Parts of England were hit with thunderstorms today amid Met Office concerns, which follows an unprecedented twin heat and flood warning. The drastic changes in climate conditions come after devastating floods ravaged parts of Germany last week, with its government wanting the EU to help pay for rebuilding. Meanwhile, the fire roaring through parts of Oregon is so large it now covers an area the size of Los Angeles and passengers were trapped in chest-high water on a Chinese underground train as a flash flood swamped the subway.

  • Footballer arrest | Attorney General’s warning on social media posts
  • Universal Credit | Bid to extend to families with three children
  • Hotel quarantine | Australian man ties bedsheets together to escape
  • ‘World’s fastest’ | China unveils train with top speed of 370mph
  • ‘Fun’ time | Why Bill Clinton turned down tea at Buckingham Palace

Around the world: Fingerless climber missing

The first person with disabilities to scale all 14 of the highest peaks in the Himalayas has disappeared on the descent from his latest conquest. Kim Hong-bin, a 57-year-old South Korean mountaineer who lost all his fingers to frostbite in 1991, reached the summit of 26,401-foot Broad Peak, on the border of Pakistan and China, shortly before 5pm local time on Sunday. Yet he sent a distress call seventeen hours later.

Tuesday documentary

Doddie Weir: ‘My fight against MND is bigger than ever’

In this 15-minute film, former Scotland and Lions lock Doddie Weir continues to battle motor neurone disease, amazing his doctors and inspiring thousands of sufferers

Watch documentary

Comment and analysis

  • Ross Clark | If only PM had ignored Cummings and acted on instincts
  • Jeremy Warner | ‘Freedom day’ chaos has squandered vaccine victory
  • Charles Moore | Would-be BBC boss damned by her own words
  • Dominic Cavendish | Tone-deaf Government is destroying theatre
  • Victoria Moore | Has love affair with cheap prosecco run out of fizz?

Editor’s choice

  • Divisive hires | Why GB News needs culture warriors like Nigel Farage and Piers Morgan
  • Modern Guy Fawkes or ‘career psychopath’? | In search of the real Dominic Cummings
  • Killing Escobar, review | An enthralling documentary about an outlandish plot
  • Business and money briefing

    Lorry driver shortage | Tests for car drivers who want to tow a heavy caravan could be scrapped to free up examiners for truckers as ministers race to combat the UK’s HGV crisis. Read on for details.

    • Ben & Jerry’s owner | Israel’s warning over Palestinian boycott
    • Tax hacks | NS&I’s hidden rule change has left savers facing tax chaos
    • On top of markets | Live stocks and shares updates 24 hours a day

    Olympics briefing

    Games at risk | With less than 72 hours before the opening ceremony begins, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics remain under threat. Though unthinkable at this late stage, Toshiro Muto, heading of the organising committee, refused to rule out cancelling the event earlier today amid rising Covid-19 cases that include 71 Games-related infections. As Tom Morgan writes, Team GB are in line for another strong medal haul according to latest forecasts, albeit dropping down in the medal table.

    Today’s other sports headlines

    • Man Utd | Luke Shaw played Euro 2020 games with broken ribs
    • Lions’ 1974 tour | Battle of Boet Erasmus, ’99’ and The Invincibles
    • South Africa | What makes their game plan so hard to contain?

    Three things for tonight

    • Watch | Uprising, BBC One, 9pm and more of tonight’s TV listings
    • Podcast | Imposters: UK’s first female chef to win three Michelin stars
    • Play | Telegraph Puzzles featuring today’s Crossword and Sudoku

    And finally… for this evening’s downtime

    Meat Me Halfway | A new documentary that promotes occasional veganism aims to save the planet – and our relationships. Tomé Morrissy-Swan reveals how to be a reducetarian.

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