Thursday evening UK news briefing: Fresh record for the 'United Pingdom'

·6 min read
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Boris Johnson may face a rebellion of a different kind, as Conservative MPs threaten to boycott the party conference over the Covid passport.

Ministers have avoided confirming whether it will be a precondition of entry at the event, due to take place in early October.

However it fits the description set out by Nadhim Zahawi earlier today. This afternoon, Tories said they would vote with their feet.

It comes after it emerged a record number of people were told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid app last week, with the number of pings climbing to over 618,000.

The record numbers come amid warnings from industry leaders that the staff shortages brought about by the pingdemic will worsen unless the Government comes up with a critical workers exemption list, which is expected shortly.

Also, school disruption could continue until Easter, the Government has admitted, as it extends funding for a virtual academy.

Holidaymakers determined to get away whatever quarantine hurdles are thrown at them will be cheered by research suggesting summer holiday prices have fallen by as much as half compared to 2019.

The plummeting prices are likely related to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding overseas breaks due to restrictions both at home and abroad.

Britain and France are in talks to roll out a "wallet" travel app to ensure holidaymakers have all the necessary Covid documentation before heading to the airport. Read on for details.

On the other side of the world, as South Australia enters another lockdown, Robert Fenwick Elliott writes why the reliance on heavy restrictions will eventually end in tears.

Olympics Briefing: How Japan feels about the Games

It was meant to symbolise a nation recovered from disaster but instead the Japanese are watching with trepidation. Public excitement about the Tokyo Olympics has severely waned after a litany of misfortune and scandals, the latest of which saw one of the organisers of the opening ceremony sacked for joking about the Holocaust. Read how the Japanese really feel about the Covid Olympics. One person whose enthusiasm will not be dampened is 79-year-old Mavis Williams, who is planning an early hours cacophony of noise when her grandson Adam Peaty begins his history-making defence of Olympic swimming gold. Read how she has enjoyed a small dose of fame thanks to her grandson's exploits and when Peaty will defend his title. To find out the latest results and read analysis throughout the Games, read our free daily Olympics Briefing newsletter.

Smart camera could show guide dogs the labra-door

They have transformed the lives of people who are blind or partially-sighted, helping them avoid danger and throwing in some loving companionship for good measure. But guide dogs could soon be phased out after scientists developed a smart camera capable of helping blind people avoid collisions. Thirty-one blind and partially-sighted adults took part in a study led by researchers at the Mass General Brigham non-profit hospital in Boston in the US. Read how the device works.

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 will certainly be exercising all my freedoms. As a rural teenager in Suffolk, lockdown and restrictions have completely limited my way of life. I'll be getting out travelling around the country and hopefully Europe with mates and start my flight training in a maskless manner!"
Brandon Stuff, 17, Suffolk

News briefing: Today's essential headlines

Croydon tram crash | The families of passengers who lost their lives in a tram crash have called the inquest into their deaths a "farce", claiming Transport for London and the tram's operators should have been called to give evidence. It came as the jury at the inquest into their deaths concluded the victims died as a result of an accident. Read on for details.

Around the world: Beijing keeps quiet over flooding

Piles of cars were strewn across a central Chinese city today as shocked residents picked through the debris of a historic deluge that claimed at least 33 lives, with rescue efforts ongoing as more heavy rain threatens surrounding regions. Residents are preparing for another day of bad weather, moving vehicles to higher ground and trying to plot journeys out from the stricken city, where communications and power were still patchy.Yet Sophia Yan outlines why you will not hear a peep from China about climate change despite heaviest rain in a millennium.

Thursday big-read

Jessica Ennis-Hill: How I won an Olympic gold medal

Jessica Ennis-Hill after winning gold at London 2012 - Corbis Sport/Christopher Morris
Jessica Ennis-Hill after winning gold at London 2012 - Corbis Sport/Christopher Morris

The star of London 2012, Jessica Ennis-Hill, kicks off her Telegraph Olympic columns by revealing the many ingredients it takes to become the best in the world

Read her full article

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice

  1. The World to Come, review | A frontier love-story that throbs with passion

  2. Lack of sympathy | Seven things no one tells you before your keyless car is stolen

  3. The naffest Bond? | Why Moonraker is the most influential film of 2021

Business and money briefing

Share sale | The Government plans to sell more of its stake in NatWest over the next year in a move likely to return the bailed-out bank to majority private ownership for the first time since it almost brought down Britain's financial system in 2008. Read on for details.

Sport briefing

New contract | Emile Smith Rowe has committed his long-term future to Arsenal, signing a new deal to end interest from Aston Villa. Details here.

Three things for tonight

And finally... for this evening's downtime

Menopausal routine | From intermittent fasting to daily stretching and a new type of HRT, Meg Mathews reveals her tips that have helped ease her symptoms through her menopausal years.

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