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Coronavirus live: UK airports set for busiest weekend since pandemic; clashes at Sydney anti-lockdown protests

There were increasing calls for Boris Johnson to bring forward his wider relaxation of quarantine rules for the fully vaccinated from 16 August 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.

Industry leaders said the move did not include sufficient workers, but doctors warned the problem is that the Prime Minister has let the virus “rip” and not the “pings” being issued by the NHS Covid-19 app to tell coronavirus contacts to isolate.

The mounting criticism came as data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Covid-19 cases continued to rise, with around one in 75 people in England infected.

The estimate of the number testing positive – 741,700 – in the week to 17 July is the highest since the week to 30 January.

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