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Pingdemic disrupts food supplies

Email sent: Jul 22, 2021 2:58am

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Thursday July 22 2021

The Telegraph
Front Page AM
Empty supermarket shelves

Good morning. Danny Boyle covers how the pingdemic is impacting basic food supplies - and the sacking of the Olympics ceremony director.


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Supermarket shelves empty as pingdemic hits supplies

Shelves are beginning to empty. Supermarket supply chains are "starting to fail" because the "pingdemic" is sending thousands of workers into isolation, food industry leaders have warned. Basic supplies are running low in certain areas and some petrol stations are out of fuel as the NHS Test and Trace app threatens to bring parts of the economy to a standstill. MPs and industry bosses urged the Government to ease the growing crisis by adding supermarket staff, lorry drivers and other front-line workers to a list of those exempted from automatic isolation when "pinged" by the app as a contact of someone with Covid. The Government has yet to publish guidance on which industries would benefit from any exemption scheme. Bill Gardner reports that more than half a million people were told to isolate in a single week. Matt sees the funny side of the pingdemic with today's cartoon.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson faces defeat in the Commons over plans for vaccine passports. The Prime Minister said he would change the law to require proof of two doses of Covid vaccines for entry into nightclubs and "other venues where large crowds gather". He must hold a vote in the Commons and Lords, but now faces opposition from both Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Political Editor Ben Riley-Smith says a Tory rebellion could be enough to overturn the PM's Commons majority.

PS: On a blazing hot "freedom week", it is hard to entertain thoughts of an "early winter" of respiratory viruses that a top epidemiologist has warned is coming. Read how to protect your family.


Olympics ceremony director fired for Holocaust joke


The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games tomorrow has been plunged into turmoil after the show director was fired over a joke he made about the Holocaust. Kentaro Kobayashi was dismissed this morning after facing anti-Semitism allegations over a comedy act in 1998. Sports News Correspondent Tom Morgan says a historically low attendance is predicted on Friday, with spectators banned and hundreds of athletes declining invites due to the risk from coronavirus. Follow all our Olympics coverage here (take out a free subscription trial to read everything) and sign up to our free Olympics Briefing newsletter.


Chip off the old block: Prince George aged eight


Prince George shows the Royal family's love of the Land Rover has continued to the latest generation, as he sits on the bonnet of a Defender in a photograph to mark his eighth birthday today. The setting of the picture, taken by the Prince's mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, is a nod to his great-grandfather, Prince Philip, who had a Land Rover Defender modified as a bespoke hearse. And watch Camilla Tominey explain why Prince George's childhood will be drastically different to the other royals.


The end of lockdown: What Front Page readers think


What are you changing about your life after Covid restrictions ended in England? We asked Front Page readers to tell us what you are thankful for. This week, we are sharing some of your contributions:

"I am looking forward to having bridge again at my house. Playing bridge online was fine, but not like the real thing. Just need to buy the Pimms."
Helen Belcham, 77, Wirral


Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Smart meters | It is a £13.4 billion project. But smart meters will be rendered useless if Britain moves to hydrogen powered homes, the business secretary has admitted. Trials are under way to look at the feasibility of alternatives to gas boilers as the UK seeks to decarbonise home heating by 2050. Kwasi Kwarteng said homes could potentially be switched to hydrogen, but acknowledged it would need the replacement of smart meters. Environment Editor Emma Gatten explains why.


Around the world: Deluge rocks China

The death toll in China continues to rise. At least 33 people are now dead after the "heaviest rainfall in a millennium" in the central Henan province. Sophia Yan reports from Beijing that torrential floods have paralysed several cities, causing millions of pounds in damage. View extraordinary pictures and video - plus our world picture gallery.

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Insert a clear and simple description of the image

A police officer guides residents across a flooded road with a rope. Credit: Reuters


Comment and analysis


Editor's choice

Dirty Dozen

Dom's 'dirty dozen' | Who was in Cummings' conspiracy against the PM?

Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth | Was I too male and stale to host Just A Minute?

Art feuds

Artistic fisticuffs | The creative feuds that keep the arts world turning


Business and money briefing

Debt fears | Rishi Sunak is expected to push back against demands for a post-Covid spending spree after rising inflation and the burden of pandemic support measures sent interest payments on national debt to a record high. There is growing alarm in the Treasury that rising inflation could trigger a further jump in interest payments in coming months.


Sport briefing

The Hundred - ultimate verdict | The ECB's new tournament got under way, with the Oval Invincibles edging a thriller over the Manchester Originals with two balls to spare. But how did the divisive new format's opening night go down? From the stands to the sofa, our writers deliver their judgment - including how the BBC's coverage rated.



Behind the scenes with Mark Cavendish


Tonight's dinner

Bulgur wheat salad with herbs and pomegranate | Textured grains by John Gregory-Smith that are delicious with tagines or stews. View the recipe and try our Cookbook newsletter.


And finally... for this morning's downtime


'Putin is a topless manbaby' | As she returns to stand-up comedy at Latitude Festival this weekend, Olga Koch says the comedy circuit is full of "horror" at facing live audiences. The 28-year-old talks to Tristram Fane Saunders about British humour and Soviet clubs.


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