United Kingdom

Monday evening UK news briefing: Boris Johnson pledges 'simple' travel system as NHS Covid app tweaked

The NHS Covid-19 app will be modified so fewer contacts are required to self-isolate, the Government has confirmed. 

The "logic" behind the app's system will be tweaked, meaning a person will need to have been near a positive but asymptomatic individual two days prior, instead of five.

But changes do not mean the sensitivity has been altered, nor the risk threshold, officials said. 

It follows havoc wreaked on whole sectors of the economy by the pingdemic of NHS app alerts telling even fully vaccinated people to stay at home because they have come into contact with a Covid-positive person. 

Elsewhere, the row with the EU over the rollout of vaccines has been reignited after a top official bragged about Ireland "surpassing" the UK on the number of double-jabbed adults.

Lily Allen tells Dominic Cavendish how a real-life horror story prepared her for her ghoulish theatre debut – and why the pop business 'is all just rubbish'

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Business and money briefing

Hit hard by delays | A record supply crunch in German factories threatens to derail the industrial powerhouse's recovery as its car giants are hit hardest by shortages and soaring prices. Read on for details.

Sport briefing

Spurs' sale saga | Harry Kane has not returned to pre-season training with Tottenham Hotspur today as he attempts to force a move to Manchester City. Read a Q&A on how City can finance record deals for the England captain and Jack Grealish in the same summer?

Three things for tonight

And finally... for this evening's downtime

Midlife dad on holiday | Fathers are facing a diet dilemma. British seaside resorts are not renowned for choice when it comes to healthy eating. James Brown explains what happened when he tried to avoid becoming a human seagull on his summer break.

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As of 4am this morning, fully-vaccinated arrivals from the United States and the 27 EU countries were no longer required to quarantine, opening the door to leisure travel and long-awaited reunions. 

Yet despite the emotional scenes at many airport terminals, reports of an "amber watchlist" for holiday destinations that could quickly turn some locations red have sparked a backlash. 

Boris Johnson has pledged to create a "simple and user-friendly" system for overseas travel. 

Read what he said, as Greg Dickinson sets out why it would write off holidays to Spain and Greece this summer. 

Ross Clark outlines why the UK's international travel policy is utterly illiberal - even with the latest exemptions.

Life after death threats: Collett's road to Olympic glory

Great Britain's eventing team won gold after producing a dominant display in the showjumping finale at Tokyo Equestrian Park. The victory for Oliver Townend, Tom McEwen and Laura Collett capped off a particularly astonishing rise to success for the latter of the trio, who received death threats after two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star died in a freak accident and she lost the sight in one eye after being left in a coma following a terrible fall. Elsewhere, Laurel Hubbard, the reluctant history-maker at the centre of sport's transgender debate, failed in her bid for a controversial medal in the women's weightlifting, as Team GB's Emily Campbell became Britain's first woman to win a medal in the sport. In cycling, the British men's pursuit squad was handed a lifeline after an Australian rider's handlebars fell apart, while the women set up a showdown with USA. Here is what happened. In women's hockey, Great Britain won a tense penalty shoot-out.

PS: The parents of a Belarusian sprinter who has been granted asylum by Poland after refusing a forced expulsion from the Games have been told by Belarusian officials that their daughter has been recruited by foreign spies and that she must go back home. Read how the scandal developed.

Bungling goons: the strange kidnap of Frank Sinatra Jr

The hare-brained, bungled abduction of 19-year-old Frank Sinatra Jr – son of the great singer Frank, and younger brother of Nancy – was one of the most infamous kidnappings in American history. The full tale of this extraordinary crime is the subject of a new 10-part podcast called The Grand Scheme: Snatching Sinatra, in which narrator John Stamos, star of the Disney+ sports comedy Big Shot, talks to the last surviving kidnapper, 81-year-old Barry Worthington Keenan. Martin Chilton reconstructs how the former real-estate agent, hearing divine voices, hired two men to commit the 'lucrative' crime - and how chaos ensued.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Church desecrated | A Grade-II listed medieval church has been vandalised in a horrific attack just 10 days after reopening following restoration work. St Mary Magdalene Caldecote in Hertfordshire had been open for just over a week before vandals smashed windows, set off powder fire extinguishers and poured bleach on the altar and pews, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. See the damage.

Around the world: UK summons Iranian ambassador

Britain's Middle East minister summoned the Iranian ambassador today as the UK drew up plans to retaliate over a drone strike that killed a British citizen on a tanker off the coast of Oman. James Cleverly told the Iranian ambassador, Mohsen Baharvand, that Iran must "immediately cease actions that risk international peace and security," according to the Foreign Office. It came as UK investigators were dispatched to the Gulf to investigate the damaged Mercer Street vessel, which was struck by at least one drone in the Arabian Sea last week. Read on for details.

Monday interview

'You get your boobs out on Instagram and hope for the best'

Football news:

Anelka on replacing Messi: Leo will never forget that Pochettino did this. You can't treat him like that
Ted Lasso is the most popular comedy about sports. The idea came from an advertisement for the Premier League, the actors do not understand anything about football at all
Koeman about Fati: We will give him more playing time, but everything depends on his condition
Ivanov has been appointed chief referee of the Sociedad - Monaco Europa League match
UEFA will appeal against the decision of the Madrid court on the Super League and apply for the dismissal of the judge
Messi - in PSG's application for the match against Manchester City
Sheriff in the Champions League-the miracle of the year. The cancellation of the limit helped, but so far in Moldovan football it is terrible: neither fans, nor money