May 22, 2024


Science It Works

Rationed Covid tests for select few

An almost empty test facility in Guildford, Surrey, yesterday lunchtime - CHRIS GORMAN/BIG LADDER
An almost empty test facility in Guildford, Surrey, yesterday lunchtime – CHRIS GORMAN/BIG LADDER

Even those with symptoms may miss out on Covid tests

A coronavirus testing priority list has been drawn up. The Telegraph can disclose that people will be refused tests – even if they have symptoms – under rationing plans if the crisis deepens. Routine testing could be restricted to hospitals, care homes, certain key workers and schools. As the UK recorded nearly 4,000 new Covid-19 cases for the first time since May, ministers were poised to announce further lockdown measures – with pub curfews and a ban on household mixing covering two million people in the North East. Read more about the new rules from midnight. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned a further national curfew may be necessary and schools have plans to go part-time if the testing chaos continues. Matt imagines the rise of test touts in today’s cartoon.

What next? Office staff will get a “work from home” order within a fortnight if the “rule of six” fails to reduce Covid-19 infections. Senior government sources said it would take two weeks to assess whether the law, which came into force on Monday, had brought down cases. If it does not, further lockdown measures may be required (although Mr Johnson said his government was doing all it could to avoid a “disastrous” national lockdown). Business leaders said that sending more workers home would undermine the already weak economic recovery. Our video Q&A looks at the return to offices. And Laurence Dodds examines what Britain will look like if working from home is the new normal.

PM strikes Brexit deal with rebels as adviser quits

Boris Johnson reached a compromise with Tory rebels by agreeing to give them a final say on overriding the Brexit divorce deal – but it was too late to prevent one of his senior law officers resigning. Officials hoped to persuade Lord Keen, a senior legal adviser, to change his mind after he tendered his resignation. But his position was unchanged despite Mr Johnson promising to impose “extra parliamentary scrutiny” on the controversial Internal Market Bill. Read why it is such a divisive issue. Overnight, US Democrat Joe Biden vowed not allow the Good Friday Agreement to become a “casualty of Brexit” if he is elected president.

Brown-haired and Scottish – the real Vikings

Blond and burly, the Vikings are commonly viewed as a Scandinavian warrior-race who traversed the seas to raid and colonise distant lands. But a study of skeletons from archaeological sites in Europe and Greenland has shown that they were less of a race and more of an idea – with some even hailing from Scotland. Science Editor Sarah Knapton explains why DNA analysis means history books may need a rewrite.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

French shepherd migrants into British waters | It was shortly after 7am that the French navy’s patrol boat came into view. For 90 minutes, my colleague Jamie Johnson watched as the crew offered migrants in a dangerously overloaded inflatable bottled water and life jackets. Then, they encouraged them to motor into British waters. And, in the world’s busiest shipping lane, they left them to fend for themselves. Read Jamie’s powerful exclusive dispatch from the English Channel.  

Around the world: India’s hospitals on edge of collapse

A member of hospital staff in full personal protective equipment waits to carry an oxygen cylinder to patients at the Yatharth Hospital on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. As the country continues to battle the ongoing pandemic, read Joe Wallen‘s report of how it has risen to top the world league for new infections. View our daily world gallery.

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The Yatharth Hospital in Noida – ADNAN ABIDI/REUTERS

Comment and analysis

Editor’s choice: Features and arts

  1. The good life How suburbs conquered the metropolitan elite: 10 places to move to now

  2. Optimist, extrovert, introvert or cynic? | What your personality says about your health

  3. Million Dollar Beach House | Could show’s UK arrival change how mega-mansions are sold?

Business and money briefing

Only way is Hut | The founder of a Manchester-based health retailer is a billionaire after shares in the Hut Group surged on their London debut. Matthew Moulding saw his wealth rocket as the stock jumped by almost a third, raising £1.9bn and making it the UK’s biggest float since 2017.  

Sport briefing

ODI series | England let slip victory and the perfect ending to a captivating summer as Australia won a thrilling final one-day international by three wickets to take the series 2-1. Read our report by Chief Cricket Correspondent Nick Hoult after Mitchell Starc swept Adil Rashid for four to win the game with two balls to spare as England lost their five-year unbeaten record in home one-day series.  

Tonight’s dinner  

Red mullet with chilli, parsley and linguine | This simple dish by Diana Henry combines tender fish with herbs and heat. Read on for the recipe.

And finally… for this morning’s downtime

Teaching a murderer | During a seminar at Wakefield Prison, writer Max Silverman came face to face with a bright and articulate man – but he had committed atrocities. He writes about how serial killer Dennis Nilsen seemed so normal when he taught him