The number of Covid-19 infections recorded in the UK has almost halved in just one week, new figures show, raising hopes that the pandemic may be levelling off.
A total of 31,795 new infections were recorded on Saturday a fall of 32 per cent from the 46,558 on Tuesday.
The figure is also down 42 per cent from last Saturday.
“Great to see continued signs of Delta descent in the UK today,” tweeted Dr Eric Topol, a US physician who is an international authority on the coronavirus.
It comes as the government continues to push for more Britons to take up the vaccine with plans to implement the use of vaccine passports in the works.
Talks are said to be in an early phase with the Premier League to discuss whether supporters who have not been double-jabbed could be barred from matches.
Watch: Ministers eye vaccine passports for Premier League matches and large events
People may need vaccine passports to attend events with more than 20,000 spectators from October under Government plans.
So far more than 46 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Despite high vaccination rates Covid cases have been surging leading to a record number of people being “pinged” by the NHS Test and Trace app.
The “pingdemic” has lead to food shortages and train delays as workers are told to isolate over coronavirus contacts.
To facilitate the new isolation rules for some critical workers, the Government said daily testing for workplaces in the food supply chain was being extended to frontline emergency services and some transport workers.
An extra 200 testing sites are expected to open, but not until Monday at the earliest.
Reduced timetables were being introduced on railways across England after a spate of last-minute cancellations due to staff self-isolating.
The scale of the issue was shown by figures stating more than 600,000 people in England and Wales were told to quarantine by the NHS Covid-19 app in the week to July 14.
In the emergency measures to protect supplies, around 10,000 workers in the food sector were expected to be included in the scheme for fully vaccinated workers to be exempt from isolation if they test negative.
But figures in the food industry warned shortages on shelves could continue with more exemptions in the supply chain needed, such as in supermarkets.
Union leaders called for urgent clarification on exemptions for some transport workers amid warnings of confusion.
Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Lynch said: “It is ludicrous that this announcement has been made without any discussion with the unions or detailed briefing on who this scheme is supposed to cover and how it will be implemented.
“It leaves our members facing yet more uncertainty. I am seeking urgent clarification from both the employers and the Government before more damage is done.”
The hospitality industry has also warned of a “summer of venue closures” as staff are forced into isolation without any exemption.
There have been widespread calls for the Government to bring forward the wider relaxation of quarantine rules for the fully vaccinated from August 16.
Watch: Gareth Southgate urges young people to get Covid jab