Boris Johnson WILL spend so-called 'freedom day' tomorrow self-isolating after being "pinged" by Test and Trace following a meeting with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak - who also met Mr Javid on Friday - initially tried to get round the requirement to quarantine by saying they would join a workplace testing scheme.

But after a furious outcry with accusations of hypocrisy at a time when staff shortages due to people being forced to self-isolate were threatening supply chains, the two men hurriedly agreed to do so.

In a video statement posted on his Twitter feed, Mr Johnson said they had 'briefly' looked at joining the daily contact testing scheme which is being trialled in the Cabinet Office and a number of other public and private sector organisations.

However, he added: "I think it is far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules and that's why I'm going to be self-isolating until July 26.

"I know how frustrating it all is but I really do urge everybody to stick with the programme and take the appropriate course action when you are asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace."

It means that Mr Johnson will be confined to his official country residence at Chequers when most lockdown measures in England are lifted tomorrow.

Mr Sunak and Mr Javid will also be out of circulation, marking an inauspicious start to what ministers had hoped would be an 'irreversible' end of statutory controls.

It came amid renewed warnings from scientists that case numbers - already running at more than 50,000 a day - would continue to soar as mandatory social-distancing measures are lifted.

Professor Neil Ferguson - whose modelling led to the first lockdown in March 2020 - said they could reach 200,000 before the current wave of the pandemic finally peaked.

He said that could result in 2,000 hospital admissions a day leading to "major disruption" and further backlogs in NHS services.

Meanwhile businesses have warned of shortages on the shelves as the number of people off work after being pinged by the NHS Covid app continues to rise.

Rail operator Northern was today warning passengers to expect disruptions on trains between York and South Yorkshire - because of drivers and conductors being required to self-isolate.

The rail operator is asking customers not to attempt travel on routes between Sheffield and York, Leeds and Sheffield via Dearne, and Doncaster and Leeds.