It was billed as a return to freedom, but the week ended with empty supermarket shelves and cancelled trains as many thousand workers – including the PM and chancellor – self-isolated

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Last weekend, as MPs prepared for their long summer holiday break from Westminster, a senior member of Boris Johnson’s cabinet had this to say about the Conservative government’s achievements in steering the country through the Covid-19 pandemic. “It seems incredible to me we are still ahead in the polls after the year we’ve had. I think that we have plenty to feel good about, don’t you?”

A week on, his choice of the word “incredible” seems to be the most apt. Within hours of making this assessment, and as freedom day approached, the health secretary for England, Sajid Javid, announced he had tested positive for Covid-19.

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