SENIOR government figures are set to discuss extending the rollout of daily testing sites for coronavirus to ease the concerns of industry and frontline services by allowing further exemptions from isolation for critical workers.

The Covid operations sub-committee of Cabinet will meet on Monday to discuss whether to widen the number of jobs eligible for the testing regime, or whether to boost the numbers for existing sectors in order to tackle the “pingdemic”.

Their decisions will depend on the demand registered with Whitehall departments and the ministers’ determination of what roles are currently critical, with refuse collectors expected to receive assistance, while the hospitality industry is not.

The vast number of people isolating after being “pinged” as Covid contacts by the NHS app has been fuelled by the high numbers of coronavirus infections that has swept the nation as the Delta variant thrived and restrictions were eased.

While the number of new cases of Covid-19 reported each day in the UK has fallen for the fifth day in a row, it is too early for the data to show any impact of ending most of England’s remaining legal restrictions on July 19 because of the delay between people becoming infected and receiving tests.

Ministers have so far resisted pressure from business leaders and some senior Conservative MPs to immediately bring forward the wider relaxation of isolation rules for all fully-vaccinated people from August 16.

Instead they have been focusing on granting a limited number of exemptions to keep key services running and to protect essential supply chains.

Around around 10,000 workers in the food sector are 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 have warned shortages on the shelves could continue without more exemptions in the supply chain, such as in supermarkets.

New testing sites are expected to be allocated for frontline police and fire services to prevent major shortages of critical staff.

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.

Policing minister Kit Malthouse apologised for delays at the border after travellers complained about “total chaos” at airports and suggested suggested some airline staff could receive some isolation exemptions.

He also acknowledged the “challenge” across policing in a Times Radio interview, as Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh said 17% of officers in the capital were off last week, causing a “huge strain” on colleagues.

Reduced timetables have been introduced on railways across England after a spate of last-minute cancellations due to staff self-isolating.

Pubs and restaurants have been angered by the refusal to grant exemptions to any of their staff, with the UKHospitality industry body warning there could be a “summer of venue closures” as staff are forced into isolation at a high rate.