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Newspaper headlines: ‘Game changer’ test and 19m ‘may have had virus’

Image caption A blood test that shows whether someone has previously had coronavirus has been hailed a “game changer” and is on its way to the UK after being approved for use, reports the Metro. The paper says the antibody test was found to be 100% accurate by Public Health England experts. Image caption Ministers…

Metro front page

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A blood test that shows whether someone has previously had coronavirus has been hailed a “game changer” and is on its way to the UK after being approved for use, reports the Metro. The paper says the antibody test was found to be 100% accurate by Public Health England experts.

i paper front page

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Ministers hope the testing could lead to people being given “health certificates” to show they have overcome the virus, once more is understood about immunity, says the i. Government medical advisers have said the tests will be rolled out to health workers in the coming days and weeks, before being made available to the public, the paper says.

Daily Express front page

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In other medical developments, British experts have said they are on track to produce a coronavirus vaccine this summer, says the Daily Express. Scientists behind the project have described progress as “so far, so good”.

Daily Mirror front page

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More than 19 million Britons may already have been infected with the virus, scientists have said, according to the Daily Mirror. Experts at Manchester University revealed the figures as health chiefs approved the new antibody test.

Daily Telegraph front page

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Fewer than 24 people are catching coronavirus each day in London, modelling suggests, with forecasts predicting the virus could be wiped out in the capital within a fortnight, according to the Daily Telegraph. Analysis by Cambridge University estimates the R reproduction rate of the virus to have fallen to 0.4 in London, with the number of new cases halving every 3.5 days.

Times front page

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing a “much more interventionist” approach to tackle obesity as part of the fight against coronavirus, reports the Times. Mr Johnson is said by the paper to have told senior ministers and advisers that he hand changed his mind on the issue and was drawing up a new strategy.

Daily Mail front page

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The Daily Mail says the “row” between teachers and unions over when and how to reopen schools has “exploded”. In what the paper calls an “extraordinary intervention”, former education secretary David Blunkett accused unions of “working against the interests of children” by continuing to “frustrate” teachers, who the Mail says are desperate to get back into the classroom.

Guardian front page

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The Guardian leads on allegations that a private firm contracted to run the government’s stockpile of personal protective equipment was beset by “chaos” at its warehouse. The paper says this may have resulted in vital supplies to healthcare workers being delayed, citing delivery drivers and other sources.

The Sun front page

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Premier League footballers are buying “ferocious” guard dogs, according to the Sun, as it emerged knife raiders took £350,000 of watches from England player Dele Alli. The paper says Manchester United star Aaron Wan-Bissaka is among those who have “snapped up huge hounds from security firms”.

FT front page

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Nissan is in talks to shift production of two Renault models from Spain to Sunderland, reports the Financial Times, in what the paper says would secure thousands of jobs and signal the Japanese carmaker’s long-term commitment to the UK. The paper says the Japanese and French firms are discussing moving production of the Renault Kadjar and Captur cars as part of a global overhaul of operations to be announced this month.

Daily Star front page

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And finally, former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Susanna Reid has said plans to quarantine this year’s stars could fuel the show’s “curse” and spark celebrity flings.

There’s strong pressure on teachers’ unions to reach agreement with the government on re-opening primary schools in England from next month.

The Daily Mail says the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has demanded, in an article inside the paper, that unions do their “duty” and stop their opposition to re-opening.

The paper itself says magnificent staff across the nation are desperate to help millions of children get back to the classroom, but militant unions are standing in their way.

In a message to the unions, the paper’s headline declares: “Let our teachers be heroes.”

In the view of the Times, the unions are doing what they always do – holding the government to ransom with children used as bargaining chips.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Dame Rachel de Souza, the chief executive of a group of academies, says children have already missed a term of vital learning, and while heroic efforts have been made to deliver remote studies, the internet is no replacement for the classroom.

We risk making an entire generation pay the price, she warns.

Writing in the i, Diana Young, a parent of two young children, says she and her husband work full-time and welcome the prospect of schools re-opening.

We are working harder and longer hours than pre-lockdown, she says, and that will eventually take its toll on the family’s mental well-being.

But the Guardian says a leading union has warned that teachers can legally refuse to return to work unless they get the same protections against coronavirus as other frontline staff.

The paper has seen a letter to local authorities by NASUWT, threatening legal action if teachers are forced to go back.

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PA Media

The Telegraph’s main story says new modelling suggests that fewer than 24 people are catching coronavirus each day in London, with forecasts predicting it could be wiped out in the capital within a fortnight.

According to the research by Public Health England and Cambridge University, at the peak of the contagion, on 23 March, when the lockdown began, 213,000 people a day caught the virus in London.

The figures show that London, at one point the worst-hit region in the UK, is now ahead in terms of recovery. The paper says this raises questions about whether the city’s strict lockdown measures will need to continue.

The Times reports that Boris Johnson is preparing a “much more interventionist” drive to tackle obesity as part of the fight against Covid-19 following his spell in hospital with the disease.

The paper points out that official figures show a quarter of coronavirus patients who’ve died in hospital in England had diabetes, and it says the prime minister believes the pandemic provides an opportunity to reinforce the message that people need to lead healthy lifestyles.

Lockdown etiquette

According to the Financial Times, Nissan is in talks with Renault to shift production of two of the French carmaker’s models from Spain to Sunderland.

It reports that the Japanese and French manufacturers are discussing the move as part of a global overhaul of operations to be announced this month.

The paper says the move would signal the Japanese carmaker’s long-term commitment to the UK’s largest car plant.

And finally, during the age of social distancing, it’s become part of lockdown etiquette to stay clear of fellow pedestrians on pavements by stepping into the road.

But police are warning people not to do this because, the Mail reports, it’s dangerous and the risk of passing on the virus by briefly crossing paths is low.

The paper says there have been a number of reports of clashes between pedestrians trying to walk past each other while observing the two-metre rule.

But a charity campaigning for wider pavements says it’s up to motorists to look out for people who may need to walk in the road.

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