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The Papers: School risk ‘low’ but ‘are our kids safe?’

Image caption A study being considered by the government suggests coronavirus does not spread widely in schools, the Daily Telegraph reports. The paper says the report found 18 infected students and teachers across 15 schools only passed the virus on to two others. Image caption Classroom safety leads the Daily Mirror, which reports that Cabinet…

The Daily Telegraph 18 May 2020

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A study being considered by the government suggests coronavirus does not spread widely in schools, the Daily Telegraph reports. The paper says the report found 18 infected students and teachers across 15 schools only passed the virus on to two others.

Daily Mirror 18 May 2020

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Classroom safety leads the Daily Mirror, which reports that Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday that schools are “absolutely safe” before saying people should “stay at home” as there is “always… a risk”.

Metro 18 May 2020

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“Getting back on tracks” is the Metro’s headline as the paper reports more trains will run on Monday morning to ensure social distancing can be observed by commuters. It says unions fear not enough is being done to protect staff and travellers.

i paper 18 May 2020

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Workplace safety inspections heralded by Boris Johnson “don’t exist” the i paper says. The paper reports the Health and Safety Executive as saying companies should “self-police” social distancing rules as it protects its own inspectors.

The Times 18 May 2020

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Hopes that Britons would be able to enjoy foreign holidays this summer without entering a 14-day quarantine on their return have been dashed, the Times reports. The paper says lorry drivers will make up the majority of those exempted from the new measure, due to begin next month.

Daily Mail 18 May 2020

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Half of all people in the UK could be vaccinated against the coronavirus if an Oxford University trial succeeds, the Daily Mail says. It reports Business Secretary Alok Sharma’s comments that 30 million doses could be made by September, if the vaccine is shown to work.

Daily Express 18 May 2020

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The vaccine hope comes as all volunteers in the first phase of the Oxford trial have been immunised with scientists awaiting the results, the Daily Express says.

FT 18 May 2020

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The UK’s competition watchdog is asking the government for emergency powers to stop companies profiteering from the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reports. The “time-limited” measures would allow the Competition and Markets Authority to pursue retailers who hike prices, the paper says.

The Guardian 18 May 2020

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Ministers are under fire for “chaos” in the government’s contact tracing effort, according to the Guardian. The paper says a recruitment firm told applicants in an email that tracing posts were on hold “while the government considers an alternative app”.

The Sun 18 May 2020

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The Sun reports that Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi was arrested after an early morning row with a glamour model at his west London apartment. The paper says the England striker is being held by police over the incident.

Daily Star 18 May 2020

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to repay taxpayer contributions towards the refurbishment of their home on the Queen’s Windsor estate, the Daily Star reports. The Sussexes’ payment plan will take 11 years to clear the multi-million cost of renovations to Frogmore Cottage, the paper says.

Many of Monday’s papers report on the government’s efforts to find a Covid-19 vaccine. 

On its front page, the Daily Mail says jabs will be available for half of the UK population by September – if the partnership between Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca succeeds.

The Daily Express says the trials are progressing well and could see Britain leading the global immunisation effort. The paper’s leader column says there is cause for cautious optimism.

The Sun and the Daily Telegraph both report that the UK will be first in line for the vaccine.

There is plenty of coverage too of the ongoing row about the planned reopening of primary schools in England. 

The Times publishes a letter from the leaders of 21 academy trusts – representing more than 500 schools – pointing to the economic benefits of re-opening. They also highlight the need for disadvantaged pupils to return to the classroom to stop any long-term educational damage. 

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Getty Images

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The government wants to reopen primary schools in England to some pupils from 1 June

The paper’s editorial centres on that point, saying that: “If this issue is not settled soon it will be the pupils who suffer most, and the least well-off pupils at that.” 

The Daily Mirror’s leader urges the government to publish the scientific evidence supporting the plan. “Unless foolproof ways of preventing the spread of coronavirus are devised,” it says, “teachers are entitled to inform the education secretary to think again.”

The Financial Times reports on lobbying by the Competition and Markets Authority to be granted extra powers by ministers to stop companies profiteering during the pandemic. 

The paper says the UK’s competition watchdog received 21,000 complaints related to coronavirus between 10 March and 19 April. Many were about huge price increases, including average hikes of more the 350% for hand sanitiser. 

The authority is urging the government to put forward “emergency time-limited legislation” to pursue unscrupulous retailers.

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Artist David Hockney has sparked a row about alleged censorship, after telling the Daily Mail’s editor Geordie Greig the Guardian refused to publish a letter he penned about how smoking may prevent people developing Covid-19. 

In the letter, the 82-year-old claimed smokers rarely catch the disease, pointing to Greece having the lowest death rates in Europe, despite having a large proportion of smokers. 

Mr Hockney said the refusal to publish was “cowardly” and an attempt to stifle a genuine debate on the issue – a Guardian spokesman said they had not received the letter.

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Reuters

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David Hockney claims he was censored by the Guardian newspaper

Ikea is widely celebrated for inventing flat-pack furniture – but it seems Henry VIII could have beaten the Swedish company’s claim to that crown by more than 400 years. 

The Times has spoken to a curator at the Historic Royal Palaces, who has found evidence that the monarch stayed in flat-pack castles when travelling, due to his intense dislike of tents. 

Alden Gregory tells the paper the wooden structures became more pretentious, large and extravagant as the king’s own figure grew, with the final incarnation measuring 75 sq ft (7 sq m) and incorporating five rooms and elaborate 66ft (20m) high wall hangings.

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