By BBC NewsStaffPublishedduration2 hours agoimage captionThe prime minister is considering closing pubs and restaurants in areas of England worst affected by coronavirus within days, according to the Daily Telegraph, as infection rates “spiral out of control”. The paper says it comes as Labour’s opposition to the government’s strategy grows, with party leader Sir Keir Starmer…
image captionThe prime minister is considering closing pubs and restaurants in areas of England worst affected by coronavirus within days, according to the Daily Telegraph, as infection rates “spiral out of control”. The paper says it comes as Labour’s opposition to the government’s strategy grows, with party leader Sir Keir Starmer demanding to see the “scientific basis” for the current 22:00 curfew on pubs.
image captionThe Guardian says the measures would affect large areas of the north of England. The paper reports that ministers will meet on Thursday to try to come to a resolution – along with local leaders – on which restrictions should be imposed. It comes after Scotland announced new restrictions for pubs and restaurants.
image captionHowever, the Times says the proposals have already been signed off by the prime minister himself and will be introduced on Monday. Mr Johnson is also said to have approved financial support for affected areas and a simplified system of restrictions in England.
image caption“Pub chaos” is the front-page headline of the Daily Star, which features an image of Mel Gibson as William Wallace in the film Braveheart.
image captionThe i says No 10 hopes to unveil its financial support for local businesses in areas facing greater restrictions later this week. It follows “wrangling” with the Treasury over the details of the policy.
image captionWith “drastic” new measures looming, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has urged people to “stick with it”. He acknowledged the “major sacrifices” of households but warned: “We must not let up.”
image captionThe Metro leads on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s warning that local lockdowns are not working, after infection rates were found to be “soaring” in 19 out of 20 areas where extra restrictions were imposed. The paper cites analysis by the party, which found towns and cities had seen cases “rocket” since measures were introduced on 30 July.
image captionThe Daily Mirror leads on the same story. The paper quotes Sir Keir as telling Mr Johnson: “This is getting ridiculous.”
image captionElsewhere, ministers are said by the Daily Mail to be under “intense pressure” to rethink their coronavirus strategy after new research cast “fresh doubt” over Covid restrictions. An Edinburgh University study suggests strict lockdowns – particularly those curbing activities of the young – were unlikely to cut deaths and could end up prolonging the pandemic, the paper says.