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Newspaper headlines: ‘Tier 4 to be widened’ and ‘kick in the baubles’

Newspaper headlines: 'Tier 4 to be widened' and 'kick in the baubles' thumbnail

By BBC NewsStaffPublishedduration3 hours agoimage captionA “gold command” meeting of ministers and officials has discussed extending tier four – “stay at home” – to cover more areas of England from Boxing Day, says the Daily Mail. It is one of several papers to report millions more could be placed under the strictest curbs on Saturday.…

By BBC News


image captionA “gold command” meeting of ministers and officials has discussed extending tier four – “stay at home” – to cover more areas of England from Boxing Day, says the Daily Mail. It is one of several papers to report millions more could be placed under the strictest curbs on Saturday. Whitehall sources tell the Mail an announcement could come as soon as today – even though the next formal review isn’t until the day before New Year’s Eve.
image captionHotspots including Birmingham could enter tier four on Boxing Day, reports the Daily Telegraph. It says ministers are expected to sign-off plans for extending tougher measures at a meeting on Wednesday morning. Among the areas to be affected are those neighbouring current tier four areas, a government source tells the paper. And another source adds there is a “high chance” of a full lockdown in England in the new year.
image captionThe Sun also reports more areas face tier four from Saturday, as it reports the new variant of coronavirus has been detected in the South West, Midlands and the North of England. “Kick in the baubles,” is its headline – as it reports how French President Emmanuel Macron “caved in” to pressure to reopen the UK-France border. The British Army will help carry out Covid-19 tests on lorry drivers parked in Kent, the paper adds.
image captionThe decision to reopen the French border comes after both sides used the 48-hour ban to prepare measures to combat the new variant of the virus, the FT reports. It says 7,000 lorries are waiting to cross the Channel – and Paris has allowed a “fast-track” clearance system to operate on the route. The use of on-the-spot “lateral flow” tests means thousands can be screened in a matter of hours, the paper notes.
image caption“No room at the inn” says the Metro. The paper reports the Salvation Army has stepped in to feed stranded truckers – as some face a third night holed up in Kent.
image caption“With friends like these!” exclaims the Daily Express – as it criticises Mr Macron for “the treatment meted out to our truck drivers”. The paper says the French president was “no friend to Britain” in his handling of the travel ban – which began on Sunday and is set to end overnight into Wednesday.
image captionThe i paper says drivers were stuck in poor conditions across Kent – as the military is deployed to help clear the backlog as the border reopens. It reports the new coronavirus variant has already crossed into Scotland and Wales – and it says all this comes as negotiations for a UK-EU trade deal continue.
image caption“Trucker chaos” says the Daily Star as it picks up on the number of lorries held in Kent awaiting the border to reopen. It’s lead image – featured in several papers – shows huge numbers of vehicles stacked up on the runway at Manston Airport.
image caption“Utter chaos” is how the Daily Mirror sees it. The paper says a “huge port backlog” comes amid “rationing” at some supermarkets and amid the threat of a full national lockdown in England.
image captionNHS leaders have raised concerns about the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine, reports the Guardian. It says the government is being urged to speed-up the vaccination programme by the chair of the British Medical Association, Dr Richard Vautrey. Elsewhere, an exclusive story reports how suppliers to fashion chain Boohoo are allegedly paid just 29p per hour in Pakistan. Boohoo has suspended a supplier and a factory while it investigates the claims.

Pictures of hundreds of lorries lined up at Manston Airport in Kent dominate the front pages.

“Utter chaos” is the headline in the Daily Mirror, which blames the queues firmly on what it calls the “Tory shambles” over the Covid crisis.

But the Express takes aim at the French. “With friends like these!” its headline reads. The Mail sees the reopening of the French border as a climb down by President Macron, declaring: “Monsieur Roadblock gives way”. The Sun says Mr Macron “caved in”.

According to the Financial Times, British officials believe one factor in Mr Macron’s decision to close the border abruptly was a desire to give the UK a taste of what a no-deal Brexit might look like. However, it quotes a French official as saying: “It’s not about taking revenge, it’s about taking responsibility.”

A British government source tells the Times: “We think the ban on UK freight was unnecessary. France was left isolated by the European Commission on this.”

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image captionNearly 3,000 lorries have been stuck in Kent since the border shut on Sunday

The Telegraph, Sun and the Mail lead with reports that many more areas of England could be put under the strictest tier four – “stay at home” – measures from as early as Boxing Day.

The Telegraph says hotspots of the new Covid variant have been found in Cumbria and Devon as well as large parts of Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Norfolk, just beyond the borders of the current tier four. According to the Mail, the restrictions could be announced on Wednesday.

For its main story, the Guardian says NHS leaders in England have raised concerns about the deployment of the coronavirus vaccine, with more than half of hospital trusts and two-thirds of GPs yet to receive supplies.

The paper quotes the chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, Dr Richard Vautrey, as saying: “GPs who haven’t got it yet are frustrated because they want to be getting on and vaccinating their patients.” The Department of Health tells the paper it has sufficient doses to maintain the vaccination programme, and it’s working closely with Pfizer to ensure supplies keep arriving in the UK.

Finally, what do you do with the large turkey you ordered that you don’t need now because Christmas has suddenly become a smaller affair?

The Telegraph reports that butchers are refusing to cancel turkey orders because of their duty of care to suppliers. Instead, they are offering tips on how to make use of a big bird. One butcher in Warwickshire is encouraging customers to “enjoy the leftovers”.

Another, in south-east London, is advising them to re-roll their turkey into four joints so they can freeze what they can’t eat – and have it at Easter.

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