Newspaper headlines: Applause for coronavirus NHS 'heroes' and 'Checkpoint Britain'

By BBC News


"Clap of honour", "applause for heroes" and "a nation's thanks" are just some of the headlines summing up Thursday night's tribute to NHS staff in homes and gardens across the UK.

The Daily Mirror says a "grateful nation stood as one" to salute "drained but determined" doctors and nurses.

It describes the moment as a "massive thunderclap of support" for NHS staff on the front line.

The Guardian says streets that had been "eerily hushed" were filled with the sound of clapping, cheering and children banging on pots and pans.

Media caption,
UK applauds health workers fighting to battle the coronavirus

The lead article in the Times examines whether Chancellor Rishi Sunak's support package for self-employed workers is "perhaps more generous than it needed to be".

While the paper acknowledges there will be some who miss out on the scheme, freelancers will be able to claim a grant irrespective of whether their income has actually fallen because of the virus shutdown.

The Sun notes the delay in accessing funds until June will be "borderline impossible for many". It goes on to suggest that cost of funding this emergency package may make the austerity years look like a "golden era of opulence".

Mr Sunak's performance at Thursday's Downing Street news conference is praised by the parliamentary sketch-writers.

Quentin Letts describes him in the Times as "dishy Rishi", delivering details of what was being offered with his "caring eyes" and his "soft, sibilant voice".

John Crace in the Guardian says the chancellor was "widely written off" when he took over at the Treasury - but he has since become the "master" with his assured performances, making Prime Minister Boris Johnson look like "the needy lapdog".

Image source, PA Wire/JULIAN SIMMONDS/Daily Telegraph
Image caption,
The chancellor has mastered the daily coronavirus press briefing performances, the Guardian says

"Police take the moral high ground to its upper limit" says the Daily Telegraph as it examines how forces are using new powers to ensure social distancing.

Under the headline, "Checkpoint Charlies" the Daily Star is one of a number of papers to focus on the police roadblocks now in place across the UK to check that people are not making unnecessary journeys.

It says that the police have got tough on "the morons who still go out".

Image source, Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Image caption,
Officers have set up checkpoints across the country to stop people leaving their homes

The Daily Mail features images of police stopping cars in Cornwall and Plymouth. It also carries quotes from an exasperated chief constable of Greater Manchester Police - who says people are still treating the crisis like a holiday and leaving supermarkets with trolleys "full of booze and charcoal".

The new police powers have been described as "over the top" in comments made by Big Brother Watch to the Times. The paper highlights how Derbyshire Police used a drone to monitor ramblers, dog walkers and people taking pictures for social media in the Peak District.

Drivers in Devon and Shropshire also reportedly returned to their cars to find messages including "Why are you here today?" attached to their vehicles. They were warned that their daily allowance of physical exercise should not involve driving.

"Don't move home," says the Daily Mail on its front page as the government said that all moves should be suspended during the coronavirus crisis.

The advice has been described as "unheard of" by a former chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The Financial Times says Lloyds and Barclays are temporarily pulling many of their mortgages - with some banks reportedly only making offers if buyers have a deposit of 40% of the purchase price.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that the prime minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel became "embroiled in a row" over her wish to close the UK's borders to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The home secretary is said to have tried to build a coalition of ministers to make the case to No 10, believing she would have been able to use existing immigration rules to stop planes from landing.

But Mr Johnson sided with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who believed such a scheme would stop people returning on repatriation flights.