BBC News

Newspaper headlines: 'The second shutdown begins' as Covid fears grow

By BBC News


"The second shutdown begins" is the Daily Telegraph's headline, above a photo of the scientists, Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, leaving Downing Street in face masks.

It joins the Daily Mail in reporting Boris Johnson will this evening urge people to again work from home - as long as they have the blessing of their employers.

"Hitting home", is the Daily Mirror's top headline, as it predicts the prime minister will go even further, and ban the mixing of households.

Piers Morgan points out a "massive flaw" in the proposals, according to the Sun, as he claims people will just knock back pints faster.

image copyrightPA Media

The Times reports that Mr Johnson was talked out of closing bars altogether, in a key series of meetings with ministers last Thursday.

It says the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, directly asked him to limit new restrictions to things that were least economically damaging, such as being tough on large groups of people hanging out in parks.

The Financial Times' leader column argues along similar lines: if something has to give, it says, then "however painful in human terms", it must be social mixing.

"Teenage education must be protected," it believes, while "teenage parties can, for a time, be sacrificed".

"Unmasked on the train" is Metro's front page headline, above a report about the Conservative MP, Danny Kruger, who took a 60-mile journey without wearing a face covering. He's apologised and says he "simply forgot".

The Mail quotes Mr Kruger as saying that if the person who spotted his mistake had reminded him rather than taking a photo and posting it on social media, he would have put his mask on "then and there".

The Daily Telegraph says the government scientific advisors have backed coronavirus testing at airports.

image copyrightReuters

It says that scientists with Sage, the government's main scientific advisory body, are concerned at a "developing situation" around infections begin imported into the UK.

The group said that testing at borders could provide important surveillance data, and potentially reduce onward transmission of the disease, by encouraging travellers and their contacts to quarantine.

The paper says the report has been considered by ministers, but that they've been "sidetracked" by the crisis over in the track and trace system.

The Times urges us to look "on the bright side", and to "say goodbye to the winter blues". It says a Dutch study has cast doubt on the existence of seasonal affective disorder.

This claims long winter nights do not make us feel "appreciably more depressed, so long as we already have a sunny disposition".

Of more than 5,000 people surveyed, researchers found it was only those who were already "high in neuroticism" who reported the end of summer sun had a correspondingly gloomy effect on their mood.

They suggest such people are more likely to "attribute their negative moods to factors beyond their individual control".