Newspaper headlines: 'Faster path to freedom' and stamp duty pause 'extended'

By BBC News

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image captionCrete has seen a surge in bookings, according to EasyJet

Wednesday's front pages continue to focus on how the UK will emerge from lockdown. "Faster path to freedom if jabs exceed expectations" is the main headline for the Daily Telegraph.

It says a senior government source has suggested the dates for lifting Covid restrictions set out in the official roadmap out of lockdown could be accelerated - if data on the impact of vaccination supports the move.

The source stresses any move to speed things up would be unlikely before May, but the government has insisted the dates set out for lifting restrictions are the earliest possible - and any suggestion they could be brought forward is wrong.

For many tabloids the focus remains the prospect, however precarious, of a summer break abroad. The Daily Mirror reports a huge increase in demand for summer sunshine getaways - or as the Daily Express puts it, a "stampede for the great getaway" with companies seeing a 600% surge in bookings.

The Daily Mail claims that holiday providers closer to home are also benefiting. It says many staycation firms are "cashing in" by doubling prices for holiday cottages - pushing some short breaks to more than £1,000.

For the Times, a different type of holiday makes the lead as its headline declares "stamp duty holiday to be extended".

The paper says Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce the move in next week's Budget to shore up the housing market, along with further extensions for the furlough and business rates holiday schemes.

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Many front pages carry pictures of the wreckage of Tiger Woods' SUV following his crash in Los Angeles.

"Tiger horror smash" is the headline in the Sun.The Guardian reports the star golfer suffered serious leg injuries and had to be cut free by firefighters.

Online, the Los Angeles Times suggests Woods had a shattered ankle and complex leg fractures - quoting "a source familiar with his treatment".

Local resident Irene Foster, who heard the crash from her kitchen, tells the Los Angeles Daily News that the stretch of road Woods had been travelling on is notorious for accidents and "that's what happens along these windy roads when people drive too fast".

Under the headline "Salmond goes to war with Sturgeon" The Daily Telegraph reports on the escalating tension between Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the former First Minister Alex Salmond.

The paper says the fresh acrimony - with Mr Salmond pulling out of testifying to a Holyrood inquiry when claims he had made about Ms Sturgeon's conduct had been heavily redacted - displays a "shocking picture" of Scotland's political life, with the SNP presiding over what in essence is a "one-party-state".

"Stench of a cover up" is the take of the Scottish Daily Mail.

And according to the Daily Express, it's not just the drama within political circles that has frayed tempers in Scotland.

The paper reports that a new Netflix thriller "Behind Her Eyes" has attracted complaints from prominent Scots, such as the Glaswegian singer who fronts Fairground Attraction, Eddi Reader - who says the show stereotypes the nation as "stingy", bad-tempered and mean.

"Bordering on insult" is the Daily Mirror's headline for the story.