Newspaper headlines: 'Race to stop Brazil variant' and jabs pass 20m

By BBC News
Staff

Published
image captionSeveral of Monday's papers lead with the mutant Brazilian variant being found in the UK. The i reports that it may be more resistant to vaccines and entered the country just days before hotel quarantine was introduced for high-risk areas. Labour has criticised the government for delaying tighter border restrictions, the paper adds, as one of the infected travellers is still yet to be identified.
image captionLabour now wants tougher border measures, the Guardian reports, as officials work to track down the person infected with the highly transmissible Brazilian variant. "Refusal to set up a comprehensive system leaves us exposed to mutations from overseas," shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds is quoted as saying.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph focuses its coverage on the "hunt" for the UK patient believed to have the variant. Public Health England is working to track down hundreds of passengers who boarded connecting flights into the UK from Brazil in February. Meanwhile, those over the age of 40 will start to be called to receive their vaccination from this month, the paper says.
image captionBoris Johnson has called the vaccine rollout a "huge national achievement", the Times reports, as more than 20 million people receive their first dose. Nearly 800,000 have had a second jab. Meanwhile, people smugglers will face life sentences under new plans from Home Secretary Priti Patel to enforce stricter penalties on Channel crossings, the Times says.
image captionBut not all countries are vaccinating their populations as swiftly as the UK is. "Use it… or lose it is," is the headline on the front of Metro. The paper reports that 80% of the European Union's 6.1 million Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs are sitting unused in fridges. Nations have been told to use the 4.85 million doses or give them to poorer nations so they are not wasted, with 130 poorer countries still waiting to receive just one dose, the paper quotes charities as saying.
image captionThe UK's speedy vaccination rollout will allow a faster economic recovery, meaning there could be fewer tax rises than first feared, according to the Financial Times as it turns its attention to Wednesday's Budget. The paper cites official Budget forecasts, quoting a source close to the process as saying: "The successful rollout of the vaccine is a material change in the last few months."
image captionThe Daily Express says that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is investing £1.65bn into "mass Covid jabs" to speed up Britain's recovery from coronavirus. The paper carries comments from Mr Sunak saying he will do "whatever it takes" to get the economy moving again.
image captionBut former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown is urging the chancellor to use the Budget to boost jobs, the Daily Mirror says. Failing to act would mean a "whole generation of young people" face a jobless future, Mr Brown adds. "Save lost generation" is the headline dominating the front page.
image captionMeanwhile, more than half of Britain's police stations have closed in the past 10 years, the Daily Mail reports in what it calls a "damning" investigation. The paper says that at least 667 stations with front counters have shut since 2010, with critics saying "justice is in retreat" - which is also the headline dominating the front page. The paper cites cost-cutting measures as the reason behind the closures and lists examples where people have died near to stations which are no longer open.
image captionAnd the Daily Star says socks with sandals are back, adopting a fearful tone as a pair of feet sporting the questionable attire take up most of the front page. The paper lays the blame at the door of "fashionistas" who allegedly approve of the daring look.

Several of Monday's papers lead on the hunt for the unknown patient who has tested positive for a Brazilian variant of coronavirus.

The Daily Telegraph says health officials have begun a "scramble" to find the individual who failed to register properly when they took a test.

The i calls it "a mutant strain" that arrived just days before the hotel quarantine system was introduced.

The Guardian says this has led to the government facing "urgent calls" for tougher border measures from Labour.

The Times says Home Secretary Priti Patel is planning to bring in life sentences for people smugglers as a way of cracking down on illegal Channel crossings.

The paper says Ms Patel wants to increase the average three-year sentence that traffickers currently get.

According to the Times, the longer jail terms are part of a series of measures due to take effect next year.

image copyrightGetty Images

The chancellor's budget on Wednesday continues to take up space on the front pages.

The Daily Express says Rishi Sunak has promised to "keep spending to get Britain moving" and highlights the additional £1.6bn going into the mass Covid vaccination programme.

The Financial Times says official Budget forecasts will show that a rapid vaccine rollout will foster a faster economic recovery requiring "fewer tax rises than feared".

But it believes Mr Sunak's recent comments about the "strains" on public finances have still paved the way for tax increases.

The Daily Mirror has sought the views of the former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown for its front page.

Mr Brown is calling for a budget to boost jobs amid the Covid crisis, and warns that failing to act would "condemn a whole generation of young people" to a jobless future.

The Daily Telegraph says a Budget boost for pubs is being considered with Treasury officials holding talks with the hospitality industry.

The paper says the business rates holiday could be extended beyond the lifting of restrictions in June - and all duty on alcohol could be frozen.

image copyrightGetty Images

"Justice in retreat" is the headline in the Daily Mail.

The paper has carried out an investigation which found that more than half of Britain's police stations have closed in the last 10 years.

It says at least 667 stations with front counters - where the public can talk to officers - have been shut as a result of cost-cutting.

The Mail adds that many more have closed during the pandemic, prompting fears they may never reopen.

A Home Office spokesman tells the paper the government is giving police the resources they need to cut crime and keep people safe.

And several papers carry pictures of the Coronation Street actor Johnny Briggs following his death at the age of 85.

The Daily Express calls him "a legend" for his portrayal of Mike Baldwin.

Metro shows the actor in a characteristic pose with a smile, a cigar and a drink, and the simple headline "Cheers Mike".

And the Daily Mirror sums up his career as "the greatest Corrie rogue of them all".