Newspaper headlines: Easter 'travel permits' and 'slap for carers'

By BBC News

image copyrightPA Media

A number of front pages continue to focus on the row over NHS pay, including the Daily Express, which highlights the threat of strike action by nurses in England upset about their proposed 1% wage increase.

The Daily Mirror has the headline: "Boris' Slap For Carers."

The Daily Star accuses the prime minister of betraying what it calls the "NHS heroes" who saved his life when he fell ill with Covid last year.

It says some Conservatives are worried the government is on the wrong side of public opinion, with one unnamed MP quoted saying: "When I heard the news my heart sank. I was really surprised they weren't more generous."

The Daily Mail claims to expose what it calls a "cover-up" by the Conservatives following the renovation of Boris Johnson's flat above Downing Street.

The paper says it has been told that Tory party funds met a large part of the reported £200,000 redecoration bill - before officials, in the Mail's words, "tried to hide the truth".

It says one or more wealthy donors are thought to have paid an equivalent sum to the Conservatives "apparently in the hope that the party's involvement in the affair would stay hidden", and the Tories now plan to declare the contribution to the Electoral Commission "in an attempt to quell the furore".

Downing Street insists there has been no wrongdoing.

New international travel permits which must be used by people leaving the UK from Monday are highlighted in the Daily Telegraph, which says the move is to stop Easter holidays abroad.

"There is concern in Whitehall over increasing levels of rule-breaking", the paper reports, "particularly among the 40% of adults who have now been vaccinated".

Conservative backbenchers have criticised the policy, with the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, telling the Telegraph "it's time to start to get rid of intrusive regulations, not bring in new ones".

The Times has interviewed the scientist in charge of tracking new variants of coronavirus in the UK.

Prof Sharon Peacock says mutations of the disease are "very unlikely" to stop Britain getting back to normal this summer as "we've got the capabilities to stay ahead by adapting vaccines".

But the Guardian warns that up to a million people are expected to need treatment for the long-term effects of Covid after the pandemic is over.

A senior doctor says the NHS will be dealing with the problem "for years" putting huge pressure on already overstretched services.

image copyrightOprah/Harpo Productions/CBS

Images of the Duchess of Sussex are on several front pages, as further details of her interview with Oprah Winfrey continue to emerge ahead of its broadcast in the US tomorrow.

It is the main news for the Sun, which says Meghan claims that palace aides banned her from being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey three years ago, when the pair discussed the possibility before she got married to Prince Harry.

Royal sources have insisted the duchess was not stopped from doing anything.

The Times says the two-hour chat is expected to be a bigger TV event in the US than last month's Super Bowl, which was watched by more than 96 million Americans.