Newspaper headlines: PM 'pins hopes' on free twice-weekly Covid tests

By BBC News
Staff

Published
image copyrightReuters

The government extension of free lateral flow tests to everyone in England leads most front pages.

"Covid tests twice a week to set us free," the Daily Express declares in its headline.

The Daily Mail calls it "a multi-billion pound scheme".

The Daily Mirror says Boris Johnson will describe testing as "now more important than ever" with ministers believing, according to the Independent, that it will "stop outbreaks in their tracks".

The Daily Telegraph suggests it could lead to staff and customers being asked to show they have a negative result, while the Guardian notes the scepticism of some scientists, who emphasise "the high possibility of false negatives".

The shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, tells the Times it should go "hand in hand with community public health-led contact tracing".

And the Scotsman says there are calls for people in Scotland to have the same access to the tests.

The Telegraph says it has learnt that MPs will be given a vote on any vaccine passport plans.

This raises the prospect, the paper suggests, of Mr Johnson being defeated in the Commons.

The i reports on a senior researcher who is analysing vaccine passport pilots around the world.

He suggests that, based on his findings so far, a scheme in the UK would be "an expensive waste of time" and a huge distraction.

Prince Hamzah of Jordan's claim that he was under house arrest and then the counter claim by the country's ministers that he was plotting to destabilise the country is examined by the Financial Times.

An analyst tells the FT that it "confirms that tensions within the regime and the royal family have been going on for some time".

On its front page, the Times suggests that the UK is in a global race to secure rare-earth elements that are essential for electric cars, wind turbines and fighter jets.

The paper says security agencies fear that China, which dominates the market, could use its monopoly advantage in other disputes.

In its editorial, the Times backs efforts to mine ores in new areas to improve links with other countries which can process the metals, and to increase recycling of the elements.

There are plans, according to the Telegraph, for civil servants to use "hybrid offices" around the country.

The papers says the government has signed a deal with one of the world's biggest flexible working companies, IWG, to provide private office space as necessary.

The Sun suggests many offices in the future might be just around the corner and people could live in so-called 15-minute towns where all amenities are within a quarter of an hour commute.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe Cambridge crew celebrates by throwing their cox Dylan Whittaker into the water after winning the 75th Women's Boat Race

And several papers picture the triumphant Cambridge crews in their annual boat races against Oxford.

The Times and the Telegraph show the men; the Independent and the Guardian the women.

This year's event, under lockdown, was moved from London to Ely and the Times describes how the audience was somewhat depleted, saying: "Just 30 Cambridgeshire villagers and a family of ducks offered polite applause."