Newspaper headlines: PM's 'plan for the worst' and 'back to panic stations'

By BBC News

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Image source, Getty Images

Boris Johnson's strategy for managing Covid over the winter has given chills to most of the front pages.

The Daily Express is warmest - hailing the prime minister as "Mr Sensible" for including restrictions as part of his "Plan B". But the Metro says Mr Johnson set out a "Covid winter warner".

"Plan for the Worst", says the Daily Mirror. The Daily Telegraph is concerned that the "spectre of winter lockdown returns". It says Tory MPs have expressed "astonishment" and disappointment at what they see as a "slippery slope" towards inevitable curbs on freedoms.

The Guardian focuses on the warning from government advisers that the UK is at a "pivot point" - and highlights Sage modelling that suggests hospital admissions in England could peak at 7,000 people a day next month. "Go hard, go early, Johnson told", says the Times.

"Surprise! It's back to panic stations", is the verdict from the Daily Mail. "So much for the glorious promise that Britain's road to normality would be irreversible".

It calls on the prime minister to "keep his side of the Covid bargain", insisting the public kept theirs by enduring lockdown without complaint.

The Sun argues Mr Johnson's Plan A "looks reasonable" but warns he must "at all costs" avoid Plan B. It urges the him to "hold his nerve" and "turn a deaf ear" to those clamouring for restrictions at the first hint of trouble.

The Daily Star focuses on a row over the safety of vaccines between England's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, and the American rapper, Nicki Minaj - calling it the "unexpected celebrity beef of the decade".

It says the "straight-laced British boffin" "slapped down" the "misguided" star for spreading anti-vax nonsense and it agrees with his view that she should be "ashamed".

But the Mail says Nicki Minaj "hit back" in a series of tweets, including a "bizarre" audio clip mocking the prime minister in a fake British accent after he too criticised her claims.

Tuesday's announcement of a further delay to post-Brexit checks on some EU goods entering the UK is highlighted by the Financial Times.

It says Brexit Minister Lord Frost described the new timetable as "pragmatic" following supply chain problems the government has blamed on the pandemic.

"It's ironic", an EU diplomat tells the paper. "They talked about taking back control but are letting products in without any controls at all."

The Times says Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has been "given the job of saving Christmas" - after Mr Johnson asked him to fix the supply chain issues in time for the festive season.

Image source, Getty Images

And images of the Democratic congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, posing in a striking outfit at the Met Gala in New York on Monday night are featured by several papers.

The Financial Times reports that she "stunned" onlookers by wearing a white gown daubed with "tax the rich".

This led to accusations of hypocrisy, the Telegraph says, for making the statement at an "exclusive" event costing £22,000 a ticket.

The Guardian acknowledges the move "was sure to ruffle some feathers" - but says AOC, as she is widely known, was "happy to set the record straight", writing on Instagram "the medium is the message".