image captionMost of the papers focus on whether plans to relax Covid rules over Christmas across the UK could be revised or cancelled. The Guardian says festive plans for millions were “in the balance” on Tuesday night as ministers and devolved leaders held talks about curtailing freedoms, amid warnings the NHS would be overwhelmed. The paper quotes a UK government source as saying the four nations may diverge in their approach after no agreement was reached.
image captionThe Daily Mail says festive gatherings were again given the go-ahead despite warnings they could “cost many lives”. Up to three households will still be able to get together, the paper says, quoting government sources, but families will be advised to “stay local”.
image captionThe Times says the prime minister has ruled out scrapping the Christmas freedoms in England, despite mounting warnings that easing measures for five days will cause a third wave of infections. Boris Johnson has instead urged people to reconsider plans to visit elderly relatives.
image captionThe prime minister is to call on people to self-isolate before joining up with other households over the festive period, according to the Daily Telegraph. The paper says the government is expected to issue stronger guidance about what people should do over the holidays, but will stop short of changing the rules between 23 and 27 December.
image caption“All we want for Xmas is… a decision”, says the Daily Mirror. The paper notes a warning from medics that the government should reverse its “rash” decision to ease restrictions.
image captionThe Daily Express says the PM will defy “intense pressure” by refusing to scrap the freedoms. He aims to issue a fresh plea to families to keep seasonal meetings to a minimum and set out clear guidance on how to enjoy festive celebrations safely, the paper adds.
image captionIn other news, London could become a rival to Singapore as a hub for shipping companies to register their vessels after the Brexit transition period ends, reports the Financial Times. The paper says industry bodies and unions have been canvassed over the proposed reform of the shipping industry’s so-called tonnage tax after 1 January.
image captionAnd finally, the Daily Star features a photograph of TV doctor Hilary Jones in a shop without a mask on. “Dr, No” is the paper’s take, adding he forgot to wear a covering in October.