image captionSeveral of Monday’s front pages lead with the return to the classroom for many pupils in England. “On your marks, get set” is the headline dominating Metro, accompanied by a photo of a child running. For the first time in more than two months, many children return to the classroom in England. It marks the first step in the government’s “roadmap” to normality.
image captionAnd as schools reopen to more pupils, one of the leading scientists behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab has told the i paper that caution remains key. “The data is looking very good in the UK… but there are still a lot of people left to vaccinate,” Prof Sarah Gilbert says.
image captionThe return to classrooms could be short-lived if not enough pupils wear face masks, unions have warned parents, the Daily Telegraph reports. Government guidance says masks should be worn in the classroom and anywhere indoors where it is not possible for secondary students to maintain a two-metre distance, the paper adds. A letter has been issued to secondary school heads to send to parents who raise objections about children wearing masks, the Association of School and College Leaders told the paper.
image captionAnd head teachers have raised concerns over the government’s flagship scheme for helping disadvantaged pupils catch up, the Guardian reports. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested longer school days and a move to a five-term academic year to help pupils regain lost ground. The paper also carries a report saying the head of the UN’s humanitarian affairs office has criticised the UK government over proposals to cut aid to Yemen.
image captionMeanwhile, the Times carries warnings from NHS chiefs that they will have to start cutting patient care unless Chancellor Rishi Sunak finds £8bn for extra coronavirus costs. Health chiefs have accused Mr Sunak of “robbing NHS budgets” by failing to meet the full cost of treating more than 8,000 coronavirus patients in hospitals. They told the paper that the chancellor appears to be trying to “renege” on his commitment to cover such costs, instead trying to use normal health service funds to pay for the pandemic.
image captionThe Daily Express reports that all care homes must open their doors to loved ones, or else face being blacklisted. Nominated family members can hold hands with a loved one from Monday. But care homes risk being rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission if complaints are upheld by families who are refused access, according to the paper.
image captionThe other main story featured prominently on the front pages is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. The Daily Mail reports that, as royals “face fallout” from the “bombshell interview”, the Queen’s message to the Commonwealth was one of “friendship and a spirit of unity”. She said that the Commonwealth had shown “courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty” throughout the pandemic, the paper adds.
image captionThe Daily Mirror says that Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview has left the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge “immensely saddened”. Quoting a royal source who branded the television chat a “sorry saga”, the paper reports on the royals’ “anguish”.
image caption“Fights, camera, action” is the Daily Star’s headline, in reference to the Harry and Meghan interview.
image captionAnd the Financial Times reports that the European Central Bank has asked lenders for details of their exposure to Greensill Capital and its key client GFG Alliance, after the former was pushed to the brink of insolvency last week. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is on the verge of securing the approval needed to pass his historic $1.9tn (£1.4tn) stimulus bill designed to speed up economic recovery.