image captionThe Guardian leads on a warning from scientists who say that the easing of restrictions for the festive season should be ignored amid rising cases and hospitalisations. Christmas bubbles of three households are allowed in most of the UK between 23 and 27 December but the paper says that this could lead to a third wave of infections with “just weeks to go until mass vaccinations protect society’s most vulnerable”.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph reports that schools face being sued if they close early amid growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus among teenagers in some areas. The paper says the senior sources at the Department for Education have warned it could seek High Court injunctions to keep schools open. The Telegraph also says the prime minister has got a “triple snub” from Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron prompting him to warn that a no deal outcome from trade talks is “very, very likely”.
image caption“NHS IT chaos hits vaccines at your GP” is the headline on the I newspaper’s front page. It says family doctors are warning they are not ready to start Covid jabs in the coming week. The paper says there are problems with the IT system which means GPs are not able to tell which patients have had the vaccine.
image captionBrussels has told EU governments not to entertain the idea of side deals with Britain should trade talks fail, as it calls for a firm line in order to force the UK back to the negotiation table “as soon as possible” after 1 January, the Financial Times reports. The paper has seen a diplomatic note in which member states are warned not to do anything that would ease the consequences of a no-deal Brexit.
image captionThe Daily Mail says four Royal Navy vessels will be dispatched to Britain’s territorial waters if a trade deal is not agreed with the European Union. It says that “armed with cannon and machine guns” the gunboats will patrol the Channel and Irish Sea to stop illegal fishing. The paper also claims to have an “explosive dossier” on Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts, who claims he had sex with her when she was a teenager. The BBC has not seen the Mail’s dossier and the prince vehemently denies her allegations.
image caption“Gunships to guard our fish” is the Daily Express’s take on the Royal Navy story. It reports a former head of the navy has said Britain must be “robust” in protecting its fishing waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It also carries a picture of princes Louis and George along with their sister Charlotte with the caption “One’s behind you” as the royal children went to a special pantomime in honour of essential workers.
image captionThe usually Brexit-free Daily Star has a different take on France’s snub saying: “Shove your cake Mr Macron. And your bloody croissants!” It says the French president “mocks us as the Brexit row bores on and on”.
image caption“Do it for Babs” says the Daily Mirror, which reports on a call for Boris Johnson to improve dementia care from the husband of Dame Barbara Windsor. The actress died from Alzheimer’s on Thursday and her husband Scott Mitchell has called for the government to “be true to their previous promises and invest more” into care, the paper says.
image captionThe Sun also pays tribute to Dame Barbara and carries a call from “pals” for funding for the “war against dementia”. It uses the headline “Babs’ legacy” and includes a 12-page tribute supplement. Dame Barbara’s death on Thursday evening came too late for many of the papers’ first editions.