image caption“Don’t blow it, Britain” is the headline on the front of the Daily Mail. The paper joins several others to report on measures easing further in England, Wales and Scotland from Monday. Loved ones will be able to hug again and customers can sit indoors at pubs, restaurants and cafes for the first time in months. But UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to adopt a “heavy dose of caution” and to exercise their new freedoms carefully. The warning comes amid concerns about the variant first discovered in India. However, Conservative MPs have told the PM to reject comments from experts that lockdown measures may need to be extended because of the variant, the paper adds.
image captionHealth experts have said people should ignore the easing of lockdown measures and continue to meet outdoors rather than inside pubs and restaurants in order to reduce the risk of infection, the Guardian reports. “My advice is that just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should,” Prof Sir Mark Walport, a former director of the Wellcome Trust, told Sky News. The British Medical Association is also recommending young people – who may not have been vaccinated yet – to adopt a particularly cautious approach to social and physical contact.
image captionIn order to limit the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant, everyone “must play their part” and get their vaccine, Mr Johnson has said. The Daily Telegraph carries the PM’s pleas as its lead story, as the “vast majority” of those in hospital with the variant have not had a jab.
image captionThe i also notes that today’s “new freedoms come with a health warning”. Among the measures lifted are the rules around international travel, with trips to green list countries allowed. However, Labour has called for a longer ban on all foreign holidays, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned against trips to Spain, Greece, France and Italy.
image captionThe Times says the plans for foreign holidays have been thrown into “chaos” after Mr Hancock warned against visiting destinations on the amber list – despite the UK travel ban being lifted. His comments came as Sir John Bell, a member of the government’s vaccine task force, urged against continental breaks, saying parts of Europe remained “largely unvaccinated”. Meanwhile, jabs have been fast-tracked in Bolton so residents as young as 17 can have the vaccine, the paper reports. The town has seen a surge in Indian variant cases, and local officials have defied the government to vaccinate those in younger age groups, the Times adds.
image captionThe Daily Express also leads with the PM’s warnings for the nation to remain cautious. More than 20 million people have now received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, with the government hoping to reach one million jabs a day, the paper adds.
image caption“Get the shots in” is the Sun’s headline, accompanied by an image of a needle and a vaccine and another of a woman drinking. From today, customers will be able to drink indoors in England, Scotland and Wales. “Happy Monday, folks,” the paper says. It adds that the vaccine rollout will go into “overdrive” to prevent a new wave after it was confirmed that the jabs are effective against the variant first discovered in India.
image captionThe Daily Mirror says it is “happy hours… for now”. The paper carries comments from Mr Hancock who warned the Indian variant could “spread like wildfire” in those who have not been vaccinated. Separately, the paper has an interview with England footballer Marcus Rashford on how his childhood struggles impacted his life today.
image captionThe Daily Star says “culture vulture” Brits are heading to theatres and art galleries when they finally open their doors today.
image captionMeanwhile, telecommunications giant AT&T could soon reach a deal to combine its WarnerMedia content unit with rival Discovery, creating a $150bn (£106bn) unit, according to the Financial Times. It comes a few years after AT&T acquired the owner of CNN, HBO and Warner Bros. The agreed deal is expected to be announced in the coming days, the FT says, citing sources. Meanwhile, the paper also says UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is withholding support for US President Joe Biden’s plans for a 21% minimum global business tax rate, and instead wants a broader package for taxing digital technology groups.
image captionFinally, Metro is thanking readers as lockdown eases and the paper says it is “back on top” as Britain’s “biggest” national weekday newspapers.