image captionThose wanting to leave Britain from Monday will have to show a permit proving their travel is essential, the Daily Telegraph says. The move is an attempt to tackle people jet setting off on their Easter holidays. On-the-spot fines will be issued and criminal action could be taken for those who break the rules. It comes as Cyprus, the Seychelles, Greece and the Spanish islands announce they are opening to vaccinated Britons. Meanwhile, the paper reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s philanthropic organisation Sussex Royal is being reviewed by the Charity Commission.
image captionThe Times carries comments from the scientist in charge of tracking strains of coronavirus, who has told the paper that new variants of Covid-19 are “very unlikely” to stop Britain returning to normal in the summer. Prof Sharon Peacock, head of the Covid-19 Genomics UK scientific body, said the UK is now well equipped to “stay ahead” of the virus by adapting vaccines quickly. She said that new variants were “very unlikely to send us back to square one”.
image captionSeveral of Saturday’s papers lead with reports that NHS nurses are threatening to go on strike over a 1% pay rise. Inflation is expected to rise to 1.5% this year, meaning nurses will see real-term cuts, reports the i weekend. Such industrial action would be the first strike by British nurses since 1988, the paper adds, and the Royal College of Nurses’ £35m “war chest” is reportedly the largest union strike fund created in the UK.
image captionThe Daily Mirror says the proposed pay rise is a “slap for carers”. The increase amounts to an extra £3.50-a-week, the paper adds. The Trades Union Congress has warned: “This is a hammer blow to morale.” Meanwhile, the Mirror and several other papers carry comments from the Duchess of Sussex in the latest clip to be released from the Oprah Winfrey interview. In the clip, Meghan described how “liberating” it was to be able to now speak freely.
image captionCarrying photos of nurses working in personal protective equipment and treating patients, the Daily Star describes the government’s proposed pay rise as a “betrayal” to those on the frontline. The paper describes Boris Johnson as having a short memory – a reference to the prime minister’s time in intensive care last year when he contracted coronavirus. “I’m not giving them a decent pay rise but do you think they’d settle for another clap?” the paper’s graphics team mocks up Mr Johnson as saying.
image captionThe nurses pay rise is described as “pitiful” in the Daily Express, which is also leading on the proposed industrial action. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has defended the 1% increase, the paper adds.
image caption“No 10 decor scandal” is the headline dominating the front of the Daily Mail as it reports on the makeover of Mr Johnson’s flat, which the paper claims Conservative Party funds covered a large part of. The paper reports that the PM persuaded Tory chiefs to pay for the £200,000 makeover of his Downing Street flat.
image captionAnd there has been a steep decline in activity between the UK and large countries in the European Union, according to data cited by the FT Weekend. French exports to the UK were down 13% in January when compared to the previous six-month average and French imports from the UK fell 20%. The paper says figures show Brexit has dealt a “heavy blow” to commercial activity between the UK and EU.