image caption“15,062,189 reasons to be cheerful” is Metro’s headline celebrating the number of vaccinations as it says the UK has met its target to give first doses to many of the most vulnerable with two days to spare. “It’s the shot in the arm we needed,” the paper says.
image captionAs that milestone is passed, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced an “ambitious” new target, the Daily Express reports. He wants everyone deemed at risk to be vaccinated by the end of April, which would mean 32 million people will have received a jab in ten weeks’ time.
image captionThe i newspaper’s headline focuses on the next group to receive invitations to vaccine appointments: the over-65s. But the paper also says some GPs are complaining of a “vaccine lottery” with figures showing inconsistency across the UK about how many people are getting immunised.
image caption“The road to freedom” is the Daily Mirror’s headline, as it looks forward to the exit strategy for leaving lockdown, following the progress in vaccination. It says ministers hope to reopen pubs and restaurants in May – but only if all over-50s have received the vaccine by then.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph focuses on one freedom that may be nearer at hand: the paper says one idea under discussion would mean grandparents could be able to see their grandchildren again from next month. Plans to allow one-to-one meetings outside could include an exemption for children, allowing a parent to bring them to meet their grandparent, the paper suggests.
image captionEaster getaways are on the prime minister’s agenda as coronavirus rates are expected to fall sharply in the coming weeks, the Times reports. The paper says that “under one ambitious timeline” a family living in the same household could be allowed to go away together for a self-catering break from April.
image caption“Now it’s ready, steady, shop!” says the Daily Mail as it reports that High Street stores will be allowed to reopen within weeks if infections continue to fall. The paper says the plans to ease lockdown have been boosted by figures which show that vaccines are already having an impact.
image captionBut Downing Street is pushing back against demands from Tory backbenchers to set a faster timetable for abolishing coronavirus restrictions, the Guardian says. It reports that ministers and officials have “flatly ruled out” demands to lift all Covid laws by May, insisting that the plan needs to be more cautious and decided step by step.
image captionThe Sun gives its front page over to the “Sussexes’ Valentine’s Day joy”, using a black-and-white image which appears on many of the other front pages too: Meghan lying in California’s winter sunshine, with her hand on her baby bump and her head in Harry’s lap as they smile at one another. The paper says the two are “overjoyed” at the news of their second child.
image captionIn its jaded take on the same news, the Daily Star covers the eyes of the couple with black bars in a mocking reference to Harry and Meghan’s recent privacy battles. “Publicity-shy woman tells 7.67bn people: I’m pregnant” is the acidic headline.
image captionAnd the Financial Times focuses on the fallout from Donald Trump’s acquittal at impeachment proceedings in the US, saying the Republican Party is split on whether they should “break decisively” with the former president or cling tightly to his brand of politics. Its lead image is the first picture of Mars from the United Arab Emirates’ Hope probe – an “out of this world” photo, as the paper puts it.