image caption“Vaccines ramped up in race to 21 June” is the headline on the i newspaper, which says the government is aiming to offer second doses to all over-50s within three weeks to try and meet the roadmap date for ending legal restrictions on social contact. The paper says a final decision has been delayed for another week amid the surge in cases of the new variant.
image captionThe Times covers the same story, which Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi describes as a “race between the vaccine and the virus”. The paper’s analysis is that the vaccine will win the race to 21 June – if the NHS maintains its current race of second doses, all over-50s should receive theirs by the previous week.
image captionIt’s also described as a race in the Daily Express – this time a race for freedom. The paper quotes Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying the vaccine rollout may accelerate in time for the proposed end of lockdown.
image captionPlans for mandatory vaccine passports to attend events in the UK – officially called Covid status certificates – have been scrapped, the Daily Telegraph reports. The paper quotes a source saying the plan is “dead” amid concerns that tourists would not be able to use the NHS app to prove their vaccine status and that some people cannot be vaccinated due to conditions such as severe allergies.
image caption“Taste of freedom” is the triumphant headline on the Daily Mirror front page, over a picture of bank holiday crowds on Bournemouth beach. It says millions took advantage of a heatwave after months of lockdown and weeks of rain.
image captionThe Daily Mail focuses on one of the long-term effects of the pandemic, describing a “devastating toll” of lockdown on hip and knee patients, some of whom the paper says may have to wait two years for an operation. The paper is also one of the many to feature an image of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in shirtsleeves and his new wife Carrie with flowers in her hair, promising an insider view of the “festival chic” wedding.
image captionSince a ban on combustible foam insulation for high-rise buildings was introduced in 2018 after the deadly Grenfell Tower fire, it has been used on about 70 schools, a report in the Guardian says. The paper says at least 25 hospitals, care homes and sheltered housing complexes have also been built with the cladding, as one schools leader calls for action to remove it.
image captionUS regulators are planning to take a more active role in the $1.5 trillion market for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the Financial Times reports in its main story. It says there is growing concern that a lack of oversight of the volatile digital currencies risks causing harm to investors.
image captionAnd the Daily Star leads on what it calls a “British X-files to detect aliens”, saying that UK defence chiefs could restart their UFO desk following publication of a forthcoming Pentagon report into “unidentified aerial phenomena”. It was ordered last year by the former president, prompting the paper to conclude: “The truth IS out there… thanks to, er, Donald Trump.”