image captionAnother national lockdown in England is the focus of all of Tuesday’s front pages. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that everyone in the country must stay at home except for permitted reasons during a new coronavirus lockdown expected to last until mid-February. The i newspaper brands it “Lockdown 3: the worst sequel yet”.
image captionAll schools and colleges in England will close to most pupils and switch to remote learning from Tuesday, hours after they were reopened, the Metro newspaper reports. In a TV address on Monday, the prime minister told the country it was at a “pivotal moment” with record numbers of infections, the paper adds. Elsewhere in the UK, Wales said schools and colleges would shut until 18 January for most pupils, while schools in Northern Ireland will have an “extended period of remote learning”, the Stormont Executive said.
image captionThe PM announced the move to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed by the “rising flood” of Covid-19 cases, the Times reports. It adds that Mr Johnson said the lockdown would become law in the early hours of Wednesday, and the House of Commons has been recalled to allow MPs to vote on the new restrictions on the same day. However, people were asked to follow the new rules immediately. A separate front page story reports on the “race against time to vaccinate the vulnerable”.
image captionThe Telegraph leads with Mr Johnson’s warning that “the weeks ahead will be the hardest yet”. But it adds that the PM set out a timetable for the NHS to offer vaccines to all care home residents and their carers, everyone aged 70 and over, all frontline health and social care workers, and the clinically extremely vulnerable by mid-February. This could allow for the easing of restrictions, the PM said, although he warned people should “remain cautious” about timings.
image captionThe Guardian splashes with an image of the prime minister moments after addressing the nation on the latest restrictions from inside Downing Street. The paper notes Mr Johnson’s message to parents after introducing school closures a day after urging children to return to classrooms. “I completely understand the inconvenience and distress this late change will cause,” he said.
image captionMeanwhile, the Daily Mail declares “it’s back to square one” after news of the latest lockdown. It describes the new measures as “the most draconian since the spring lockdown”. Also under the new rules, end-of-year exams will not take place as normal, and outdoor sports venues must close. Amateur team sports are not allowed.
image caption“One last push”, declares the Sun, in reference to the prime minister’s hope that the country is entering “the last phase of the struggle”. The paper estimates that 13 million people will be offered a vaccination by 15 February.
image captionThe Daily Express leads with hope that vaccines will end the “struggle” against coronavirus. The paper also reports that 13 million people could get jabs in the coming weeks.
image captionThe Daily Mirror uses its front page to criticise the government’s handling of the Covid crisis. “Once again, it’s down to us,” the paper cries, adding that the PM – in closing schools – has made “yet another U-turn”. But it says that there was a “glimmer of hope” on Monday after the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was given to Britain’s first patient.
image captionAnd finally, the Daily Star runs an image of the prime minister dressed Vicky Pollard, a Little Britain character known for saying “yeah, but no, but”. It describes him as “indecisive PM Bozo Johnson” and headlines the paper: “PM finally makes up mind about lockdown 3.”