image captionSeveral of Monday’s papers lead with the mutant Brazilian variant being found in the UK. The i reports that it may be more resistant to vaccines and entered the country just days before hotel quarantine was introduced for high-risk areas. Labour has criticised the government for delaying tighter border restrictions, the paper adds, as one of the infected travellers is still yet to be identified.
image captionLabour now wants tougher border measures, the Guardian reports, as officials work to track down the person infected with the highly transmissible Brazilian variant. “Refusal to set up a comprehensive system leaves us exposed to mutations from overseas,” shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds is quoted as saying.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph focuses its coverage on the “hunt” for the UK patient believed to have the variant. Public Health England is working to track down hundreds of passengers who boarded connecting flights into the UK from Brazil in February. Meanwhile, those over the age of 40 will start to be called to receive their vaccination from this month, the paper says.
image captionBoris Johnson has called the vaccine rollout a “huge national achievement”, the Times reports, as more than 20 million people receive their first dose. Nearly 800,000 have had a second jab. Meanwhile, people smugglers will face life sentences under new plans from Home Secretary Priti Patel to enforce stricter penalties on Channel crossings, the Times says.
image captionBut not all countries are vaccinating their populations as swiftly as the UK is. “Use it… or lose it is,” is the headline on the front of Metro. The paper reports that 80% of the European Union’s 6.1 million Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs are sitting unused in fridges. Nations have been told to use the 4.85 million doses or give them to poorer nations so they are not wasted, with 130 poorer countries still waiting to receive just one dose, the paper quotes charities as saying.
image captionThe UK’s speedy vaccination rollout will allow a faster economic recovery, meaning there could be fewer tax rises than first feared, according to the Financial Times as it turns its attention to Wednesday’s Budget. The paper cites official Budget forecasts, quoting a source close to the process as saying: “The successful rollout of the vaccine is a material change in the last few months.”
image captionThe Daily Express says that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is investing £1.65bn into “mass Covid jabs” to speed up Britain’s recovery from coronavirus. The paper carries comments from Mr Sunak saying he will do “whatever it takes” to get the economy moving again.
image captionBut former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown is urging the chancellor to use the Budget to boost jobs, the Daily Mirror says. Failing to act would mean a “whole generation of young people” face a jobless future, Mr Brown adds. “Save lost generation” is the headline dominating the front page.
image captionMeanwhile, more than half of Britain’s police stations have closed in the past 10 years, the Daily Mail reports in what it calls a “damning” investigation. The paper says that at least 667 stations with front counters have shut since 2010, with critics saying “justice is in retreat” – which is also the headline dominating the front page. The paper cites cost-cutting measures as the reason behind the closures and lists examples where people have died near to stations which are no longer open.
image captionAnd the Daily Star says socks with sandals are back, adopting a fearful tone as a pair of feet sporting the questionable attire take up most of the front page. The paper lays the blame at the door of “fashionistas” who allegedly approve of the daring look.