image captionThe latest coronavirus developments are once again the focus of the UK’s front pages. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Britain could face harsh restrictions for many months to come, the Guardian reports. At a Downing Street news conference on Tuesday, Mr Johnson and his chief scientists suggested more than one million people were currently infected with Covid, and said one in 50 people in private households in England had the virus last week.
image captionEngland’s stark infection rate also makes the front page of the Daily Mirror, which warns deaths are “set to soar”. The paper also claims the PM’s “late lockdown could spark 20,000 deaths this month”.
image captionThe Metro says one in 30 people in London had Covid last week, according to estimates based on the latest data, and the UK has recorded more than 60,000 new Covid cases for the first time. It adds that the prime minister is “pinning his hopes” on vaccines, after Mr Johnson told the news conference that 1.3 million people had now been vaccinated in the UK.
image captionThe Daily Express says the PM sought to reassure the nation on Tuesday, by claiming he was full of “optimism and hope things will be different by spring”. It comes after ministers acknowledged that restrictions could be in place until March.
image captionMeanwhile, the Sun opts to illustrate the rapid surge of the virus on its front page, splashing with a large picture of crowds – and some infected individuals highlighted in red – out shopping before Christmas.
image captionThere is some hope on the front page of the i, which reports that mass vaccination centres will open in sports stadiums and exhibition centres next week – as the NHS aims to deliver more than two million jabs every week by the end of the month.
image captionAnd the Times claims millions more coronavirus jabs will reach vaccination hubs – including London’s Nightingale hospital at the ExCel centre – within days. Two million doses of the Pfizer jab held back for booster shots will be distributed this week and next after the government’s strategy shifted to prioritising as many people as possible for a first injection, the paper adds. Separately, the newspaper reports a call by Tory MP Robert Halfon for ex-teachers to check pupils’ grades.
image captionAn offer by High Street pharmacies to support the rollout of the Oxford vaccine has been snubbed by the government, according to the Daily Telegraph. Ministers have been urged to give out jabs at pharmacies such as Lloyds and Boots. The paper also claims there are five million doses of the Pfizer jab that are yet to be used, and 3.5 million doses of the Oxford jab also held up. On Tuesday, the PM insisted the vaccine will be rolled out “as fast as we possibly can”.
image captionThe Financial Times reports Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged £4.6bn of support to help businesses cope through the latest lockdown. Mr Sunak has revealed that his 3 March Budget will contain emergency measures for companies. Most existing financial support expires at the end of March or April. But business leaders have said it will not be enough to save tens of thousands of them from collapse, the paper adds.
image captionFinally, “Shove Your Dry January” is the message on the front of the Daily Star. It says the annual sober month has “officially ended” for some, following the return of lockdown.