image captionA decision to close all travel corridors to the UK from Monday morning is the focus of many of Saturday’s front pages. The i newspaper declares the country will become “Fortress Britain”, as it reports anyone flying into the country from overseas will have to show proof of a negative Covid test before and after travelling. It says the move comes as part of efforts to protect the public from new variants of coronavirus.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph adds that arrivals will also need to quarantine for 10 days – on top of the negative Covid test. It reports the restrictions will last until at least 15 February, but says there are “already signs” that travel will not return to normal until well beyond that date. Separately, the paper claims over-70s are expected to begin receiving coronavirus vaccinations as soon as next week.
image captionThe Daily Express also leads with what it calls the “border crackdown”. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the move at a Downing Street news conference on Friday, saying it was “vital” to take extra measures now. All travel corridors, which were introduced in the summer to allow people travelling from some countries with low numbers of Covid cases to come to the UK without having to quarantine on arrival, will close from 04:00 GMT on Monday.
image caption“Keep out!” is the message on the front of the Sun, which says the UK has shut its borders over “mutant bugs”. Experts’ concerns currently focus on a small number of new variants of Covid: a UK variant that has become dominant in much of Britain and has spread to more than 50 other countries; a South Africa variant that has also been found in at least 20 other countries, including the UK; and a variant from Brazil. Current vaccines were designed around earlier variants, but scientists are confident that they should still work against the new ones, although perhaps not quite as well. Lab studies are under way to check this.
image captionThe Daily Mirror splashes with a report from the intensive care unit at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital, where it says patients fighting for life are now “much younger”. It describes the NHS medics as “modern-day miracle workers”.
image captionThe Financial Times says hundreds of thousands of UK businesses can now claim insurance payouts for Covid-related losses, after the Supreme Court ruled that “business interruption” policies provided cover against the pandemic and lockdown measures. In a ruling on Friday, judges unanimously dismissed insurers’ appeals against a High Court ruling that they should honour most claims, it says. The original case was brought by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority on behalf of 370,000 affected policyholders.
image captionThe Daily Mail claims the Duke of Sussex is “heartbroken” over his rift with the Royal Family, citing remarks by ITV news anchor Tom Bradby in an interview with Alan Titchmarsh for an ITV show on Saturday. Mr Bradby told the broadcaster the past year had been “painful” for Prince Harry. It comes after the duke and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped back as senior royals in 2020 before moving to the United States.
image captionFinally, the Daily Star pokes fun at Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, after he said he was “the last person” people should take travel advice from.