image captionSunday’s front pages include details of the government’s plans for Covid vaccinations and restrictions in the UK. The Sunday Telegraph claims every adult in the country could be vaccinated by the end of June. It cites senior government figures as optimistic this target could be achieved, as they plan to vaccinate 4 to 5 million people a week within months. A source told the paper: “All over-18s by June – yes. It is delivery, delivery, delivery.” But the paper also reports ministers are concerned about hitting a target to vaccinate the top four priority groups by 15 February – due to vaccine manufacturing delays.
image captionThe Sunday Times, however, reports the opposite – saying ministers are growing increasingly optimistic the target will be reached. The paper splashes with claims officials have been told to prepare for the creation of quarantine hotels for arrivals to the country, and to use GPS and facial recognition technology to check that people are staying in isolation. It also says a cabinet deal has been done to approve a plan to begin lifting lockdown restrictions in early March. Areas will be moved to lower tiers once their death rate has fallen, hospital admissions have dropped, and some in the 50 to 70 year old age range have been vaccinated, it says.
image caption“We can see a way out”, cries the Sunday Express, reporting Britain is “nearly on the home straight” to beating coronavirus. It says Health Secretary Matt Hancock has urged a national effort to support the vaccination programme, unveiling a three-point action plan to do so. His “call to arms” aims to get people to help those over 80 who have yet to have their jab, encourage more people to sign up for Covid-19 research trials and to stay connected with the NHS app, it says. It comes as 10 further mass vaccination centres are due to open in England on Monday.
image captionThe Sunday People carries claims the health secretary cancelled contracts with private hospitals that would have given the NHS 8,000 extra beds. The Department of Health told the paper: “The NHS is working closely and flexibly with independent sector providers to secure more capacity to provide services including cancer surgery, diagnostics and treatments to help alleviate pressures on our acute hospitals across England through a combination of national and local deals.”
image captionThe Mail on Sunday reports US claims that workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill with coronavirus-like symptoms in autumn 2019, and that the lab’s scientists were experimenting with a bat coronavirus similar to the one that causes Covid. It claims the Chinese government is under growing pressure to reveal the “true origins” of the pandemic. Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan in central China in late 2019. China has been saying for months that although Wuhan is where the first cluster of cases was detected, it is not necessarily where the virus originated. The World Health Organization is investigating the origins of the pandemic.
image captionThe Sunday Mirror says a woman who claims she was raped by a Conservative MP is hoping for a legal review, after police dropped their investigation. In December, the Metropolitan Police said “no further action” would be taken, following a “thorough investigation”.
image captionAnd finally, the Daily Star Sunday leads with anger at actor Laurence Fox after he shared a picture of himself wearing a mask exemption badge. In a tweet, Fox claimed he ordered the badge from Amazon after “a long period of consultation with myself, an extended review period and proper due diligence conducted”.