image captionSome 22 million Britons will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the spring, the Sun reports. The paper says NHS England chief Sir Simon Stevens has described the pledge as “the biggest chink of hope” for 2021. The paper notes the comments come after the UK recorded 41,385 new infections on Monday – a record high.
image captionScientists have told the government at least two million people a week will need to be jabbed to defeat a third wave of the virus, the Daily Telegraph says. The paper reports a projection as saying one million jabs per week would not be enough to contain surging infections. Elsewhere, the paper says the temporary Nightingale hospitals are being dismantled in some regions – and scientific advisers have warned ministers not to reopen secondary schools in January.
image caption“Don’t betray our children”, says the Daily Mail as it reports “fury” at the suggestion schools could be shut until February. It says the new term is already being postponed by a week for most pupils – but now teaching unions and scientists are calling for reopening to be delayed entirely. The Mail notes No 10 has said it is reviewing the issue.
image caption“PM under pressure to delay school reopenings” says the Times. It reports that Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove have both warned schools may have to stay closed for longer than planned to curb surging virus cases. But Mr Williamson is reported to be concerned pupils may fall further behind as a result.
image captionThere is a “split” over how to restart schools next month, the Guardian reports. It says plans for a staggered return for millions of pupils now “hang in the balance” as a debate rages on within government. The paper adds that a “rearguard action” by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson flies in the face of predictions reopening schools could take the UK’s coronavirus reproduction number – or R – above one.
image caption“Swamped” is how the Daily Mirror reports concerns that hospitals are nearing breaking-point as virus cases flood wards in some parts of the country.
image captionThe value of the UK’s trade deals in a post-Brexit boom is estimated by the Daily Express to be worth £900bn. It says the UK will enter a “boom” after 1 January – with billions more in trade deals expected in 2021.
image captionThe Financial Times reports on an investment deal between the European Union and China which it says will provide a boost for businesses in the EU.
image captionAnd the Daily Star reports that isolated British explorers are planning a “wild and boozy” New Year’s Eve “mega party” without any coronavirus restrictions.