image caption“Tis the season to be jolly careful” is the headline of the Daily Telegraph’s splash, a reference to Boris Johnson’s warning on the risks of families getting together over Christmas, when there is expected to be a relaxation of coronavirus rules. The prime minister made the comment during a Downing Street briefing on Monday as he announced a revised regional three-tier system that will replace England’s lockdown, which ends on 2 December. The paper suggests Mr Johnson has come under “intense pressure” to reserve the toughest restrictions for only the very worst hit areas as MPs complained of a “lockdown by stealth”.
image captionThe Daily Express also leads with Boris Johnson’s call for caution over Christmas, with the paper reporting his appeal to families “not to abuse his promised easing of restrictions” over the festive period. The Express says the prime minister – who spoke via video link as he continues to self-isolate after contact with an MP who tested positive for Covid-19 – forecasts that the pandemic could be beaten by Easter as long as Britons do not “blow it” over Christmas.
image caption“Vaccine cheers, but first the tiers”, is the headline of the Daily Mail’s front page. It follows news that large trials have shown Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine to be highly effective at stopping people developing Covid-19 symptoms, which the paper calls a “stunning vaccine breakthrough”. The Mail says despite this, the prime minister warned against “over-optimism” and that there would be “hard months ahead” in which stringent restrictions could be in place until at least Easter.
image captionThe Metro also reports Mr Johnson’s festive warning, underneath its call for Britons to get themselves a “vaccaccino”, a reference to Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine costing “less than a cup of coffee”. The paper quotes the prime minister as calling Oxford’s vaccine a “great British achievement”.
image captionThe world is moving a “step closer” to ending the coronavirus pandemic, Prof Sarah Gilbert, who led the Oxford vaccine team’s research, has told the Guardian. The paper’s top story says the “breakthrough” was also hailed as “exciting news for the rest of the world, especially low income countries” due to its low-cost at £3 a dose.
image caption“Harsh winter, brighter spring” is the Daily Mirror’s front page take on news of tougher restrictions being in place until April and what it calls “hopes of a return to normality” raised by news of the effectiveness of Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine.
image captionLike most other papers, the Times leads with the prime minister’s comments on Monday. The paper says Boris Johnson was backed by the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, in setting Easter as the “end goal” for coronavirus restrictions in light of the positive news from the Oxford University vaccine trials. It illustrates its coverage with screengrabs of the Duke of Cambridge congratulating Oxford scientists Sarah Gilbert and Andrew Pollard, and the vice-chancellor Louise Richardson.
image captionThe Sun’s front page reports that contestants on the ITV programme I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here receive “secret run-throughs” of the trials before they are seen on TV. The paper quotes an insider who says it removes “some element of jeopardy”. An ITV spokesman told the paper: “Contestants are told the instructions of a trial and producers ensure that they understand what is required of them in line with our health and safety procedures. Any suggestion of run-throughs or practising is incorrect.”