image captionMany of the front pages focus on the prospect of more restrictions for parts of England. The i warns of a tougher lockdown by the end of the week, with the prime minister being urged to extend the strictest tier three restrictions across north-west and north-east England and large parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands. London also faces being raised to tier two on Friday, with commuters to be told to stay off public transport, the paper reports.
image captionThe Times also reports the capital is “on the brink of a local lockdown”. Meanwhile, the paper says Boris Johnson is working on plans to adopt a version of a short “circuit-breaker” lockdown timed to coincide with half-term in England. However, under one potential compromise, it says the prime minister could persist with his regional approach and urban areas with higher infection rates would be subject to a limited period of additional measures.
image caption“Another fallen giant”, is the headline for the Daily Mirror, which says Greater Manchester is “poised” to join the Liverpool City Region under the toughest restrictions. Parts of Lancashire could also move into “very high” alert, with an announcement due possibly today, the paper reports.
image captionMinisters and local leaders have “clashed” over the threat of further restrictions, according to the Guardian. It says leaders in the north of England have been warned deaths will continue to rise for at least three weeks and the NHS risks being overwhelmed unless the strictest curbs are imposed on more areas. But Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, has accused ministers of putting pressure on northern regions to accept a “morally wrong” and “fundamentally flawed” system without sufficient financial support, the paper reports.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph carries a warning from Chancellor Rishi Sunak not to rush into another national lockdown, which he describes as a “blunt instrument” that would “cause needless damage to parts of our country where virus rates are low”. The paper says ministers are bracing for an announcement of a two-week lockdown, which they expect to be made a week on Friday if infection rates continue to rise.
image captionThe Daily Mail focuses on another negative impact of lockdown - reporting that hundreds of under-65s have been killed by strokes and heart attacks. It cites a report from the British Heart Foundation, which says deaths rose by nearly 800 from March to July, with experts blaming the government’s “stay at home” guidance for discouraging people from seeking medical help. “The proof lockdown tears the heart out of Britain,” is the paper’s headline.
image captionThere is more positive news on the front page of the Daily Express, which reports that experts believe the jobs crisis caused by the pandemic will not be as bad as previously feared. However, the country must avoid a second national lockdown for the economy to fully bounce back, the paper adds.
image captionThe Financial Times leads with comments from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has said that most advanced economies that can borrow freely will not need to plan for austerity to restore the health of their public finances after the pandemic - a reversal of its advice a decade ago. However, Vitor Gaspar, head of fiscal policy at the fund, has told the paper that countries with only limited access to financial markets will need to be much more careful with their fiscal strategies.
image captionThe Metro reports that students at the University of Birmingham - one of the country’s worst affected institutions - were given used swabs to test for coronavirus. The paper says an investigation has been launched after around 25 of the kits were supplied to households in a popular student area - leaving the recipients who used them feeling “distressed, shocked and violated”.
image captionA cut-out mask of the prime minister’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings features on the front page of the Daily Star. The paper reports that Mr Cummings and his family are set to avoid what would otherwise have been a £50,000 council tax bill on two properties at their farm in Durham, after a government agency decided council tax would apply from this month but would not be backdated.