image captionMany of the front pages lead with Sir Keir Starmer’s calls for a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown. The Labour leader accused the prime minister of ignoring the advice of scientists and said Boris Johnson’s plan for local restrictions was “not working”.
image captionThe i says Sir Keir has broken the “Covid consensus” in his calls for a national lockdown, although he said schools should remain open. Meanwhile, the paper says the “united front” between No 10 and scientists is also fraying as some Tory MPs push back against tougher rules.
image captionThe Financial Times says Mr Johnson is under “mounting pressure” to impose a short national lockdown, after the Labour leader’s calls. His comments came ahead of the publication of a paper, seen by the FT, by two of the government’s leading scientific advisers, which says thousands of coronavirus deaths could be avoided if a two-week lockdown were imposed.
image captionThe Times has seen the same paper, and says it predicts a two-week full lockdown from 24 October, with stay at home orders and school closures, could reduce deaths for the rest of the year from about 19,900 to 12,100. However, the Times says Mr Johnson “hardened his stance” during a call with Tory MPs, saying it would not be right to impose the restrictions on areas where cases were still low.
image captionThe Guardian also sees Sir Keir as “heaping pressure” on the prime minister. It describes his comments as “a significant escalation of his criticism”, with the Labour leader accusing Mr Johnson of having “lost control of the virus”.
image captionA “short, sharp” lockdown is “on the cards”, according to the Daily Express. Tory insiders have told the paper the prime minister is planning a clampdown of up to two weeks over much of England.
image caption“Lockdown battle begins”, is the headline for the Telegraph, which says the prime minister will consider a “circuit breaker” lockdown if his new tier system fails to reverse the spread of the virus. The paper says a decision will be taken toward the end of next week, ahead of the half-term holiday, but regional circuit breakers are also under consideration.
image captionThe Daily Mail warns there is “no hope of normality” until July, following comments from the head of Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccines team. Prof Andrew Pollard said facemasks and social distancing would be needed until next summer, even if his global trial proves successful.
image captionMeanwhile, amid the rise in Covid-19 cases, the Metro reports the prime minister made a joke about his rule of six restrictions, suggesting people might welcome it “as an excuse to avoid their in-laws this Christmas”. Mr Johnson is said to have made the remark as he faced Tory MPs at a Zoom meeting of the party’s 1922 Committee of backbenchers on Tuesday night.
image captionThe Daily Star leads with a story about actor Dominic West, who has been seen kissing his wife in a public display of affection, after pictures emerged of him with actress Lily James.