The Papers: 'Revolt' over plan to quarantine arrivals to UK


Newspaper headlines: Concerns over plan to quarantine travellers to UK


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The government’s plan to force everyone arriving in the UK quarantine for 14 days is the focus of the Daily Telegraph’s top story. The paper says the plan – which it says will be brought before Parliament on Tuesday – has caused a revolt among Tory MPs, with tourism and aviation business leaders warning it will ruin their industry. The Telegraph reports ministers are working on plans to phase out the quarantine policy within weeks, and that Boris Johnson is now “personally in favour” of introducing so-called air bridges between countries.

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The Guardian also focuses on the government’s draft plans for quarantining travellers. The paper picks up on criticism of the plan, saying that under the rules those arriving in the UK will still be allowed to go food shopping and use public transport from airports during the quarantine period. New arrivals will also be allowed to provide more than one address where they can stay during the 14 days, sources told the paper. It says cross-party concerns have been raised over the impact on public health and the travel industry.

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The Times also suggests air bridges are likely to be introduced, reporting they could be in place by the end of this month. But the paper’s main story focuses on schools, after primary schools partly reopened to some pupils in England on Monday. It reports that headteachers and governors have warned it will be impossible to get all children back to school before the summer holidays. No 10 has said the government’s aim – which was to have all children back by the start of July – is “under review”.

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Photos of school pupils returning to playgrounds in England feature on several front pages. The Daily Mirror suggests the socially-distanced scene that awaited pupils could be a glimpse of the “new normal”. The paper says high streets are “plotting an overhaul” for when lockdown restrictions lift, for example one-way pavements or a ban on cars.

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The i newspaper reports the government is planning to run “beefed-up” school summer camps to help disadvantaged children catch up on the work they have missed. The paper says it understands the government could provide support for summer camps during July and August, with an announcement due in the coming weeks.

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The photo on the front of the Metro newspaper shows a schoolgirl being welcomed back by a teacher wearing a visor. But the paper’s top story is a warning that scammers are posing as coronavirus contact tracers working for the NHS. Trading standards officers in Scotland have received reports of con artists impersonating health service staff and calling from the official number used by the NHS. Contact tracers will never ask for passwords or bank details, the Department of Health says.

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The same photo of the schoolgirl makes the front of the Daily Mail, but its top story is on a study funded by the World Health Organization which suggests keeping just 1m apart from others – rather than 2m, as is the rule in the UK – could be enough to reduce your risk of catching coronavirus. There is a 1.3% chance of contracting the virus from 2m compared to a 2.6% chance at 1m, the study says. The paper suggests the findings could fuel calls from businesses to relax the 2m rule to help the economy.

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The Daily Express strikes a positive note on its front page, suggesting the UK is “winning the battle” against coronavirus, as the number of people who died with the virus fell to its lowest level since the start of lockdown. More than 39,000 people have now died with the virus in the UK. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS contact tracing programme is “operating pretty much as we had hoped”.

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Meanwhile, the Daily Star is one of a small number of papers that do not lead with the virus. Its top story is on a serial burglar who was caught and jailed after a pet parrot raised the alarm with its noisy squawks. The parrot – called Charlie – started squawking when the burglar entered a house in Monmouth in the middle of the night. Its owner got out of bed and went to investigate and saw the defendant behind the door.

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The Financial Times reports Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is “facing a backlash” from staff after refusing to take action over posts by US President Donald Trump. Last week, Twitter put a warning on one of Mr Trump’s tweets about protests in the US, but Facebook has not touched the message. Mr Zuckerberg defended his position, saying the company was “an institution committed to free expression”.

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And a showbiz story makes the front of the Sun, which reports Victoria Beckham has received nearly £1m since the Spice Girls reunion tour last year, despite her not taking part in the concerts. The paper says Posh Spice did not sing at the gigs but benefited from the renewed interest in the band, such as endorsements, licensing deals and merchandising.

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