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June.16, 2021: @acenewsservices

Newspaper Headlines: Will we ever be free?’ and ‘vax to the future’ & It’s definitely 19 July… unless it’s not,” is the Telegraph’s headlineas it sums up the uncertainty which now surrounds the final easing of #COVID19 restrictions in England.

The Sun front page
The prime minister’s decision to delay lifting the last coronavirus restrictions in England for at least four weeks dominates Tuesday’s front pages. “Will we ever be free?” asks the Sun in its headline. The paper says Boris Johnson’s announcement “sparked nationwide anguish”.

BBC News: Staff:

“Hottest day of the year… as freedom put on ice” is the take in the Metro. It says the PM has put “Freedom Day” on hold for a month to try and build “a wall of immunity” by vaccinating millions more younger people:

Boris Johnson has signalled he will “not tolerate” a further suspension to the ending of coronavirus restrictions after announcing the delay, according to the Guardian: It says he described 19 July as a “terminus date” – barring the emergence of a “game-changing new variant”. The paper suggests the PM is likely to face significant criticism from Conservative MPs, quoting one who accused the government of shifting the goalposts:

However, the Daily Telegraph says Mr Johnson refused to offer a “cast-iron guarantee” that there would be no more delays to fully reopening: It says that although he repeatedly said he was confident about it happening on 19 July, he acknowledged the emergence of a new variant could throw the plan off course:

The Daily Mail strikes a similar note with its headline: “PM: Curbs could go on and on”. It describes his decision to delay as “a bitter blow to millions of families”, adding that he “failed repeatedly to offer a guarantee that Freedom Day would not be put off again”

The Daily Express reports that thousands of lives may be saved by the decision to delay ending Covid restrictions: It says the extra month gives a “crucial” chance to deliver millions more jabs to combat the Delta variant:

“Vax to the future” declares the Daily Mirror, which says that by 19 July all adults will get a first jab and all over-40s a second after the vaccine roll-out was speeded up:

The PM has “thwarted” business hopes of additional financial support, according to the Financial Times. The paper says companies will face the return of “significant costs” in July with employers starting to contribute 10% towards furlough costs even though many will not be able to reopen legally or trade fully.

The Times focuses on the PM’s warning that the UK must learn to live with coronavirus: The paper adds that there is “mounting” concern in the cabinet and on the Tory back benches that the rapid spread of the Delta variant could force the delay to last longer than a month:

The i newspaper reports that nine million people in England – 16.7% of the population – are now living under new Covid measures and are being advised not to travel outside their area: It says Birmingham, Liverpool, Blackpool, Warrington and Cheshire have joined those already affected in the likes of Greater Manchester and Lancashire:

And “hold the pina coladas” is the headline in the Daily Star, which says the celebratory drinks need to be put back in the fridge after “Freedom Day” was put back: It adds that the country is facing a double whammy with the heatwave set to end “in a day or two as well”

The Daily Mail thinks the “curbs could go on and on” – noting that Boris Johnson refused to guarantee personal liberties will be restored this summer. 

“Will we ever be free?” asks the Sun, which accuses “gloomy medics” of bouncing the prime minister into delaying “Freedom Day”. 

The Daily Express though is more supportive – its headline quotes Mr Johnson: “Let’s be sensible… a delay will save lives.” 

The Guardian thinks he signalled that he would “tolerate no further suspension”. While the latest announcement and the imminent end of the heatwave is too much for the Daily Star. “Hold the Pina Coladas!” it exclaims.

Couples planning to tie the knot give their reaction to the easing of rules on big weddings in England. 

Although unlimited numbers of guests will be able to attend the ceremonies, many are dismayed about the continuing restrictions. 

Sam Penney and Steve Weaver from Hertfordshire tell the Daily Mail that they’ll have to make a big cut to their guest list of 139. Their venue can accommodate only around 80 indoors on 25 June – because social distancing is in place. 

While Kate Bell and Alex Pyman complain to the Daily Mirror that their wedding won’t be the same without dancing – they say they stand to lose thousands of pounds if they cancel.

The papers make uncomfortable reading for the BBC after it published its review into how reporter Martin Bashir was welcomed back to the corporation – despite a 1996 probe into his Princess Diana interview which found he’d lied and faked documents. 

The Daily Mail says “BBC chiefs discussed Bashir’s dodgy past… then rehired him”.  The Times says he was offered the role of religious affairs correspondent in 2016 after informal coffee meetings with senior executives. 

But it notes the internal report found no evidence he was hired to cover up events after the Panorama interview. The Sun dismisses the investigation into his rehiring as “a joke”.

There’s coverage of the home secretary’s criticism of England footballers “taking the knee” before matches. 

In comments to GB News, recorded last week but aired on Monday, Priti Patel accuses the team of “gesture politics” – and stresses it’s the choice of fans whether they boo the team for the anti-racism protest. 

The Express adds the prime minister wants to see fans cheering, not booing. The Times believes Ms Patel’s intervention threatens to reopen government splits over the issue.

The National says the Scottish team suffered a “nightmare” start to Euro 2020 – after they lost 2-0 to the Czech Republic. 

It complains they came back onto the major stage not with a bang, but with a whimper.  The Daily Record talks of “Patrik Schick’s deadly double”. 

The Mail pictures Scotland’s keeper, David Marshall, crumpled in the back of his own net after being beaten by the Czech player from almost 50 yards.

“What a Schickener!” is its headline. The Independent thinks this is now the story of “another long shot” – with Scotland needing to win against either England or Croatia to survive.

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: Jun.16: 2021:

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