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Dec.23, 2021: @acenewsservices

#AceDailyNews says here’s todays Newspaper Headlines: Christmas can go ahead and you have to test to test to see your family but with cases rising again see below:

With #OMICRON case rising to see below: Figures not available at time of publishing ….

“Xmas can go ahead!” is the headline for the Metro which says the prime minister “finally confirms no lockdown”. But it says that Boris Johnson is urging people to be careful in the face of Omicron which is “unlike anything we’ve seen before”.

BBC News: Staff:

The I says that “Christmas is happening” but the UK is now waiting on London hospital data which could guide the prime minister’s decision on whether to impose stricter rules after 25 December. The I understands that if daily hospitalisations in the capital remain below 400 Mr Johnson may hold off bringing in new restrictions.

“Glad tidings for Christmas (but perhaps not New Year)” is how the Daily Telegraph puts it. The paper says that Mr Johnson has given Christmas gatherings the “green light” as there was not enough evidence on the risks from Omicron to justify tougher measures – but that could change before the end of 2021. The paper also reports on rules in Wales which mean people “may still visit the pub but face £60 fine if they dare to go to work” – with fines introduced for unnecessarily travelling to the office.

The Daily Express says that the prime minister has declared Britons can “go ahead” with Christmas ending days of uncertainty. But it says the message came as health experts and government advisers have called for further restrictions in the new year.

“Xmas Cheer & fear” is the Daily Mirror’s headline as it reports that while Christmas plans can go ahead pub and restaurant owners say that £1bn of financial support announced by Rishi Sunak is “too late”. The paper quotes one publican saying “it’s like lockdown on the cheap”.

The Financial Times describes the chancellor’s £1bn business support package as “only a sticking plaster” – quoting Martin Williams of Gaucho Restaurants. But the paper’s lead is on tensions between Nato and Russia as it says Putin is warning of a military response to the alliance’s expansion towards Russia’s borders. The paper describes it as a “significant ratcheting up of tensions”.

The Daily Star carries a mock-up picture of a letter to Santa asking for a bumper pack of lateral flow Covid tests – which it describes as the “most bizarre must-have this Xmas”. People are advised to use the devices before socialising or if they come into contact with someone infected with coronavirus.

The Times says that Mr Johnson has urged people to test themselves before meeting relatives for Christmas. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has also confirmed that people with Covid will now have to isolate for seven days rather than 10 if they return negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven, the paper says.

The Daily Mail describes it as a “double boost for Christmas” alongside the prime minister’s announcement of no new curbs. It says the isolation rule change, which comes in from Wednesday, will free thousands of people from isolation in time for Christmas.

The Guardian also reports on Christmas socialising being able to go ahead. The front page carries a picture of Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, alongside his ex-wife Princess Haya who it says he has been ordered to pay a record divorce settlement to. The paper reports the payment, to Princess Haya and their two children, could reach more than £500m – the highest ever awarded by a British court.

After Boris Johnson ended days of speculation by announcing that festive family celebrations could go ahead, the Daily Telegraph sums up the nuance of his message in its main headline: “Glad tidings for Christmas (but perhaps not New Year)”.

It is “Xmas Cheer And Fear” in the Daily Mirror, while the i’s front page headline is “Christmas is happening. Now UK waits on London hospital data”. The paper reckons that if the number of daily hospital admissions in the capital remains below 400, the prime minister may hold off introducing new restrictions after Christmas. 

The Sun pictures the comedian, Matt Lucas, impersonating Mr Johnson and saying: “Have a good Christmas.. but er, don’t have a good Christmas.” The paper – sceptical about Covid restrictions – declares the 25 and 26 December “saved” – but says there are now fears for the new year

The Daily Mail is more bullish. It speaks of Britain being given a “Double Boost For Christmas”, with the self-isolation period being cut from 10 to seven days. 

Lateral flow tests are one of this year’s must-have presents, according to the Daily Star

The Times says the change will free thousands from isolation at Christmas, and reflects growing scientific confidence that lateral flow tests pick up the most infectious people and are just as accurate as PCRs in spotting the Omicron variant. 

According to the paper, a million lateral flow packs are being sent out every day; and scientists increasingly believe that widespread use of the devices is one of the most effective ways of controlling infections. 

The Daily Star says Santa has been swamped with letters from children pleading for this year’s “bizarre must-have toy” – a luxury box of lateral flow kits. 

The Guardian observes that the Christmas decision follows deep splits within the cabinet, and contrasted it with moves made by the governments in Edinburgh and Cardiff. 

Scotland cancelled Hogmanay street parties for tens of thousands of people; and both Scotland and Wales announced that, from Boxing Day, sporting events would be held behind closed doors. 

The Times Scotland reports that festival organisers have cancelled concerts as far ahead as February, because of fears that the new restrictions will last beyond their current three-week timetable. 

The Telegraph says the Welsh government is to make going to work a crime, by introducing a £60 fine for anyone travelling unnecessarily to their office. Critics have pointed out, it adds, that people will still be able to legally visit a restaurant or pub. 

The Financial Times highlights a warning from hospitality businesses that the £1bn of new support, promised by the chancellor for companies hit hard by Omicron, falls far short of what firms need to survive a plunge in bookings 

The chief executive of Gaucho Restaurants, which suffered the equivalent of 10,000 cancellations last week, is quoted as comparing the package to a “sticking plaster”. 

A publican tells the Mirror: “It’s sickening – like lockdown on the cheap.” 

In Japan McDonald’s fries have fallen victim to a potato shortage, the Financial Times reports

Finally, it’s emerged that the fast-food chain McDonald’s Japan has joined the unfortunate ranks of Toyota, Sony and other titans of industry in falling prey to a supply crisis affecting chips

Except, reports the FT, these aren’t computer chips – but potato ones. The result: an emergency plan to ensure a “continuous supply of French fries” – by offering only the smallest servings at its nearly 3,000 outlets nationwide.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Dec.23: 2021:

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