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#AceDailyNews says here’s todays Newspaper Headlines: Masks back in classrooms: The Mail on Sunday describes the move as “a desperate effort to protect the education of millions of youngsters” amid a sharp rise in cases. With secondary pupils already asked to wear masks in communal areas, the paper says it means they will have to be worn “from the moment they arrive until they leave” latest case numbers for today below:
‘Andrew must go’ The Sunday People focuses on the fallout of the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been found guilty of recruiting and trafficking young girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein. The paper reports that the Duke of York, who has also been accused of sexual assault, faces losing his honorary military titles over his links to Epstein.
The Observer says fears are growing that the new school term could trigger a “huge spike” in cases of the Omicron variant. The government is also facing criticism for failing to ensure availability of Covid test kits in time for the return to schools and workplaces after Christmas, the paper says.
The Times focuses on the impact of rising cases on NHS staffing levels, reporting that more than 110,000 staff – nearly one in 10 – were absent on New Year’s Eve, of which almost 50,000 were off for Covid-related reasons. The papers says neonatal and A&E departments are among the hardest hit, with long waits and reduced specialist cots available at some hospitals.
The Sunday Express leads with a warning from the head of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, that the next few days are “crucial” in determining whether extra measures will be needed to control Omicron. Chris Hopson has said the government “must be ready to introduce new restrictions at pace if they’re needed” but the paper reports that some Tory MPs have urged Boris Johnson to “hold his nerve”.
The Sunday Mirror has an interview with the former lover of the woman accusing Prince Andrew of sexual abuse. Anthony Figueroa tells the paper that Virginia Giuffre, then 17, confided in him about what happened. Prince Andrew denies the claims.
The Daily Star reports that thousands of young people in the UK believe alien lizards are ruling the planet. “Perhaps they’ve spotted that our leaders speak with forked tongues?” the paper jokes.
The Mail on Sunday calls the recommendation that pupils wear masks all day at secondary schools in England a “desperate” effort by Boris Johnson to protect children’s education.
The Sunday Mirror dubs it a “last-ditch bid” to prevent Omicron “crippling schools”.
The Sunday Telegraph warns that the move risks another backbench rebellion, with MPs having previously questioned the efficacy of face coverings in educational settings.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tells the Observer it’s “unforgiveable” that the government has not secured more supplies of lateral flow kits to enable parents to test their children twice a week.
The Sunday Times focuses on the staffing issues facing the NHS, saying one in 10 workers reported sick in England on New Year’s Eve – nearly half because of Covid.
The papers says patients have faced 40-hour waits in A&E, ambulance delays and closed wards.
The Sunday Express calls it “crunch time” but says Conservative MPs are urging the prime minister to “hold his nerve” and not increase restrictions.
The National Care Association warns the Sunday People that its sector is “on its knees” because of a lack of staff. Managers are said to be left paying agency workers £70 an hour.
Many papers examine whether the UK should follow the US example of cutting the self isolation period after a positive Covid test from seven days to five.
The Observer’s science editor reviews the evidence, suggesting that when most people test positive they’ve usually had Covid already for several days, so that after five days of isolation they’re really on day seven or eight of infection.
But the Sunday Times reports that the UK Health Security Agency says up to 30% people would still be infectious on day five, which could lead to the virus being spread more widely.
Defence sources are said to have told the Sunday People that senior commanders believe Prince Andrew should give up his honorary military titles because of his links with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, who has recently been convicted of trafficking girls.
There’s speculation in the Times that if the Duke of York were to lose the lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, who claims he sexually abused her when she was 17, that he could be asked to stop using his Duke of York title. Prince Andrew has always denied all the allegations against him.
The Sun reports that Home Secretary Priti Patel is imposing visa penalties against countries which refuse to accept criminals being deported from the UK. The paper says applications from The Gambia have been been hit because the country has agreed to only four deportations this year.
And the record breaking temperatures appear to have encouraged more New Year swimmers than ever – who are pictured in most papers.
A woman wearing sunglasses and a bobble hat is shown on the front of the Independent in the Firth of Forth. She’s laughing while floating on her back courtesy of an inflatable unicorn ring.
#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Jan.03: 2022:
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