Newspaper headlines: ‘Air bridges’ plan and ‘hidden’ coronavirus cases

The Metro front page 19/05/20

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There’s no single story dominating Tuesday’s front pages, though nearly all lead on the latest coronavirus developments. Half of the Metro’s front page features a photo of two women enjoying an outdoor breakfast in protective gloves as Italy eases its strict lockdown. In its main story, the paper says loss of taste and smell are “finally” recognised as symptoms and it quotes one expert saying up to 200,000 people could have already had the symptoms.

The Times front page 19/05/20

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The Times says Britons have been given a “fresh hope of a summer holiday abroad” after the transport secretary announced plans for “air bridges” between countries with low coronavirus infection rates. The paper reports Grant Shapps saying the government was considering going “beyond” its current planned blanket quarantine to allow people from certain low-risk countries to enter the UK.

The Daily Telegraph front page 19/05/20

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The Daily Telegraph also leads on the government’s “air bridges plan” but elsewhere reports on the Prince of Wales urging people to create new “Land Army” to bring in the harvest. He says the work would be “unglamorous and at times challenging” but “hugely important” during the pandemic.

The i front page 19/05/20

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“Damning verdict: UK missed a ‘critical’ moment to stop virus,” is the front page of the i newspaper. It says the first report into the UK’s response criticises the government for allowing Covid-19 to spread “rampantly” through care homes. Lessons to be learned include the “fatal” early decision to abandon testing in the community, according to the paper.

The Guardian front page 19/05/20

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The Guardian reports temporary care workers transmitted coronavirus between care homes as the epidemic grew, according to an unpublished government study. It says that during a flu pandemic planning in 2018, a report from social care directors warned ministers that frontline care workers would need advice on “controlling cross-infection”.

The Sun front page 19/05/20

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“Crown’s corona crisis” the Sun says, as it reports that the lockdown threatens to “blow an £18m hole in the Queen’s finances” – a third of royal annual income. It says shutting royal palaces for several months means income from millions of tourists will be lost.

Daily Mirror front page 19/05/20

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The Daily Mirror says schools are “ramping up” plans for reopening, despite continuing fears they could help the spread of coronavirus. It reports class sizes will be halved and “even kids’ artwork banned from the walls”.

The Daily Express front page 19/05/20

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“Has Britain turned a corner on the virus?” the Daily Express asks. It says “hopes were raised” as daily reported deaths fell to “a new low”, with a further 160 reported on Monday.

The Daily Mail front page 19/05/20

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Reopening schools across Europe did not cause a spike in coronavirus cases, the Daily Mail says, according to evidence from 22 EU countries. The paper says “every parent’s question for Britain’s militant teaching unions”, which have warned of inadequate safety measures, was: “When will they learn?”

Financial Times front page 19/05/20

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“Germany and France join forces to call for €500bn EU recovery fund” is the headline on the Financial Times. It says the plan marks a “potentially significant breakthrough” as Paris and Berlin were previously “at loggerheads” over common debt issuance to pay for recovery efforts.

The Daily Star front page 19/05/20

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It’s left to the Daily Star to come up with the one front page that is truly out of this world. “Aliens are dumber than Uranus” its headline declares as it reports that a leading astronomer thinks aliens exist but are most likely microbes without intelligence “not green-eyed superbeings”.

The Guardian leads on an unpublished government study which is said to reveal how agency care workers transmitted Covid-19 between residential homes.

The paper says the outbreaks were established by genome tracking – and raise further questions about ministers’ claims to have “thrown a protective ring around care homes”.

The research, by Public Health England, found the temporary staff who unwittingly passed on the virus had been called in to cover for care workers who were self-isolating.

The Department of Health tells the Guardian it doesn’t comment on leaked documents.

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The Times and the Daily Telegraph offer hope that people could still get away for their summer holidays.

Both papers have picked up on comments from the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, that quarantine plans could be relaxed in future for countries with a low risk of coronavirus – creating what are called “air bridges” by the end of June.

The Telegraph says it raises the prospect of agreements with Spain, France, Italy and Germany.

The Times and the Metro are among those to show two women eating in a café in Milan which looks like normality has returned – except they are both wearing bright blue protective gloves.

The Telegraph reports on unease within the Conservative Party at the government’s handling of the crisis.

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UK Parliament

According to the paper, one former minister compared the performance to a Morecambe and Wise sketch – where all the notes were played – but not necessarily in the right order.

The unnamed MP cited the new 14-day quarantine period which they said should have happened at the beginning of the crisis, not the end.

The Telegraph also says that Tory WhatsApp groups have become “increasingly critical”. One source, said there was growing frustration at what was described as Downing Street’s “control freakery”.

Elsewhere, the Daily Express asks “Has Britain turned a corner on the virus?” It says hopes were raised that Britain is winning the battle against Covid-19 after the daily number of reported deaths fell to 160.

And the Sun leads on what it calls the “Crown’s corona crisis” – or “ma’amageddon” as it calls it online.

It reports that the closure of royal palaces to visitors threatens to “blow an £18m hole” in the Queen’s finances – around a third of annual royal income.

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Getty Images

The paper says the issue has been highlighted in an email to staff from the Lord Chamberlain.

It also reports that the pandemic has led to the Queen’s diary for the next two years being torn up. Buckingham Palace tells the Sun it will address the financial impact when the situation is clearer.

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