“North in lockdown 2” and “Lancashire Hotspot” are the headlines in the Daily Mirror and the Sun following the tightening of lockdown restrictions across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Yorkshire.
The Daily Mirror says the decision to stop two households meeting up inside was taken following government talks with mayors and local council leaders.
The Sun’s editorial says while the new, “uncompromising” restrictions will affect millions, ministers were “right to act” because it would be “disastrous to relax” and “waste” the efforts of the nationwide lockdown.
The Spectator says the coronavirus data for Greater Manchester makes for “grim reading” but it asks why people were only given three hours to prepare for the change.
It goes on to question the blanket nature of the restrictions given there are concerns about specific boroughs – “that people in Stockport will have to change their plans because of flare-ups in Oldham will not be taken well”.
The Sun says that the Foreign Office plans to repatriate “a handful” of orphaned or abandoned children belonging to British Islamic State group jihadis in Syria.
The government is said to have intervened to reduce fears that the children may grow up to become terrorists and target the UK. The paper says “fewer than five” youngsters have been identified and they will be put into care when they return.
“Knocked off course by the virus, dithering Carlaw finally ends the drift” is the Herald’s take on Jackson Carlaw’s decision to resign as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
In a withering assessment, the paper says his attempts to criticise Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the pandemic “often appeared petty” and he looked like “a small man lost against a giant backdrop”.
But the Scotsman’s John McLellan is more sympathetic, pointing out that it was “no means certain” that a different leader would have performed better against Ms Sturgeon’s brand of “stern caution”.
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The Daily Mirror uses its leader to urge the government to find its “conscience” and find money for the BBC to continue with free TV licences for people aged over 75.
The paper says the benefit, which comes to an end on Friday – should not be classed as a “perk” because, for millions, the TV is a “source of companionship” and “a window on the outside world”.
While the Mirror blames the government, the Daily Star accuses the BBC of piling on “misery” for the elderly with the change.
And finally, the Daily Telegraph reports that some customers may only be in line for “bite-sized savings” under Rishi Sunak’s £10 off eating out plan next month.
A survey, conducted by the Telegraph, found some of Britain’s most expensive and exclusive restaurants – including one by Heston Blumenthal – have signed up to the scheme. It suggests readers can now enjoy the tasting menu at Nobu, in Mayfair, for just £82 – instead of £92.
But the Telegraph also points out that anyone hoping to get the £11 tomato ceviche for next to nothing will be disappointed – because the scheme’s small print means the half price discount will never be more than £10.
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