Brief. Me - April 16, 2021 12:35 am
In today’s briefing update, many of Sunday’s papers focus on the pledge to offer a vaccine to all adults by the end of July, and what it could mean for Boris Johnson’s plan to lift the lockdown in England.
Also featured: The latest Covid-19 figures, Sports, business and entertainment news.
“Free by summer” declares the headline on the front of the Sunday People, while the Sunday Mirror goes with “vax to normal”.
The Conservative MP, and chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, Mark Harper, has written in the Sun on Sunday that it would make sense for Covid-secure pubs and restaurants to open for Easter, to avoid businesses “going to the wall” and to protect jobs.
The Mail on Sunday says hospitality bosses are ready for an “Alfresco April”, having spent months preparing to serve customers outdoors, but it believes the full reopening of the sector will be put off until May.
And the Sunday Times reports that coffee grounds and old tyres could soon be used to make eco-friendly steel – thanks to a breakthrough by an engineer based in Australia.
Below are our top picks of the Sunday Papers
Jabs for every UK adult by July 31st
The Mail on Sunday and most other papers lead with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge that every adult in the UK will be offered at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of July. The previous target for all adults was autumn.
Vaccines by July as hopes raised for holidays
The Sunday Telegraph says the new target for over-18s has raised hopes of holidays abroad and the return of outdoor events by August. Boris Johnson also confirmed that 45 million people living in England will have been invited to receive their first dose two months earlier than previously expected. And over-50s, who have accounted for 98% of Covid deaths, will be offered a vaccine by 15 April – two weeks ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, the paper carries a photo of Prince Charles visiting his father in hospital in London on Saturday after the Duke of Edinburgh was admitted on Tuesday.
All adults jabbed by July but MPs fear lockdown release is still to cautious
The Sunday Express says the PM’s plan to offer a vaccine to every adult in the UK by the end of July “ambitious”. Ahead of Mr Johnson unveiling his road map out of lockdown in England on Monday, the paper says MPs and campaigners are urging him not to be “over-cautious”, with fears that many restrictions could be in place throughout the summer.
Ban on outside sport can end, top scientist urges Johnson
Elsewhere, a scientist and adviser to the government has told the Observer that data on the number of Covid-19 cases is so encouraging that outdoor sports for children and some adults should be allowed.
Prof Mark Woolhouse said the data was “extremely good” and “far better” than he was expecting two or three weeks ago. The paper’s front page also reports that household poverty has soared during the pandemic, with the number of British households plunged into destitution more than doubling last year – from 197,400 to 421,500.
William ‘sad and shocked’ at his brother
The Sunday Times says Prince William is “really sad and genuinely shocked” by his brother’s behaviour after it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would not return as working members of the Royal Family. The paper quotes sources close to Prince William who is allegedly unhappy with the statement issued by his brother and Meghan confirming they were giving up their royal duties.
UK Weather Forecast
Sunday 21 February 2021
A narrow band of patchy rain will push northwards across England and Wales today. It will be mostly dry across the north, and also the far south-east, with plenty of sunshine. A gentle southerly wind.
Tonight, the patchy rain will continue in Wales and western England. Elsewhere will remain dry overnight with clear spells, however, the cloud will thicken towards dawn.
Tweet of the Day
My thoughts are with #princephillip I met him a few times & he has a wicked sense of humour this pic with Charlie Magri & Floyd Patterson. I think a takeaway I fancy a Thai with some chilli and Garlic! Going to catch up with #piersmorganlifestories tonight Have a good evening pic.twitter.com/mx6cZC3iQx
My thoughts are with #princephillip I met him a few times & he has a wicked sense of humour this pic with Charlie Magri & Floyd Patterson. I think a takeaway I fancy a Thai with some chilli and Garlic! Going to catch up with #piersmorganlifestories tonight Have a good evening pic.twitter.com/mx6cZC3iQx— Frank Bruno MBE 🇬🇧 (@frankbrunoboxer) February 20, 2021
Treat of the week
“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
A bit of Nostalgia from our entertainment people
Matt Hancock acted illegally over COVID contracts
What are the papers saying?
Matt Hancock acted unlawfully when his department did not reveal details of contracts it had signed during the Covid pandemic, a court has ruled.
A judge said the health secretary had “breached his legal obligation” by not publishing details within 30 days of contracts being signed.
The public had a right to know where the “vast” amounts spent had gone and how contracts were awarded, he added.
The government said it fully recognised the “importance of transparency”. – BBC News
Matt Hancock’s Department Unlawfully Failed To Publish Covid Contracts- HuffPost
COVID-19: Government’s failure to publish COVID contracts details was unlawful, High Court rules – Sky News
The price of the Tories’ outsourcing obsession? Cronyism and waste – Guardian
Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over Covid contract details, High Court judge rules – The Independent
Labour demands Matt Hancock ‘clean up cronyism’ after court defeat over Covid contracts – iNews
Keir Starmer launches ‘cronyism’ attack on Government over unlawful Covid contracts – METRO
Global Covid-19 updates
GLOBAL COVID-19 TODAY
CORONAVIRUS CASES: 111,691,693
Liverpool 0-2 Everton: A landmark win for Toffees to release Liverpool’s psychological hold – Read on
Louis Rees-Zammit: England coach Eddie Jones on his attempt to attract Wales wing – Read on
Mike Dean: Referee involved in incident-packed game on return – Read on
NBA: Miami Heat beat Los Angeles Lakers as Curry misses Warriors game in Charlotte – Read on