Daily News Briefing: ‘Two-tier Britain’ – normal life some way off as Covid-19 roadmap revealed

Brief. Me Better Faster May 25, 2022 8:40 pm

Covid passports: Plans criticised by MPs amid fears of ‘two-tier Britain’

BBC News says criticism is growing over plans for Covid passports in England, amid fears they could create a “two-tier” society.

Government documents released on Monday said such certificates – that prove if someone has had a vaccine, has tested negative or has immunity – were likely to become “a feature of our lives”.

At Monday’s press conference, Boris Johnson did not rule out the idea. But many MPs have criticised the plans, with senior Tory backbencher Mark Harper calling for a vote on the issue.

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Richard Okorogheye: Body found in Epping Forest in search for missing student, police say

The Independent says police searching for missing student Richard Okorogheye said a body has been found in a pond in Epping Forest.

Officers with dogs have been searching the area for the past four days and police divers were seen searching ponds on Sunday.

The 19-year-old from Ladbroke Grove in west London disappeared two weeks ago after telling his mother he was going out to visit a friend.

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Pfizer halts delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to ‘banana republic’ Israel after bill goes unpaid amid political infighting – media

RT News says calling Israel a ‘banana republic,’ Pfizer has frozen further deliveries of the Covid-19 vaccine until it gets paid for the last 2.5 million doses, Israeli media reported. The blow comes amid political infighting in Tel Aviv.

Some 700,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were expected in Israel on Sunday, after Passover ended, but were delayed until further notice on grounds that the previous shipment hadn’t been paid for, the Jerusalem Post reported. 

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Jordan’s Prince Hamzah pledges loyalty to half-brother King Abdullah

France24 says Jordan’s Prince Hamzah pledged allegiance to the king on Monday as the monarch accepted mediation over a rift within the royal family that saw the prince placed under house arrest, the palace said.

The government has accused Hamzah, an ex-crown prince and half-brother of King Abdullah II, of a “wicked” plot and involvement in a seditious conspiracy to “destabilise the kingdom’s security”.

Hamzah, detained along with at least 16 others, had earlier struck a defiant tone saying he had been placed under house arrest inside his Amman palace, but insisting he would not obey orders restricting his movement.

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Middle East climate leaders and global partners vow to step up climate action

Arab News says the UAE Regional Dialogue for Climate Action concluded with climate leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa region vowing to accelerate progress on climate targets.

The participants affirmed a commitment to ensuring the success of the Paris Agreement, and build on the momentum ahead of US President Joe Biden’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate, which will be hosted by Washington this month, and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland in November.

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North Korea drops out of Tokyo Olympics over COVID fears

Aljazeera says North Korea has announced it will not attend the Tokyo Olympic Games because of coronavirus concerns, dashing South Korean hopes the Games could serve as a catalyst to revive stalled peace talks.

In a statement on Monday, a website run by North Korea’s sports ministry said the country’s Olympic Committee decided not to participate in this year’s Games “in order to protect players from the world public health crisis caused by COVID-19”.

The decision makes it the first time North Korea has missed a Summer Olympics since it boycotted Seoul in 1988 amid the Cold War.

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Minneapolis police head: Kneeling on Floyd’s neck violated restraint policy

TRT World says Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo has testified that police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck violated the department’s restraint policy.

“When Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy, is not part of our training and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Arradondo said.

Arradondo, 54, fired Chauvin and the three other officers involved in the arrest that led to Floyd’s death within days of the incident.

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Live Updates

  • Covid passports: Plans criticised by MPs amid fears of ‘two-tier Britain’
  • Richard Okorogheye: Body found in Epping Forest in search for missing student, police say
  • Pfizer halts delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to ‘banana republic’ Israel after bill goes unpaid amid political infighting – media
  • North Korea drops out of Tokyo Olympics over COVID fears
News Briefing

Most of Tuesday’s front pages cover the story of Boris Johnson’s roadmap to freedom and out of covid lockdown. 

Most of today’s newspapers focus on Boris Johnson’s press conference when he confirmed the next step to lift lockdown in England will go ahead on 12 April. The Daily Express is among the papers reacting with excitement at the news that pubs and restaurants can open for outdoor service, calling it the next step of the “roadmap to freedom”.

Read the full story on the Daily Express


The Metro’s front splash says “Book your table now!”. The paper says the fall in infections, hospitalisations and deaths means the next “big step out of lockdown” can go ahead. It quotes the PM as saying he will be going to the pub and “cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips”.

Read the full story on the Metro


The Guardian comments on the PM’s quote that life will start returning to “some semblance of normality” in June. But the paper says hopes of foreign holidays from 17 May were dampened when the PM admitted he was nervous about the virus “being re-imported into this country from abroad” following a surge in cases across Europe.

Read the full story on the Guardian


The Daily Mail strikes a more negative tone, saying the PM warned normal life may not return this year despite the success of the vaccination programme. The paper lists social distancing and twice-weekly Covid tests as among the new features expected as part of our daily life. 

Read the full story on the Daily Mail


The Daily Telegraph also adopts the Mail’s tone and focuses on the PM’s warning that normality is “some way off.” The paper reports on the latest predictions which suggest the full release from restrictions in June could spark a new wave of Covid hospitalisations as bad as the January peak. 

Read the full story on the Daily Telegraph 

News Briefing

A spat over Covid vaccine doses has erupted between the European Union and the UK threatens to have far reaching implications over coronavirus jab disruption.

Brussels demanded access to AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in UK plants to make up for a shortfall after the pharmaceutical giant said it would have to cut the amount of doses delivered to the bloc by the end of March.

What do we know about the dispute? And what potential implications could the rumbling dispute have on future Covid vaccine rollouts? – (ITV)

Recent and upcoming changes

Restrictions are easing across the UK.

In England

Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown has begun. Shielding ends on 31 March.

In Scotland

People will be asked to ‘Stay Local’ from 2 April. A timetable for further lockdown easing from 5 April is on GOV.SCOT.

In Wales

The stay at home restriction was lifted on 13 March. Read about the rules on GOV.WALES.

In Northern Ireland

The next review will happen on or before 15 April. You can read the guidance on current restrictions on nidirect.

latest Covid-19 news

For the latest Covid-19 news visit the UK governement website 

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