The Guardian leads with a warning that more local lockdowns could be on the way, after restrictions were tightened again in Leicester.
It carries comments from virologist Prof Deenan Pillay, as its front page reminds readers that the crisis is still very much ongoing.
The paper says with parts of Kent, London, Scotland and North Wales still reporting significant Covid-19 outbreaks, Prof Pillay is “expecting there to be a number of Leicesters” in the weeks to come.
The Daily Mirror agrees. “It won’t be the last” is its take on the city’s local lockdown. The paper’s coverage includes reporting from the Leicester Mercury. Local man Steve Holman gives his view: “It’s a lesson for those who didn’t heed the advice. A lot of good work is being undone by people’s irresponsibility.”
The Sun’s leader is sympathetic but unbending. “Our hearts go out to the people and businesses of Leicester”, it says, “but there is no question it had to happen, and it should stand as a warning as we approach our big liberation on Saturday”.
Many of the papers feature prominent pictures of Boris Johnson clad in high-vis jacket and hard hat to announce his post-Covid recovery plans.
Alongside coverage of relaxed rules for loft conversions and turning vacant shops into homes, both papers report critics’ warnings that the £5bn of accelerated spending is too little to save jobs.
Online, the Independent’s headline predicts a day of reckoning to come: “PM lays the foundation for tax increases” is its assessment.
“We’ll slash red tape to speed Covid fightback” is the up-sum of the Daily Express on Mr Johnson’s strategy. At the same time, its front page details jobs being cut at firms such as EasyJet and Airbus in what it labels a “UK jobs bloodbath”.
International reaction to China introducing a controversial new security law on Hong Kong makes the lead for the Financial Times – “US and Europe condemn Beijing for tightening grip on Hong Kong” is its headline.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the former Conservative party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, describes the move as “a Tiananmen Square moment for the free world”.
He says the law introduces a raft of vague and draconian charges in direct contravention of international declarations and covenants.
He argues that the UK, who underwrote the future of the territory’s people 25 years ago when it was handed back to China, has a duty now to act – launching a rescue mission for all who want to leave.
“Police to probe UK’s worst baby wards scandal” tops the Daily Mail’s front page – the headline underscored by photographs of three infants who died shortly after delivery at hospitals in the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.