'Worst sequel yet': what the papers say about England's third Covid lockdown

Boris Johnson’s announcement that England will enter its third national lockdown – and the toughest since March – is splashed across front pages. Some papers focus on the grim weeks ahead, while others highlight the first doses of the Oxford vaccine being administered outside of clinical trials.

The Guardian’s headline is “PM imposes new lockdown and warns worst is yet to come”, a reference to Johnson saying that the weeks ahead “will be the hardest yet”. It also gives prominence to schools being closed until mid-February, and the relief felt by teachers over the PM “bowing to the inevitable”.

The Times splashes on “Return to lockdown” and features a shot of Johnson during his speech looking more dishevelled than usual.

The Financial Times has Johnson “forced into lockdown order” in what its main story calls a “sharp switch in position”.

The Daily Telegraph quotes Johnson’s warning with his optimistic caveat, “but end is in sight”.

The Daily Express focuses on the vaccine: “New lockdown is tough … but vaccine will end struggle”. Senior medics have however warned against over-optimism about the vaccines amid the record new case rises.

The Sun encourages its readers to give “One last push”.

While the i chooses a tongue in cheek approach, with “Lockdown 3: the worst sequel yet”.


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