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Newspaper headlines: Hospital patients 'sent to hotels' and jab rollout concerns Newspaper headlines: Hospital patients 'sent to hotels' and jab rollout concerns
(about 16 hours later)
Thousands of hospital patients are going to be discharged early and sent to hotels in order to free up beds, the Guardian reports. The paper says the early discharges in England will be on "a scale never seen" and is an urgent measure to stop parts of the NHS from collapsing. The hotel group that owns the Best Western chain has already started taking some coronavirus patients from a south London hospital and is in talks with other NHS trusts, the paper adds. Members of staff prepare to vaccinate people at the Millennium Point centre in Birmingham
The vaccine rollout also leads several papers. The Daily Telegraph reports that doctors delivering the vaccine in some areas have been ordered to pause jabs, to allow other parts of the country to catch up. The paper says the move comes amid questions over the speed of the national rollout - but adds that government sources have confirmed plans for the pilot of a 24/7 vaccine centre.
The Financial Times also says Mr Johnson has approved a pilot for a 24/7 vaccination centre. And elsewhere, the paper says the PM has clashed with NHS chiefs over how fast the rollout is going. According to its report, officials say the PM was frustrated by what he saw as excessive bureaucracy and a lack of data with the NHS plan, leading to some "tough" exchanges last week. No 10 has denied there were tensions between Mr Johnson and the NHS England boss.
The i newspaper says official figures suggest the government is not on track to meet its target to vaccinate everyone in the most at-risk group by the middle of February. It says to do that, the daily number of jabs needs to hit 350,000, but in the latest 24-hour period just over 145,000 people received a vaccine.
On its front page, the Sun promotes its own campaign to recruit volunteers to help with the UK's vaccine rollout. It reports that broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson has issued a "rallying call" urging people to join the Jab's Army campaign. "Get on with it," he said at a vaccination centre in Oxfordshire. The Sun is aiming to recruit 50,000 volunteers, and says it has already reached 35,000.
The Times reports on retailers tightening up their rules to help stop the spread of the virus. It says John Lewis has become the first big retailer to close their click and collect services, with the chain saying it was doing so after a "change in tone" from the government. Several supermarkets have also said they are banning shoppers without masks.
The quality of some food parcels being sent to children on free school meals makes the front of the Metro. Footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford has backed parents who have complained about the unappetising and meagre portions provided to children, the paper says. It says some parents received half a tomato and slices of cheese wrapped in cling film.
The Daily Mirror also leads with the story about free school meal packages. It says parents have told of their fury after receiving the "paltry" parcels, which the paper describes as "barely enough food to feed hungry kids". The Mirror quotes Rashford as saying it's "not good enough" and Labour's Angela Rayner as saying: "Into whose pockets is the money for free school meals going?"
The Daily Express leads with comments made by Home Secretary Priti Patel who led the government's daily coronavirus briefing yesterday. Ms Patel backed a tough crackdown on Covid rule-breakers, the paper says - with police under strict orders to hand out fines to anyone flouting the rules.
The Daily Mail reports that the Earl of Strathmore Simon Bowes-Lyon - the Queen's first cousin twice removed - has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman at his ancestral home. He forced his way into the sleeping woman's room during a weekend event he was hosting at Glamis Castle.
The Daily Star reports on how sales of Viagra fared in recent weeks, suggesting that demand for the erectile dysfunction drug "shot up" in the eight weeks before Brexit. The paper suggests that people were concerned about shortages in the case of a hard Brexit, since Viagra is produced in Ireland.
The Guardian reports that thousands of hospital patients are set to be discharged early to hotels or even care homes, to free up beds for the most seriously ill Covid patients.The Guardian reports that thousands of hospital patients are set to be discharged early to hotels or even care homes, to free up beds for the most seriously ill Covid patients.
The paper says a negative test will not always be required for a patient to be discharged to a care home, as long as they have been in isolation for 14 days with no new symptoms.The paper says a negative test will not always be required for a patient to be discharged to a care home, as long as they have been in isolation for 14 days with no new symptoms.
It says the owners of the Best Western hotel chain have already started taking in Covid-positive patients from King's College Hospital at its hotel in Croydon in south London - and they could end up providing 5,000 beds.It says the owners of the Best Western hotel chain have already started taking in Covid-positive patients from King's College Hospital at its hotel in Croydon in south London - and they could end up providing 5,000 beds.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the GP surgeries which have been most successful at rolling out the coronavirus vaccine are being "forced to slow down", to allow other parts of the country to catch up.The Daily Telegraph reports that the GP surgeries which have been most successful at rolling out the coronavirus vaccine are being "forced to slow down", to allow other parts of the country to catch up.
One doctor says by diverting jabs to mass vaccination hubs, ministers are "robbing Peter to pay Paul". Downing Street insists that doctors were not being told to slow down, but that areas that had fallen behind were being prioritised.One doctor says by diverting jabs to mass vaccination hubs, ministers are "robbing Peter to pay Paul". Downing Street insists that doctors were not being told to slow down, but that areas that had fallen behind were being prioritised.
Members of staff prepare to vaccinate people at the Millennium Point centre in Birmingham
The i newspaper concludes from the official figures that the government's not on track to meet its pledge of inoculating 15 million at-risk people by mid-February.The i newspaper concludes from the official figures that the government's not on track to meet its pledge of inoculating 15 million at-risk people by mid-February.
Figures show 145,000 people received the jab in the past day, but the i says this figure needs to reach 350,000 a day, if the target is to be met.Figures show 145,000 people received the jab in the past day, but the i says this figure needs to reach 350,000 a day, if the target is to be met.
In its top story, the Financial Times reports Boris Johnson clashed with NHS chiefs over the pace of the rollout. There were "tough" exchanges, it says, about why some non-frontline NHS staff got vaccinated before the over-80s.In its top story, the Financial Times reports Boris Johnson clashed with NHS chiefs over the pace of the rollout. There were "tough" exchanges, it says, about why some non-frontline NHS staff got vaccinated before the over-80s.
Such tensions were denied by No 10, the FT says, and things have improved since. In a "sign of a new sense of urgency", the paper reports that Mr Johnson has approved a pilot for a vaccination centre to be open 24 hours a day.Such tensions were denied by No 10, the FT says, and things have improved since. In a "sign of a new sense of urgency", the paper reports that Mr Johnson has approved a pilot for a vaccination centre to be open 24 hours a day.
Meanwhile, several of the newspaper sketchwriters take aim at yesterday's Downing Street news conference by Home Secretary Priti Patel - her first since May last year.Meanwhile, several of the newspaper sketchwriters take aim at yesterday's Downing Street news conference by Home Secretary Priti Patel - her first since May last year.
Whenever she was challenged on the detail on the lockdown restrictions, she would simply pronounce the "rules to be very clear", observes Michael Deacon of the Telegraph. He says she takes the art of avoiding a question to another level.Whenever she was challenged on the detail on the lockdown restrictions, she would simply pronounce the "rules to be very clear", observes Michael Deacon of the Telegraph. He says she takes the art of avoiding a question to another level.
Ms Patel urged people to "play your part" and follow Covid rulesMs Patel urged people to "play your part" and follow Covid rules
Quentin Letts of the Times notes there was no sign of Boris Johnson. Perhaps he was hiding in a wardrobe upstairs, he muses, worried that Ms Patel would "clap handcuffs on him" for taking that seven-mile cycle ride.Quentin Letts of the Times notes there was no sign of Boris Johnson. Perhaps he was hiding in a wardrobe upstairs, he muses, worried that Ms Patel would "clap handcuffs on him" for taking that seven-mile cycle ride.
And in the Daily Mail, Henry Deedes observes how many Conservatives have balked "at the way we have quietly morphed into a police state over the past year".And in the Daily Mail, Henry Deedes observes how many Conservatives have balked "at the way we have quietly morphed into a police state over the past year".
But not Ms Patel, he says, "She loves it. Revels in it. All those people who have been complaining about park benches and playgrounds being taped up should count their blessings. If the home secretary had her way she'd have them all electrified".But not Ms Patel, he says, "She loves it. Revels in it. All those people who have been complaining about park benches and playgrounds being taped up should count their blessings. If the home secretary had her way she'd have them all electrified".
'The British virus''The British virus'
The Daily Telegraph says the World Health Organization is to rename coronavirus variants, to avoid stigmatising countries.The Daily Telegraph says the World Health Organization is to rename coronavirus variants, to avoid stigmatising countries.
It reports the so-called UK variant has now been detected in around 46 countries, while a South African academic who led efforts to identify a new strain there complained his country was being "sanctioned for transparency".It reports the so-called UK variant has now been detected in around 46 countries, while a South African academic who led efforts to identify a new strain there complained his country was being "sanctioned for transparency".
Tory MPs have, according to the Mail, rounded on Angela Merkel, after she reportedly warned that if Germany didn't stop "this British virus", it would have "10 times the number of cases by Easter.Tory MPs have, according to the Mail, rounded on Angela Merkel, after she reportedly warned that if Germany didn't stop "this British virus", it would have "10 times the number of cases by Easter.
It says the Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen called her remarks "pathetic".It says the Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen called her remarks "pathetic".
Meanwhile, as John Lewis suspends its 'click-and-collect' service, the Times' front page suggests the move could encourage other retailers to follow suit.Meanwhile, as John Lewis suspends its 'click-and-collect' service, the Times' front page suggests the move could encourage other retailers to follow suit.
Many non-essential shops have offered click-and-collect during lockdown to help them stay afloat.Many non-essential shops have offered click-and-collect during lockdown to help them stay afloat.
But after a "change in tone" from the government, John Lewis says it decided it wanted to help discourage unnecessary travel.But after a "change in tone" from the government, John Lewis says it decided it wanted to help discourage unnecessary travel.
Free school mealsFree school meals
Photos of a food parcel, sent to families in lieu of free school meals, make several front pages.Photos of a food parcel, sent to families in lieu of free school meals, make several front pages.
The Metro quotes a child nutrition expert who called it an "insult to dignity" to provide food worth just £5, when it's supposed to be worth £30.The Metro quotes a child nutrition expert who called it an "insult to dignity" to provide food worth just £5, when it's supposed to be worth £30.
The Daily Mirror accuses providers of the food packages of "profiting from poverty".The Daily Mirror accuses providers of the food packages of "profiting from poverty".
And the FT reports one of England's largest academy chains, the Harris Federation, ended its contract with the provider of the food parcels, Chartwells, after being "appalled" by their poor quality. Chartwells says it will be providing larger packages from next week.And the FT reports one of England's largest academy chains, the Harris Federation, ended its contract with the provider of the food parcels, Chartwells, after being "appalled" by their poor quality. Chartwells says it will be providing larger packages from next week.
In the Guardian's opinion column, it says school dinners are not charity and "ministers must end these hunger games". It argues it would be "far preferable" to provide bumped-up child benefit or universal credit payments.In the Guardian's opinion column, it says school dinners are not charity and "ministers must end these hunger games". It argues it would be "far preferable" to provide bumped-up child benefit or universal credit payments.
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The Telegraph reports its proprietor, Sir David Barclay, has died at the age of 86.The Telegraph reports its proprietor, Sir David Barclay, has died at the age of 86.
In its obituary, it notes how he valued privacy and turned down many a request for an interview, saying it didn't appeal to him or his twin brother, Frederick, to boast of how clever or successful they were.In its obituary, it notes how he valued privacy and turned down many a request for an interview, saying it didn't appeal to him or his twin brother, Frederick, to boast of how clever or successful they were.
But it says Sir David had "an astute grasp of the political landscape", with one friend commenting he could "read the economic tea-leaves like few people of his generation".But it says Sir David had "an astute grasp of the political landscape", with one friend commenting he could "read the economic tea-leaves like few people of his generation".
The Times says Brexit really could put us in the fast lane - with a front page report that British drivers will escape most speeding fines in EU countries.The Times says Brexit really could put us in the fast lane - with a front page report that British drivers will escape most speeding fines in EU countries.
French officials have told it that a cross-border enforcement directive, under which speed camera information was shared, no longer applies.French officials have told it that a cross-border enforcement directive, under which speed camera information was shared, no longer applies.
It says France is set to lose out on up to £53m in fines a year, after 444,000 of us were caught on camera over there last year.It says France is set to lose out on up to £53m in fines a year, after 444,000 of us were caught on camera over there last year.
But we won't be able to "speed with impunity", it cautions, as French police could still stop us and levy on-the-spot fines.But we won't be able to "speed with impunity", it cautions, as French police could still stop us and levy on-the-spot fines.
And the Telegraph's back page reports that footballers are ignoring a new edict, issued by the Premier League, to avoid all "unnecessary contact" and stop embracing each other after goals.And the Telegraph's back page reports that footballers are ignoring a new edict, issued by the Premier League, to avoid all "unnecessary contact" and stop embracing each other after goals.
The Premier League has reiterated that protocols include a ban on players shaking hands or huggingThe Premier League has reiterated that protocols include a ban on players shaking hands or hugging
There was even a shirt-swap last night between Everton and Wolves, it says, despite players being warned a so-called "snooper squad" would be monitoring breaches from the stands.There was even a shirt-swap last night between Everton and Wolves, it says, despite players being warned a so-called "snooper squad" would be monitoring breaches from the stands.
It says the Sheffield United manager, Chris Wilde, claims it's "unnatural" to stop players hugging.It says the Sheffield United manager, Chris Wilde, claims it's "unnatural" to stop players hugging.
The Times' leader column says "elite football is fortunate to be able to continue", and difficult though it may be, "a bit of restraint is the least fans might ask in return".The Times' leader column says "elite football is fortunate to be able to continue", and difficult though it may be, "a bit of restraint is the least fans might ask in return".
It argues "too much playing time is wasted by self-congratulation", and "more decorum would be welcome.It argues "too much playing time is wasted by self-congratulation", and "more decorum would be welcome.
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