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‘It all ends in tiers’: what the papers say about Johnson’s new Covid rules

Boris Johnson’s speech unveiling a tiered system of lockdown measures for England has been greeted on today’s front pages with anger in the worst-affected northern regions and fears of a nationwide lockdown.

The Guardian says: “Tempers flare over new rules as PM warns ‘we must act now’” next to a grim-faced prime minister. It reports on anger from northern mayors and some Tory MPs over the financial support for areas facing severe coronavirus lockdowns. It notes Liverpool’s predicament as the only area so far categorised as “very high risk”.

The Mirror is scathing of the government’s performance on Covid so far, casting the latest measures from Downing Street in the light of the previous eight months of difficult times. “It all ends in tiers” is the headline.

The Mail lays out some devastating statistics on its front: lockdown measures to affect 22 million, with another 9 million in London facing curbs this week. It notes Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, saying even this might not be enough. “Back to the bad old days” is the headline.

The Telegraph diverts to report on the steps Sage urged the prime minister to carry out, suggesting Monday’s measures could have been more severe if Johnson had not pushed back against their advice. “Sage urged PM to order a harsher lockdown” is the headline. The Guardian’s report on those Sage papers is here.

The Times presents a bleak front page, giving Johnson’s serious expression a big show with the headline overlaid: “Millions more face toughest Covid curbs.” It focuses on Johnson’s plea to northern leaders to accept the “draconian” lockdown measures. Sketch writer Quentin Letts also cannot resist the “in tier/tears” pun on the front, and likens the measures to cooking a steak.

The Express uses a happier image of the PM and again exhorts the people to follow the rules or face worse measures down the road. It singles out Johnson’s message to leaders in the north with its headline: “Unforgivable not to act now, says PM.”

The Metro focuses on the situation in Liverpool with the headline “Mersey mission” and also notes the possibility that London could face tougher measures in the near future.

The FT looks at the political ramifications for the PM in the north, with the headline: “Johnson faces Tory backlash over shift to tough lockdown measures.”

Read the original article at The Guardian

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