What the papers say – October 17

The latest moves to halt Britain’s increasing numbers of coronavirus cases and hopes of a million daily virus tests by Christmas feature prominently on the nation’s papers.

The Guardian says Prime Minister Boris Johnson has threatened Northern leaders in a “Covid standoff”, while the i reports the UK is moving “closer to new lockdown”.

Scientists in The Times predict Britain will be carrying out a million coronavirus tests each day by Christmas, as the Daily Star says “dodgy Russians” are circulating lies on social media claiming a UK Covid-19 vaccine will turn recipients into apes.

And the UK’s largest teacher’s union has made a call in TheDaily Telegraph for a two-week half term as part of a national circuit-breaker.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times leads on Brexit, saying Mr Johnson has broken off trade talks, while the Daily Mirror reports the PM has “no deal and no clue”.

The Daily Express , by contrast, quotes Mr Johnson saying the country will “prosper mightily” once it leaves the EU.

Elsewhere, The Sun claims ex-ambassador to the US Lord Darroch was investigated in Washington over fears he “leaked White House secrets to his journalist lover”.

And the Daily Mail writes drivers will next year face a £200 fine for touching their phone while behind the wheel.