What the papers say – January 2

Upbeat messages about post-Brexit Britain are overshadowed by dire warnings over the worsening Covid crisis on the front pages on Saturday.

For the second day in a row, the Daily Express heralds the dawn of a bright new era for the country, under a headline of “Brexit Britain to bounce back”.

However, the Financial Times says Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has rained on Boris Johnson’s Brexit parade by vowing to return Scotland to the EU.

The Times reports on a boost to vaccine production as Covid infections continue to rise, saying two million Oxford jabs will be made available every week.

The Guardian gives a grim snapshot of the pandemic situation, saying the Government’s hopes for a “new year easing of the Covid pandemic are unravelling” as school closures and packed hospitals show.

The i echoes that message with a grave warning of heavy pressure to come on the NHS as the third wave of the coronavirus looms as far worse than those that came before it.

Education is the theme for The Independent, which reports on a “new U-turn” by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in keeping all London primary schools closed for the start of the new term.

The Daily Telegraph, however, says this decision has come due to “union pressure” on behalf of teachers on Mr Williamson.

The Mirror turns a blowtorch on New Year’s Eve partygoers for risking the further spread of Covid-19, calling them “Raving mad”.

And the Daily Star uses television icon Mr T to call for an end to bureaucracy it says is slowing the distributions of vaccines, quoting him in a headline of “Stop your jibber jabber, fools!”

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail leads on British GPs defying the Government by continuing to administer second jabs of the Pfizer vaccine now rather than later.

And TV’s Ant McPartlin is to be married again, according to The Sun.