What the papers say – January 4

A range of stories relating to Covid-19 lead the papers on the first working day of 2021, from the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to harsher restrictions.

A warning of a third national lockdown issued by Boris Johnson leads TheTimes, with the Prime Minister speaking of “very difficult” weeks and months ahead.

The Daily Telegraph carries a similar story, writing that shielding and school closures could last beyond Easter.

The i says “tougher Covid rules” are in the offing, while The Independent says Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on Mr Johnson to introduce a third lockdown within 24 hours.

The Guardian talks about a “schools crisis”, with local authorities looking to delay school openings due to rising coronavirus infection rates.

The Daily Mirror carries a similar story under the headline “Class Chaos”, a story which also leads the Daily Star, while the Financial Times says the plans to reopen primary schools in England is in “disarray”.

And Metro‘s headline plays on the prospect of harsher restrictions with the headline “Happy New Tier”.

The new vaccination programme makes headlines in the DailyExpress with six NHS trusts starting to deploy the Oxford jab.

And the DailyMail says millions of people are living in “fire-trap homes”, adding ministers have “buried their heads in the sand” after Grenfell.