What the papers say – February 6

PA

The national papers are concerned with the health and financial realities of the pandemic as well the desire for Britons to just get away from it all.

Britain is “on track for vaccine for every adult” by the end of June as AstraZeneca tells ministers it will deliver 100 million doses on schedule, i weekend reports.

The FT Weekend says Chancellor Rishi Sunak has moved “to stem business failures” by offering them more time to repay Government loans issued during the pandemic.

The Daily Telegraph reports pubs and restaurants might open for alcohol-free service in April, at which time The Sun says takeaway pints will be offered before venues fully reopen a month later.

Ministers could be given powers to block the closure of hospitals and overrule NHS bosses under plans to be announced within weeks, The Times has been told.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is preparing for students to begin gradually returning to university campuses in England from March 8, according to The Guardian.

The Daily Mirror reports vaccine passports could allow “lockdown-weary Brits” to “jet to the sun” this summer and the Daily Express says Europe’s tourist destinations of Greece, Spain and Portugal have “signalled a welcome return for Britons” in coming months.

The Daily Mail has obtained a leaked Ministry of Defence report which shows the “calamitous state” of the Army, with all but one of its 33 infantry battalions “dangerously short” of combat-ready troops.

Eighty unaccompanied children were illegally detained for than 24 hours after crossing the Channel between April and September, according to figures obtained by children’s commissioner Anne Longfield and provided to The Independent.

And the Daily Star covers a parish council meeting which descended into chaos — with councillors trading insults and ultimately getting booted off the Zoom call — and became an unlikely internet sensation.

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