The new Covid measures – and the continuing row over the Downing Street party – are covered in depth in all of Thursday’s newspapers.
“Don’t go to work, but do go to parties” is the headline in the Daily Telegraph. The paper says Boris Johnson faced an immediate backlash from the Tory benches at what it calls the “irrational” new Covid rules for England.
“Plan B for us. Plan lie, lie, lie for him” is the view of the Daily Mirror, which says the prime minister desperately tried to avoid taking the flak “for rule breaking parties at No 10” last winter.
The Times reports that the government’s scientific advisors fear that “Plan C or D” might be needed after Christmas if infections are not slowed enough to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed.
The Daily Mail says Mr Johnson has been accused of fast-tracking the curbs to distract attention away from the Christmas party row. It looks at what it calls the “intense hunt” for the “mole” who leaked the video of Allegra Stratton.
Photos of her tearful resignation feature on the paper’s front page. It takes the unusual step of dedicating a whole page to its leader column, where it says that while it is a “steadfast supporter of the Conservative Party” – it is “not unthinkingly loyal”.
The paper says “enough is enough” – demanding that Boris Johnson get a grip on the No 10 operation as “scandals are happening all too frequently”.
A mock-up of Boris Johnson as the Grinch features on front page of the Sun accompanied by the headline “Do as I say… Not as I Christmas do”.
The paper says there is “one rule for them” – you can do as you please until you get found out – but “four rules for us” – enforced face masks, vaccine passports, work from home if you can and Omicron Covid tests.
The Daily Express quotes the prime minister as saying the new measures will provide the best chance for people to enjoy a “close to normal Christmas”.
But the Metro says the “PM is taking the public for fools” – and is now facing growing calls to quit.
And the Daily Star invites readers to play an “exciting new board game… Cluebo” – a version of the murder mystery puzzle. It imagines Boris Johnson’s guess as being: “everybody else, in the Number 10 drawing room, with wine and nibbles”.