Newspaper headlines: No-go zones and 'volunteer army' to fight virus

By BBC News

  • Published
A passenger wears a face mask on the London UndergroundImage source, EPA

Many papers anticipate the government's coronavirus battle plan, which the Sun says will "throw the country on to a war footing".

The Times reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to give himself sweeping powers to ban public gatherings and create "no-go zones" in areas affected by the disease.

According to the Daily Mail, an "army of NHS volunteers" will be called up to help tackle the outbreak by feeding patients, ferrying them around wards and delivering medicines.

The Guardian says supermarkets have drawn up contingency plans to "feed the nation" in the event that panic-buying clears the shelves, while Huffpost UK reports that a run on hand sanitiser has left people who rely on the product fearful for their health.

The Financial Times leads with a warning from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that the outbreak could "more than halve global economic growth this year".

The Daily Mail and the Guardian both carry front page pictures of Home Secretary Priti Patel being driven away from the Home Office after news that she faces a formal inquiry into bullying allegations, which she denies.

Image source, PA Wire

The Guardian says Ms Patel is under "increased pressure to resign", but, in the view of the Spectator, she enjoys vocal support from Tory backbenchers and is unlikely to go anywhere.

The Telegraph says Tory MPs are demanding to know why Downing Street has "abandoned" Priti Patel to fight her battles with the Home Office, while Rachel Sylvester, writing in the Times, says "institutional failings" are "no excuse for bad behaviour".

The prime minister's private life is the main story for the Daily Mirror, which claims that the news that he and his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, are expecting a baby broke days after his ex-wife's mother died. The Daily Telegraph, which also carries the story, says Marina Wheeler was "crushed" by the announcement of the pregnancy.

Image source, Getty Images

The Sun leads with an exclusive story that the Queen had a "four-hour heart-to-heart" with the Duke of Sussex at Windsor Castle on Sunday.

It says she told her grandson that he and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, would be "welcomed back" if they ever decided to resume Royal duties.

Image source, Reuters

In the US, the New York Times sees the mounting endorsements for Joe Biden in the Democratic Party presidential primaries as a last-minute attempt to unite the party's' moderate wing. It says the party's leaders have botched efforts to stop the left-wing front-runner, Bernie Sanders, and are now scrambling to stymie his momentum ahead of Super Tuesday.

The Washington Post says a "parade of establishment Democrats" is "coalescing" around Mr Biden to try to stall Senator Sanders.

Finally, the Times revisits the myth that King James I invented the "sirloin" steak during a feast in Lancashire in 1617, when he took such a fancy to a cut of beef loin that he whipped out his sword and knighted it on the spot.

The tale is fake news, it says - the name derives from the Middle French word "surlonge", which was in use a good 50 years before the feast.

Nonetheless, the legend endures and an auction will offer the chance to buy a rare version of the menu, printed in the 18th century. As well as steak, the king enjoyed mutton, venison, duck, chicken, turkey, goose, swan and rabbit.

As the auctioneer comments: "All that meat is enough to turn one vegetarian."