Newspaper headlines: 'No end to lockdown in sight'

  • Published
Rishi SunakImage source, AFP
Image caption,
Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave the government's daily update on Wednesday

Almost all of Thursday's papers convey the same message - there is "no end in sight" to the UK's coronavirus lockdown.

The Sun believes it will last until May, saying the 938 deaths recorded in the UK on Wednesday surpassed Italy's worst daily figure - and it adds the outbreak's peak could still be 10 days away.

The weather is also a serious cause for concern in Downing Street, according to the paper - with fears that people could defy official advice and head out to enjoy the bank holiday sunshine.

The Guardian reports that some police chiefs are also concerned and are calling on the government to consider tightening the restrictions. The options are said to include more stringent curbs on driving long distances and legislation to ensure that people do not exercise more than once a day.

The Daily Mail says there are growing concerns about the economic damage caused by the lockdown - highlighting the World Trade Organization's warning that it could result in the "deepest recession in our lifetime".

It is no wonder, according to the Times, that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak is leading calls within government for it to start preparing an exit strategy.

The Financial Times reports that officials have begun exploring the idea of initially removing restrictions for younger workers first. It says the proposals are in a paper drawn up by economists at Warwick University. They suggest that if the measures are eased for people aged 20 to 30 who do not live with their parents, it could release 4.2 million people who would be unlikely to become seriously ill.

The Times has news of an initiative to use NHS laboratories to carry out tens of thousands antibody tests to try to establish whether people have already recovered from the virus - and are likely to be immune. It says it is being coordinated by the President of the Royal College of Pathologists Jo Martin.

But the Daily Telegraph says this kind of testing is facing a setback because a team from a Chinese university found that some patients who recovered had low levels of antibodies in their system.

Elsewhere, the the Daily Mirror's pages are graced by a photo of a majestic white-tailed eagle, its wings out-stretched, soaring through the air. The birds, which have a 2.5m wing span, are being re-introduced in England after they were wiped out by illegal killing 240 years ago.

The Mirror says researchers have been tracking the four young birds making their first big trips - and they have already been spotted on the North York Moors after travelling 300 miles.