Newspaper headlines: 'No jab no pint' and EU vaccine 'peace deal' with UK

By BBC News

  • Published
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Image source, PA Media

Boris Johnson's suggestion that people may have to prove they have had the coronavirus vaccine before they can visit a pub makes a number of the front pages.

The Times says the prime minister's comments mark a "significant change of approach" - after he appeared to rule out the idea just a month ago.

The Daily Telegraph agrees it is a "stark departure", with ministers previously insisting that vaccine certificates would be "discriminatory", and out of step with British values.

The paper says Mr Johnson's tacit approval has "triggered a backlash" from lockdown-sceptic MPs, who argue that giving landlords the power to demand proof of vaccination would take the UK down a "dangerous path" to a "two-tier" system.

According to the Guardian, vaccine certificates could allow pubs to bypass social-distancing rules, and allow customers to crowd together. "No jab, no pint" is the headline in the Sun.

Wednesday's joint statement from the UK and the EU amid the ongoing row over vaccine supplies makes the lead for the Daily Mirror - which claims the two sides have "called a truce", with an agreement "in sight".

"Believe it or not", the EU has seen sense, says the Daily Express - praising Boris Johnson for warning "bullying Brussels" it risks losing trade over its threat to block exports.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tells the Financial Times the EU would be "making a serious mistake" if it did stop vaccines reaching the UK.

Referring to the government's contract with the manufacturer, AstraZeneca, Mr Hancock says both sides are looking to resolve the dispute, but it was actually "very straightforward" - "our contract trumps theirs".

The Guardian reports that exclusion rates for black Caribbean students in some local authorities in England are up to six times higher than those of their white peers.

Figures suggest the biggest disparity was in Cambridgeshire. Analysis by the paper also reveals that Gypsy, Roma and traveller children were also excluded at much higher rates, with Roma children nine times more likely to be suspended in some areas.

The former children's commissioner, Anne Longfield, tells the paper the figures - for the 2018-19 academic year - are "deeply concerning."

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Image caption,
The 200,000 tonne vessel got stuck amid high winds

Striking photos of the giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal feature on several front pages.

The Financial Times warns the closure is already having an impact on supply chains worldwide - with the oil market "spooked", and the price of Brent crude up by 6%.

The Daily Telegraph says at least 165 vessels were queued up at either end of the canal last night, with $10bn-worth of goods (£7.2bn) set to join the traffic jam each day.

Rescue teams racing to dislodge the ship face a difficult task, says the paper - the ship is almost as long as the Empire State Building.

And Shakespeare's Globe theatre on London's Southbank has announced that when performances resume in May, there won't be any intervals.

According to the Times, as well as complying with social-distancing regulations, doing away with the customary dash to the bar is more in keeping with the Bard's intentions.

The theatre's artistic director tells the paper his plays "work better" without breaks.