Daily Express 16 March
Image caption The Daily Express, citing a leaked Public Health England document, reports that the coronavirus crisis is expected to last until spring 2021 and put up to eight million Britons in hospital.
The Guardian 16 March
Image caption The Guardian leads on the suggestion in the same leaked document that 80% of Britons could become infected. The paper stresses that this was previously described as the “worst-case scenario”, but the document “makes clear” that four in five people are “expected” to be infected. Prof Paul Hunter, an expert in epidemiology, tells the paper he thinks the virus will “dip” in the summer and “come back” in November.
Daily Mail 16 March
Image caption Alongside a picture of the “unflappable” Queen – who it says is determined to “stay in London” throughout the pandemic – the Daily Mail urges readers to “pull together for our elderly”. It says that “hundreds” of local groups have come together to help over-70s if they have to go into isolation.
Daily Mirror 16 March
Image caption The Daily Mirror launches a similar plea. It says charity Age UK has demanded “urgent action” to support the elderly, who could be “left without vital supplies”.
Metro 16 March
Image caption Focusing on examples of community spirit brought about by the crisis, the Metro describes the “mutual aid” groups helping vulnerable neighbours with errands and shopping as an “army of caring Brits”.
The Sun 16 March
Image caption Like the Metro, the Sun features a picture of Nick Matthews, 59, who died on Saturday after testing positive for Covid-19, with his wife Mary. The paper says “millions of workers will remain at home” on what it calls “flu Monday”.
i 16 March
Image caption Below a now familiar picture of empty supermarket shelves, the i also mentions the volunteer groups and offers its readers advice on “what you can do to help”. Journalist Emma Jacobs says working from home “provides a window to the soul”.
Daily Telegraph 16 March
Image caption The Daily Telegraph reports that people could be “taken into custody or fined £1,000” if they refuse to be tested for coronavirus or to be quarantined. Oncologist Prof Karol Sikora tells the paper that isolating over-70s would be a “big mistake” since a “healthy 71-year-old… has much less risk of needing ventilation than an obese 50-year-old smoker”.
Financial Times 16 March
Image caption The Financial Times reports that the UK’s response stands “in stark contrast” to the “draconian restrictions” imposed in many European countries. It says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged countries to coordinate border closures and suggested the EU “could not afford to risk the breakdown of the single market”.
The Times 16 March
Image caption And the US central bank’s pledge to pump $700bn into the American economy in the coming weeks represents a “money-printing programme not seen since the global financial crisis”, says the Times. The paper features a picture of runners at the Bath half-marathon on its front page – including one woman wearing a facemask.
Daily Star 16 March
Image caption And the Daily Star unveils its own take on “spot the ball” – this time, with “bog roll”. In red font below a picture of empty supermarket shelves, the paper decries that people are “still” panic-buying toilet paper, and dubs the situation “loo-dicrous”.

The focus for many of today’s papers is on protecting the elderly from coronavirus, after it emerged over the weekend that over-70s would be asked – at some point – to self-isolate.

The Daily Mail calls on Britons to “pull together” to help them, reporting that charities are urging people to “get in touch with neighbours” and that hundreds of local help groups have sprung up. The Daily Mirror warns that a long period of isolation will leave elderly people lonely, and says ministers need to explain what support will be put in place for those affected.

The Daily Express wants plans to scrap free TV licences for all pensioners to be shelved, saying it would be “scandalous” if the change took place as scheduled in June, at the predicted height of the outbreak. The Daily Telegraph reports that asking Netflix to stream programmes for free for the elderly and food delivery companies to temporarily waive their fees are among ideas being discussed in government.

Several papers say they have seen a briefing document from Public Health England (PHE), which predicts the coronavirus outbreak could put nearly eight million people in hospital.

The Express says 80% of people are likely to be infected. The Mirror reports that the document warns the crisis will last until spring 2021, and says it’s “the first time health chiefs have admitted what many had feared”.

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Reporting on the announcement that the government will hold daily televised press conferences, the Guardian notes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “shown little enthusiasm for exposing himself to media scrutiny” for most of his time in office – and that he is taking the action after calls for the public to be given much clearer guidance.

In its editorial, the Times says the “piecemeal” way that the plans for combating the virus have emerged has “created uncertainty”.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The prime minister will host a televised press conference on Monday with UK chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser

The Telegraph argues that the government has followed scientific advice, but says it is being “worn down” by criticism from within. The Sun assures its readers that Prof Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical adviser, and Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser, are “eminent doctors ideally equipped to deal with the pandemic”.

The front page of the Times responds to the cutting of interest rates in the US by saying “banks have acted to save the world economy” from the coronavirus pandemic. It says the US “restarted a money-printing programme” not seen since the financial crisis in 2008.

The Telegraph calls the Federal Reserve’s decision “drastic” and says the UK needs to do more than the measures outlined in last week’s Budget if good businesses are to be saved.

Image caption Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her daughter Gabriella

The Guardian says that, according to Iran’s ambassador to the UK, the British government is taking a “new approach” to the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman held on spying charges which she denies.

Hamid Baeidinejad has said the two countries are in talks about how to settle a £400m debt owed by London to Tehran – although the paper says “neither side will openly acknowledge” any link to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.


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