Home World Newspaper headlines: Coronavirus vaccine race and post-lockdown workplace rules

Newspaper headlines: Coronavirus vaccine race and post-lockdown workplace rules

Newspaper headlines: Coronavirus vaccine race and post-lockdown workplace rules


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Boris Johnson will urge world leaders to world together to find a coronavirus vaccine, when joining a bid to raise £6.6bn at an “international pledging conference”, according to the Metro. The UK is one of nine countries and organisations hosting the online conference for some 30 potential donors, it says.

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Canada, France and Germany are also involved in the bid to generate funds, says the Daily Express. It quotes from a preview of the prime minister’s speech, which says: “It is humanity against the virus – we are in this together and together we will prevail.”

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The Daily Telegraph offers an alternative excerpt from Mr Johnson’s speech, saying he will describe the race to develop a vaccine as “the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes”. He will urge countries not to see it as a competition, the paper says, by insisting: “We must work together to build an impregnable shield around all our people.”

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As Mr Johnson switches focus to vaccine development, the Times says he is delaying a plan to ease the lockdown. He will not set out a “comprehensive plan” for reopening workplaces and schools until Sunday, the paper says, “giving himself more time to examine crucial data from a new study of how the virus is spreading”.

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There are plenty of hints at what post-lockdown life might look like. Draft guidelines on getting employees back to work have been sent to unions and employers, according to the i. They include staggered working hours and possible one-way systems in stations, although some offices could remain closed for months, the paper says.

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Hot desking will be curtailed, staff canteens will stay closed and lifts will be kept half-empty in workplaces, according to the Financial Times. Companies will be expected to keep employees 2m (6ft) apart – including during breaks – by indicating spacing using floor tape. Staff will be told to avoid face-to-face meetings or sharing pens, it adds.

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The Guardian says ministers are in talks with tech companies over the possibility of creating “health passports”, proving which workers have had coronavirus, as a potential way of ensuring some employees can get back to work. However, the paper says evidence is still emerging on how immunity develops in people who have contracted the virus.

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The Sun has more details from the interview with the prime minister published in it’s Sunday sister title. “Boris Johnson has told how the fear of never seeing his new son gave him the strength to beat coronavirus,” the paper says.

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The Daily Mail says its new charity has provided protective kit to VE Day veterans and their carers to allow them to gather in groups to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the announcement of victory in Europe during World War Two.

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Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says healthy over-70s may “stage a rebellion” against lockdown rules. Former pensions minister Baroness Altmann “fears a ‘social revolt’ if older people are made to feel their lives ‘don’t count’ – as top doctors question the wisdom of secluding them,” the paper says.

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And the Daily Star suggests people could be encouraged to perform an NHS tribute-style mass clap across the UK to rid the nation of nuisance seagulls.

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