What the papers say – January 5

Wednesday’s papers are largely focused on the Prime Minister’s plan to stick to Plan B and not introduce new Covid curbs as the NHS and other essential sectors buckle under the strain from staff shortages.

The Guardian, The Times and The Independent‘s front pages all have Boris Johnson admitting the health service could be overwhelmed in coming weeks while resisting calls to impose pandemic restrictions on England.

The Sun and Metro also carry the Prime Minister’s assurance Britain can “ride out’ the Omicron wave without any new curbs amid a record 218,000 cases.

The Daily Express echoes this, with the PM saying the battle against Covid is “far from over” but “we can find a way to live with it”.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror carries the response from key frontline health workers as the NHS buckles under the weight of the Omicron crisis.

The Daily Telegraph reports testing rules will be relaxed to solve staff shortages from Covid and i adds that key workers will be tested daily as the PM sticks with Plan B.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail features allegations from Tony Blair’s former defence secretary that he was told by Downing Street to burn a “secret memo” about the potential illegal nature of the 2003 invasion of Iraq as the campaign to strip the former prime minister of his knighthood ramps up.

The Financial Times reports that shares in travel and leisure sharply surged as investors grew more confident the threat from Omicron was fading, despite huge case numbers across the UK, US and Europe.

And the Daily Star compares politicians to “killer, psycho clowns” after an ITV “politics guru” said leaders are “maniacs”.

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