UK national newspapers struck a celebratory tone this morning as ‘freedom’ beckons for Britain.
Boris Johnson is set to review coronavirus lockdown measures with ministers on Thursday ahead of an expected easing of restrictions from next week.
The Prime Minister will chair a Cabinet meeting for a legal review of the restrictions, which cover England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to see what freedoms the public can enjoy.
Mr Johnson hinted he will announce a limited return to pre-pandemic life in an address to the nation on Sunday, with new measures set to come in as early as Monday.
Reports suggest changes could include unlimited exercise, the return of some sports, park picnics, and the opening of pub and cafe gardens – but people would still be required to remain two metres apart.
The move could also see the Government scrap its “stay home” slogan, and encourage people to wear face coverings on public transport and in crowded places as some return to work.
Hurah! Lockdown scrapped
Most of the nation’s papers were led by the lifting of lockdown measures today, seemingly unphased by the fact that the UK now has the highest death rate in Europe.
The Daily Telegraph, i and Daily Mail revelled in the stay-at-home restrictions being “scrapped” as of Monday.
The latter ran with “Hurrah! Lockdown freedom beckons”, while The Sun dubbed it “Happy Monday”.
The Star struck a similar tone, calling it “Monday Magic”, but the optimism wasn’t shared by everyone.
Where did Britain go wrong?
Yesterday newspapers from around the world turned their focus on Britain, asking “where did it go wrong?”
The UK is now the first country in Europe to pass 30,000 deaths, but yet talks of relaxing restrictions in place to stem the tide are imminent.
As Marcus Chown pointed out on Twitter, “countries like New Zealand are preparing to exit lockdown because they have virtually zero news cases of Covid-10 whereas Johnson is talking about the UK exiting with thousands still being infected each day”.
Diane Abbott said talks of lifting restrictions were “scandalous”, while Andy Burnham pointed out that we “were too late into lockdown, so for goodness sake let’s not be too early out of it.”