Newspaper headlines: Midsummers dream and 118 days until freedom

Newspaper headlines: Midsummers dream and 118 days until freedom

Freedom is a word repeated on many front pages, which all examine Boris Johnson’s plan to end the lockdown in England.

“Four steps to freedom,” the i declares; “118 days until freedom” is the the Daily Telegraph’s headline, while the Daily Express echoes the prime minister’s words, speaking of a “one-way road to freedom”.

It’s a “midsummer dream” the Metro concludes, but notes that “solstice day” is only “pencilled in” for the end of all lockdowns.

The Guardian calls it a “cautious, phased easing of curbs”; the Daily Star “a vaguely sensible road map”; while the Financial Times welcomes it as a “balanced approach”.

But the Sun insists that the “go-slow” end to restrictions offers an “agonising wait.” And the Daily Mail demands “what are we waiting for?”, saying that Mr Johnson faces a “clamour to lift the lockdown faster.”

Concerns are raised about the plan to return all pupils to school in England at once. A head teacher tells the Daily Mirror that going “to full classes… will not be easy.”

An anonymous teacher writing in the i fears that teachers will be “walking targets” for Covid-19.

In the Guardian, teaching unions call the proposal “madness” which risks “increasing the rate of infection.”

But the Labour former Education Secretary, David Blunkett, insists in the Mail that it would be a “betrayal” of teachers and children if unions prevented a return to classes.

The Financial Times suggests secondary schools may not go back in full until the third week of March.

Both the Express and the Mirror report that the taxpayer will be footing the bill for the redundancy payouts to staff at Arcadia.

The GMB union tells the Express it is “absolutely scandalous” that the retail group’s chairman, Sir Philip Green “sails off on his yacht” while workers apply for redundancy through the statutory process.

The Mirror calls it “another reason to strip him of his knighthood.”

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The Guardian reports that a colonialism expert looking at National Trust properties suggests politicians are trying to censor such work.

Prof Corinne Fowler objects to calls by more than 50 Tory MPs to investigate funding for her project. She says this is a “menacing attempt” to “politicise historical research”.

She was speaking ahead of a meeting between the National Trust and various other organisations and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden this weekend, which is expected to discuss contested heritage.

And finally, pictures of a Victorian house being driven through the streets of San Francisco on the back of a giant low loader appear in many papers.

The Daily Star says power lines, parking meters and street lights were removed for the operation. Crowds gathered to watch the six bedroom house being moved six blocks.

One onlooker tells the Sun, “It’s the most excitement I’ve had in 10 years. What if it topples?”

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