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Dec.17, 2021: @acenewsservices

#AceDailyNews says here’s todays Newspaper Headlines: Cut back festive mixing’ amid new UK cases record of rising cases with another 10,000 today see details below:

The Times 16 December
The Times leads on a call by England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty for people to reduce their pre-Christmas socialising as he warned of a big rise in hospitalisations from the Omicron variant. The paper suggests Prof Whitty’s comments “contrasted directly” with Boris Johnson who said that “although people must ‘think carefully’ before going to events, the government was not cancelling parties”.

With #Omicron cases rising at same rate below:

BBC News: Staff:

“It’s Boris versus the scientists” is headline of the Daily Mail’s front page, which homes in on the contrast between Prof Whitty’s “downbeat assessment” of Omicron and call for people to avoid unnecessary mixing and the PM’s “upbeat” message that Christmas events should go ahead – describing it as “a sign of divisions between scientists and No 10”.

“Wary Xmas” is how the Daily Mirror sums up the advice issued by Prof Chris Whitty, who the paper says “begged” festive revellers to only socialise with those who “really matter” just hours after the UK saw its highest number of daily Covid cases since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the front page of the Daily Express suggests Prof Whitty’s advice amounts to “wishing Britain a ‘very sensible’ Xmas”, while also reporting that the Queen is weighing up the risks of the Royal Family’s Christmas get-together.

The same story features on the front page of the Guardian, which quotes Prof Whitty’s sobering prediction that coronavirus records “will be broken a lot over the next few weeks” as the UK is hit by the Delta variant and the “rapidly growing” number of Omicron infections.

The same story makes the Daily Telegraph’s front page lead, which claims that evidence from restaurants, workplaces and traffic yesterday suggested “people had begun a self-imposed lockdown” in a bid to avoid ending up in Covid isolation on Christmas Day.

The i’s front page report on the same story also reports on a “record day” for Covid booster jab uptake and the announcement that over-12s will be able to book a second Covid vaccine dose from Monday.

The Financial Times says Prof Whitty’s warning will “intensify” business leaders’ fears that the government is overseeing a “lockdown by stealth” and increase pressure for a new financial support package for sectors including hospitality, retail and travel.

The Metro leads on the sentencing of David Fuller, a double murderer who sexually abused more than 100 female corpses in hospital mortuaries. Echoing the judge’s description of Fuller, 67, as a “vulture”, the paper reports he will “die in jail” after being handed a whole life sentence for the killings and a concurrent 12-year term for his other crimes.

The Sun’s front page is critical of the 16-week suspended jail term given to TV personality Katie Price for a drink-driving crash, underpinned by its headline “What price justice?”

But the Daily Star carries an altogether different revelation on its front page as it cites the belief of Eastenders star Danny Dyer and “world expert” that “aliens are among us”.

Most of the papers reflect on the words of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, to think carefully about socialising in the coming weeks as coronavirus cases rise. 

The Daily Mirror‘s headline is “Wary Christmas”. The Sun says people are being urged to “cut down on drinking with pals and colleagues” if they want to see their family over the festive period. 

The Financial Times says the warning has intensified business leaders’ fears that the government is presiding over “lockdown by stealth”. 

The Daily Mail says while Prof Whitty gave a sober assessment of the Omicron variant at the Downing Street briefing, the prime minister “struck a markedly more upbeat tone”. The paper says Mr Johnson focused on record booster jab figures, and insisted there was no need to close hospitality.

Speaking at Wednesday’s Downing Street news conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty told the public to be cautious if they are socialising in the run-up to Christmas

The i says hospitals may have to share doctors and nurses between departments and trusts if the surge in Omicron cases leaves a large number of healthcare workers on sick leave or isolating at the same time. 

Staffing across the NHS and other key public services is being monitored and, according to the paper, any shortages would be filled by the military under “well-rehearsed government plans”. 

The Guardian reports that Covid cases have risen sharply at universities as about a million students prepare to head home for the festive season – prompting fears this could fuel the spread of the virus. 

The paper says some universities have moved learning online before the end of term, and students are being urged to take tests before they travel to see their families. 

Many of the papers also note that some of the Queen’s Christmas plans are still up in the air. The Daily Express says she is due to welcome up to 40 relatives at Windsor next week, but she’s weighing up the risks of the “family get-together”. 

The Daily Telegraph reports the Queen is reluctant to cancel but will wait as long as possible before deciding whether to go ahead with the event.

The process for passengers on delayed trains to get refunds will soon be simplified, reports the Times. Under new rules from April, people who booked their tickets via the rail operator’s app will get a notification urging them to claim compensation. 

Figures show 37% of those eligible for a refund in the year 2019/2020 because of delayed or cancelled services actually made a claim.

Some of the front pages feature photographs of Sir Lewis Hamilton receiving his knighthood from Prince Charles yesterday. “Knight rider” is the headline in the Daily Express.

The Metro says “here’s one title they can’t take away” – a reference to the controversial end of the Formula 1 season last weekend when Hamilton was denied an eighth world championship.

Meanwhile, a school’s Christmas lunch offering has been likened to a trial from the television programme “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”, says the Guardian. 

The Daily Telegraph says one parent thought it was “disgraceful” she paid £3.50 for “a roll, one bit of turkey, a small bit of sausage and a bit of stuffing”. 

Steyning Grammar School in West Sussex has apologised and offered a full refund; it said the planned lunch had been affected by unforeseen supply chain issues, and Covid-related staffing shortages.

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Dec.17: 2021:

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