Newspaper headlines: ‘Stay home alone to save your life’


Sunday Times


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More than a million people most at risk from coronavirus have been warned to live at home in isolation for three months as Boris Johnson warned the pandemic could “overwhelm” the NHS, reports the Sunday Times. Some 1.5 million letters have been personally addressed to those deemed most likely to die from the disease, the paper says, including people with cancer and respiratory diseases.
Sunday Telegraph


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The NHS could face the kind of crisis seen in Italy within a fortnight, the prime minister has warned, as official guidance paved the way for British doctors to prioritise coronavirus patients most likely to survive, reports the Sunday Telegraph. In his starkest warning yet, Mr Johnson said the UK was only two or three behind Italy, where the death toll rose by 793 in just 24 hours on Saturday.
Mail on Sunday front


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The Mail on Sunday leads on the prime minister’s plea for people to celebrate Mother’s Day with a video call rather than visiting mums in person. It comes as Mr Johnson warned the virus numbers were “very stark” and “accelerating”.
Sunday Mirror


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The Sunday Mirror describes Mr Johnson’s plea for people to stay away from their mums on Mother’s Day as “remarkable”. It notes that the UK’s coronavirus death toll rose by 56 to 233 on Saturday.
Sunday People front page


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“Stay away from mum” is the front-page headline on the Sunday People, which also reports that troops will be deployed to deliver food drops to the sick.
Sunday Express


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The Sunday Express quotes Mr Johnson as saying the threat of coronavirus “cannot be sugar coated”. It also features an image of supermarket shelves stripped bare, adding “selfish shoppers told ‘you should be ashamed'”.
Observer front page


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Military officials are to help ensure food and medicines reach vulnerable people isolated at home during the coronavirus crisis, the Observer reports. The paper says pharmacies, voluntary groups and food retailers are in talks with the government to ensure essential items reach people being told to remain in their home.
Sunday Star front page


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And finally, the Daily Star Sunday reports that Coronation Street star Ken Morley believes he was one of the first Britons to contract coronavirus. According to the paper, the actor, who played Reg Holdsworth, said: “I’ve never been closer to the final curtain – nothing was as bad as that virus.”

The Sunday Times says the “blunt” language in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest warning about coronavirus is evidence the government doesn’t think the public is taking the threat the epidemic poses seriously enough.

An unnamed cabinet member spells out the gravity of the situation, telling the paper: “We can see the clouds… a storm is coming… the next five days will be the real test of whether we can cope.”

The language used by doctors who’ve spoken to the Mail on Sunday is equally ominous.

They are warning, the paper says, of a “tsunami” of severely ill patients that is set to “engulf” them.

The paper highlights “chronic shortages” of basic equipment and describes how vets have been “begged” to hand over ventilators normally used for animals.

The Observer reports that “key military officials” are to help ensure food and medicines reach vulnerable people isolated at home.

The aim, the paper says, is to protect more than a million individuals most at risk of being hospitalised. It marks the “latest extraordinary action to tackle the crisis”, the paper adds.

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PA Media


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Boris Johnson’s “blunt” language is evidence the government believes the public is not taking the threat the coronavirus pandemic poses seriously enough, the Sunday Times says

Beneath a picture of a line of shoppers queuing to get into a supermarket, the headline for the Independent online newspaper is “Food banks in crisis amid panic buying spree”.

It reports that providers are being hit by the dual impact of “soaring demand” and “dwindling supplies”.

The website says people have been fishing donations out of food bank deposit points in supermarkets. The consequence, it warns, is “real hunger” on a scale that hasn’t been seen for decades.

It is the absence of people that makes the image on the front page of the Sunday Telegraph striking. It shows a view of Westminster Bridge, looking towards the Houses of Parliament, without a single person in sight. “Life in lockdown begins”, is the caption.

The Sunday Express is one of several papers to suggest the Queen is to follow up the statement she issued several days ago with what it calls a “historic address to lift morale during the crisis”.

It says Downing Street has revealed talks have taken place with the palace about what it describes as a “royal intervention”. It would be only the fourth special address of the Queen’s 68-year reign, the Sunday Times notes, and the first since the eve of her mother’s funeral, in 2002.


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Finally, what do you do when the shops have sold out of eggs?

The answer, according to the Sunday Telegraph, is buy a chicken.

It reports that live poultry breeders across the UK have “seen their barns stripped of birds” over the past seven days as people look to get round egg shortages – and possibly also occupy children now schools are closed.

One breeder in Bristol tells the paper: “I’ve been selling chickens for 12 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”


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