What the papers say: Friday’s front pages

The front pages are dominated by the Omicron threat and potential Covid restrictions before Christmas
What the papers say: Friday’s front pages

The papers are dominated by the latest advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) to Ministers, with the Omicron variant set to have an impact on Christmas celebrations in Ireland.

The Irish Times and The Irish Examiner both say the Government will likely introduce new Covid restrictions ahead of Christmas. The Times lead says the mood among Ministers has "darkened".

The Irish Daily Mail focuses on one part of Nphet's advice to the Government – a curfew of 5pm for hospitality businesses.

The Irish Daily Star says "stricter rules" are on the way after the public health recommendations to Government.

The Irish Daily Mirror leads with the Cork grandmother who has been jailed for refusing to wear a facemask.

The Echo leads with the Cork woman found guilty of murdering her brother in an inheritance dispute.

In the North, the Belfast Telegraph leads with the financial pressures facing Stormont amid the Omicron variant, with Finance Minister Conor Murphy calling for more direct funding from London.

The Irish News covers a tragic road crash in Co Down that saw one man killed and five injured. It also features Mary Lou McDonald's comments on Gerry Adams and his controversial Christmas sketch.

In Britain, The TimesThe Guardian and The Sun lead with the effect the Omicron outbreak is having on the hospitality industry as customers cancel Christmas bookings.

The Independent and the Daily Mirror carry the latest in the “Tory Christmas scandal”, saying police will interview more alleged witnesses.

The Daily Mail reports that Tory MPs are lining up to “take aim” at England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty over his warning to rein in Christmas partying as the Omicron outbreak worsens.

The i also leads with the UK shutdown in an effort to stop the spread of Omicron in the week before Christmas.

The Telegraph runs with a call from the Archbishop of Canterbury, urging political leaders to “put their hands up” and acknowledge wrongdoing as he expresses his disappointment over the Tory party scandal.

Meanwhile, Metro and the Daily Express report that Britain's Queen Elizabeth has cancelled her Christmas celebrations, with the latter saying she is setting an “example”.

Elsewhere, the Financial Times leads with the Bank of England raising interest rates for the first time in three years.

And the Daily Star leads with the Tory Christmas scandal and the police’s plans to interview witnesses, adding that even “Mary, Jesus and the wee donkey” were invited to lockdown parties.

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