What the papers say: Wednesday's front pages

Hopes the Omicron wave could subside quicker than previous variants are among Wednesday's top stories.
What the papers say: Wednesday's front pages

Press Association

Hopes that the current wave of Covid-19 infection may subside quicker than previous variants of the virus are among the top stories on Wednesday.

The Irish Times leads with comments from Tánaiste Leo Varakdar, who said Omicron infections are likely to peak "in the next week or so".

The Fine Gael leader also told the newspaper Omicron will be overcome "hopefully more quickly than prior waves".

The Irish Examiner, meanwhile, looks at a report from Daft.ie showing house prices increased by almost 8 per cent during 2021. The paper also reports Covid positivity rates have increased to their highest levels since the pandemic began, reaching 30.5 per cent.

The Echo's front page covers the impact the current wave of infections is having on businesses, stating businesses across Cork are struggling with high absentee rates due to staff having to isolate.

The Irish Independent looks at the Covid's impact on employment, reporting Dublin and commuter counties are recovering "more slowly from the economic devastation caused by the pandemic".

The Irish Daily Star goes with 'Foreign Affairs Covid Bubbles', reporting that "top officials threw lockdown champagne party after UN council win", while the Irish Daily Mirror covers the same story under the headline 'Bubbles and Strife'.

The Irish Daily Mail lead story warns the Omicron wave has not yet peaked, prompting calls for people to cancel their plans for the New Year. The paper's front page also carries an image of actresses Emma Watson and Bonnie Wright ahead of their appearance in the 20th anniversary Harry Potter special, Return to Hogwarts.

Finally, the Belfast Telegraph's front page is dominated with a scorching scene, reporting on a fire which broke out at a scrap metal recycling business in the city on Tuesday evening.

In Britain, the national papers are led by Covid hope for 2022 and concerns over an imminent cost of living increase.

The Daily Mirror has “New Year New Hope” following claims Omicron is not as deadly as previous variants, while the Daily Express says “the worst of Covid is finally over”.

The Times and Daily Mail report British prime minister Boris Johnson has been urged to follow the lead of health officials in the US and cut the Covid self-isolation period in a bid to stave off a potential NHS staffing crisis.

Meanwhile, the country's Test and Trace system has been messaging people to isolate for 10 days even though official guidance has been cut to seven, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Elsewhere, The Guardian and The Independent report UK households face a “cost of living catastrophe” in 2022 as a result of stalling wages and soaring tax and energy bills.

The Financial Times leads with global companies raising a record $12.1 trillion in 2021.

And the Daily Star says China has complained to the UN after its space station nearly collided with one of billionaire Elon Musk’s satellites.

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