Thursday's front pages bring a mixed focus on Covid-19, the housing crisis and a guilty verdict in the US trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.
The Irish Times reports that the isolation period for cases and close contacts of Covid may reduce to five days in Ireland, as the Omicron variant drives record case numbers both here and around the world.
The Irish Examiner focuses on the housing crisis, reporting that vacant pubs in towns all over Ireland are to be turned into homes with the extension of exemptions for the conversion of commercial premises out to 2025.
Major reforms of the welfare system lead the Irish Independent, with the linking of jobseekers payments to pre-unemployment earnings and the reintroduction of the requirement for people to attend post offices among the changes under consideration.
The Echo in Cork focuses on the rollout of Covid vaccines to children, highlighting the delight of the mother of a 10-year-old who is among the first in her age group to be vaccinated.
The Irish Sun meanwhile focuses on Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite found guilty by a US jury on Wednesday of helping the late financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls.
Today's Irish Sun front page. pic.twitter.com/51hE5UyTyh
— The Irish Sun (@IrishSunOnline) December 30, 2021
In Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph leads with Covid, as cases in the region near the 5,000 daily mark and drive “unprecedented” demand for testing.
— Belfast Telegraph (@BelTel) December 30, 2021
In Britain, papers are led by a move to add surge capacity to the NHS and concerns over a shortage of Covid tests.
The Guardian front page features a double lead, with the surge facilities running next to a report on Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty verdict on Wednesday night.
Updated Guardian front page, Thursday 30 December 2021: Hospitals urged to find space for 4,000 extra beds as cases surge pic.twitter.com/N8yDcZZs7t
— The Guardian (@guardian) December 30, 2021
The Financial Times reports the Nightingale facilities will add up to 100 beds each at eight hospitals and may be set up in gyms and education centres.
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) December 30, 2021
The i leads with the new daily case record of 183,037 and pressure on British prime minister Boris Johnson over Covid test shortages.
183,037 - Covid cases hit new daily record as PM under pressure over testing shortages….
*Ghislaine Maxwell guilty in abuse trial
Thursday’s @theipaper front page #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers #skypapers #covid19 #maxwell pic.twitter.com/JocqYqnFVe
— Tim Alden (@timaldi) December 29, 2021
The Daily Telegraph reports that British health secretary Sajid Javid said there is “no quick fix” to the testing problem.
The front page of tomorrow's Daily Telegraph:
'Testing in tatters as Javid blames huge surge in demand'#TomorrowsPapersToday
Sign up for the Front Page newsletterhttps://t.co/x8AV4Oomry pic.twitter.com/9GjVgpD1n4
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) December 29, 2021
The Independent says the shortage is keeping “thousands” of NHS staff stuck in isolation.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) December 29, 2021
The Daily Mirror leads with a protest by anti-vaxxers outside a Covid testing site.
— The Mirror (@DailyMirror) December 29, 2021
And the Daily Star leads with a report on Brexit-related frozen food shortages.
— Daily Star (@dailystar) December 29, 2021