What the papers say: Friday's front pages

The New Year’s Eve papers focus on changes to rules for Covid tests and isolation.
What the papers say: Friday's front pages

Press Association

Following the announcement of a change in guidance for people seeking Covid-19 PCR tests, the national newspapers are reporting on the latest measures amid the State's highest daily increase in confirmed cases of the virus.

The Irish Times leads with the measures for PCR testing, reporting that the HSE is hoping the changes will ease the pressure facing the testing system.

Sticking with Covid, the Irish Examiner reports the Government are coming under pressure to subsidise the cost of antigen tests following the recommendation that people aged 4-39 should only seek a PCR test if they first receive a positive result from an antigen test.

The paper's front page also carries a story on mother and baby homes, with Taoiseach Micheál Martin saying the Government has "no plans" to open up a redress scheme to all survivors.

A record-breaking day for daily Covid cases gives The Echo one of its front page stories, alongside a piece on Don O'Leary, the director of Cork Life Centre, who has been diagnosed with bone and lung cancer.

The Irish Independent and Irish Daily Mail both cover the changes to self-isolation rules for close contacts who have received a booster jab, or are fully vaccinated and have previously recovered from the virus.

The former also reports that Freedom of Information (FOI) figures show 65 former civil servants are receiving over €100,000 from pensions.

After British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty by a US jury of helping the late financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls, The Irish Sun reads: "Andy's out in the cold", quoting Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing Jeffrey Epstein victims, that the Britain's Prince Andrew should be “quaking in his boots” following the verdict.

The Belfast Telegraph leads with a plea from Stormont ministers, urging people in the North to take antigen tests if they plan on going out to celebrate the New Year.

Ministers in the North met on Thursday, deciding the self-isolation period for confirmed cases should be reduced to seven days, while no further restrictions were imposed.

Meanwhile in Britain, the front pages report mounting pressure on Prince Andrew while a shortage of Covid tests continue to cause problems.

The Daily Mail, the i and The Daily Telegraph all lead with Lisa Bloom's comments on Prince Andrew, with the Telegraph's headline reading: "Duke told he will face justice after Maxwell verdict".

The Daily Express reports Andrew is worried about damage to the British monarchy and has told friends he wants to “protect the queen” by stopping the civil case from being heard.

The Daily Mirror quotes former Epstein butler Juan Alessi – who testified in the Maxwell trial – as saying Andrew should speak to the FBI “if nothing else to clear himself”.

The Financial Times reports British prime minister Boris Johnson will be cleared of breaking the ministerial code over a loan used to redecorate his flat.

The Times leads with comments from the head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson that there is no need for more restrictions despite rising hospitalisations. But The Independent reports the NHS is also warning admissions will continue to rise for at least another ten days.

The Guardian features a British Medical Association warning that NHS workers are not being properly prioritised for Covid tests amid the lack of supply. And the Daily Star reports some lateral flow kits are selling for as much as £210 (€250).

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