What the papers say: Wednesday's front pages

The reopening of schools tomorrow dominates Wednesday's front pages, as the Omicron wave shows no sign of slowing in Ireland
What the papers say: Wednesday's front pages

The reopening of schools tomorrow dominates Wednesday's front pages, as the Omicron wave of coronavirus shows no sign of slowing in Ireland.

The Irish Times reports that schools are bracing for staff shortages and Covid-19 outbreaks after public health officials gave the green light for the education sector to reopen tomorrow.

The Irish Examiner also focuses on fears surrounding the return to schools, after chief medical officer Tony Holohan warned it is “inevitable” that children will become infected after announcing some 21,302 new cases of Covid-19 last night.

The Irish Independent reports that the "end is in sight" for rules on close contacts with a booster vaccine, with the Government hoping to follow the example of the US where boosted close contacts with no symptoms do not need to isolate as long as they wear a mask in public.

The Echo in Cork reports on the impact of the Omicron wave of infection on staffing, with teacher absences a concern for schools and the Supervalu group in Cork facing extreme staff shortages with more than 100 employees absent due to illness or isolation.

In Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph reports on the murder of a tattoo artist in Downpatrick on Monday morning.

In Britain, Wednesday’s papers are largely focused on Boris Johnson’s plan to stick to Plan B and not introduce new Covid curbs as the NHS and other essential sectors buckle under the strain from staff shortages.

The Guardian, The Times and The Independent's front pages all have the British prime minister admitting the health service could be overwhelmed in coming weeks while resisting calls to impose pandemic restrictions on England.

The Sun and Metro also carry Mr Johnson’s assurance Britain can “ride out’ the Omicron wave without any new curbs amid a record 218,000 cases.

The Daily Express echoes this, with Mr Johnson saying the battle against Covid is “far from over” but “we can find a way to live with it”.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror carries the response from key frontline health workers as the NHS buckles under the weight of the Omicron crisis.

The Daily Telegraph reports testing rules will be relaxed to solve staff shortages from Covid and i adds that key workers will be tested daily.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail features allegations from Tony Blair’s former defence secretary that he was told by Downing Street to burn a “secret memo” about the potential illegal nature of the 2003 invasion of Iraq as the campaign to strip the former prime minister of his knighthood ramps up.

The Financial Times reports that shares in travel and leisure sharply surged as investors grew more confident the threat from Omicron was fading, despite huge case numbers across the UK, US and Europe.

And the Daily Star compares politicians to “killer, psycho clowns” after an ITV “politics guru” said leaders are “maniacs”.

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