The problems with the UK’s testing system continues to feature on many of Wednesday’s newspaper front pages.
The i newspaper calls it a crisis and says that, when hospitals and care homes are given priority for tests, parents and teachers will be at the back of the queue.
The “world-beating system ministers promised by June has not materialised”, says the Daily Mail’s editorial, adding that the complications “were entirely foreseeable”.
But it adds “there is simply no excuse for a situation in which the answer to the question ‘What is the problem with testing?’ is that it is a secret” – and asks the government to “level with the public”.
Meanwhile, there is a claim that further restrictions on mixing with others could be introduced in a fortnight if the “rule of six” doesn’t work.
The columnist claims there is “a view at the top of government that pretty much every social distancing measure should be contemplated other than school closures”.
The paper also quotes an unnamed source – said to be close to the Archbishop – who says the Most Reverend Justin Welby is “deeply concerned” about the impact of the “rule of six” on Christmas and about families being kept apart.
The Scottish Daily Mail says more than 1,000 teachers across Scotland have been forced to self-isolate because of Covid symptoms.
Drinking during pregnancy
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence says all drinking by pregnant women should be recorded and then transferred to the child’s health records so that children at risk of harm can be identified.
The charity the British Pregnancy Advisory Service calls the guidelines “unjustified and disproportionate”, while the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also says it has concerns.
Many of the papers report the determination of a group of campaigning women to fight on, after failing in their legal attempt to win compensation for changes to the state pension age.
The Express says women have been denied equality for decades and it’s “cruel” to deny them a pension. The Department for Work and Pensions has said it acted entirely lawfully.
The paper says the decision will hamper the UK’s efforts to cut the emissions that cause climate change.
People had been riding the rented scooters on pavements and in pedestrianised areas, both of which are banned.
Some people claimed they had almost been knocked over by “reckless” scooter riders.
The scooters were intended to give people an extra way to travel at a time of reduced capacity on public transport. Trials in Birmingham are continuing.
And finally, a bright yellow fluffy acrylic toilet seat cover that accompanied the Rolling Stones on tour in the United States in 1975 has just sold for £900 – making it the most expensive toilet seat cover of all time.
It was owned by the Stones’ former bass player, Bill Wyman, now 83, who the Mail says “sent fans potty with his cool rhythms in his heyday”. The Mail’s headline reads: “Jumping Jack Flush”.