The Guardian front page 04.07.20

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Many of Saturday’s front pages lead on the further easing of lockdown in England, with pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and bars reopening. The Guardian says, on the eve of the relaxation, the prime minister implored the nation to behave responsibly and safely with the message: “Let’s not blow it.”

The Daily Mail front page 04.07.20

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With the same story, the Daily Mail leads on a warning from Health Secretary Matt Hancock who told the paper that Britons could “by all means go to the bar” but warned: “You could end up behind bars if you break the law.”

The Times front page 04.07.20

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The Times has an interview with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who says Britain needs to start spending in pubs and restaurants again to prevent a generation of young people being “lost” to coronavirus. He suggests that it is the nation’s duty to “relearn what it’s like to go out again” to avoid a jobs meltdown that will hit the young and low-paid hardest.

The Daily Mirror front page 04.07.20

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The Daily Mirror has the headline: “Your good health” beside a photo of Prince William toasting the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants in England for the first time in three months.

Financial Times front page 04.07.20

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With a slightly more downbeat assessment, the Financial Times says pub landlords fear for their prospects, with some of the most lucrative summer months already lost. The paper says “the mood in the health service is equally apprehensive” as many hospital staff worry about a potential flood of patients worse for wear from alcohol. Its main story is on the UK beginning talks to join an EU plan to secure supplies of potential coronavirus vaccines, which it says it an “important test” of co-operation post-Brexit.

Daily Express front page 04.07.20

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The Daily Express leads on the list of holiday destinations for which quarantine will not apply when people arrive back in England. Countries including Greece, Spain, France and Belgium are on the list, which comes into effect from 10 July – but China, the US, Sweden and Portugal are not.

The Daily Telegraph front page 04.07.20

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The Daily Telegraph leads on a story about British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The paper carries a photo of her sat alongside actor Kevin Spacey in Buckingham Palace’s throne room in 2002.

The Daily Star front page 04.07.20

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The Daily Star is not too pleased that the prime minister is preparing to set out a timetable for gyms to reopen, describing it as the “worst news since lockdown began”. Elsewhere, it continues to wage its campaign against seagulls, asking: “Who let the gulls breed?”

The Times says it is the moment that much of the country has waited 103 days for – as pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas in England reopen.

The Sun predicts that “gasping punters” will sink 15 million pints of beer in England today, and it urges people to drink to “our first proper taste of freedom”.

The Daily Mail says reopening is vital to the economy, and jokes that when people head to the pub for the first time in months, they will probably argue about who bought the last round.

But the focus is not all on the good side of what the papers are calling “Super Saturday”.

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Pubs reopened early on Saturday

The Financial Times says landlords still fear for their prospects, because some of the most lucrative summer months have already been lost.

The Guardian thinks phrases such as “independence day” are “at odds with the rightly cautious mood of the public”.

“Forget about the guts and bustle”, the paper says, “just show some sense.”

Paul Waugh on the HuffPost UK website says the prime minister’s advice to the public “chops and changes” and says he seemed confused about it at Friday’s Downing Street briefing. “The pubs hadn’t even opened”, he says, “and Boris Johnson already sounded drunk”.

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Boris Johnson led a Downing Street press conference on Friday evening

There is also criticism in the papers of the announcement about which countries can be visited without the need for quarantine on your return.

The Independent talks of “confusion” and “shambles”, while the Sun says Greece was added to the list of safe nations only after a last-minute deal.

The Times highlights the row with the devolved nations, which meant the list applied only to England.

In Scotland, the National, a pro-independence paper, leads with Nicola Sturgeon’s “fury” at the plan.

The Scottish Daily Mail says holidaymakers north of the border were left “grounded” and “in the dark”. The paper calls it a “fiasco”.

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The Times reports that the owner of one of Britain’s most eye-catching homes is making another attempt to sell it, after years of setbacks.

The paper says anyone wanting to buy Sway Tower, a converted Victorian folly in Hampshire, will need several million pounds and a strong head for heights.

It is 66m (218ft) high and the tallest non-reinforced concrete structure in the world.

The owner, Paul Atlas, said he had been “messed about” during previous attempts to auction it.

He turns 74 this year, and says he has decided he should find something “a little closer to the ground”.

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