The shortage of virus tests is likely to continue for weeks, the Times reports. The paper says officials believe labs will not be able to keep up with demand until a new lab in the Midlands opens – which is not expected to be for at least a fortnight. It adds that government ministers are drawing up plans to restrict “frivolous demands” for tests.
The Daily Star looks ahead to the forecast of more hot weather this week, saying the “late blast of summer sunshine” makes Britain hotter than the island of Hawaii. The paper also mentions Monday’s news that astronomers are considering the possibility of life on the planet Venus – something it describes as a “jolly exciting discovery”.
The exemption for grouse shooting also makes the front page of the Daily Express, but its top story carries a warning from cancer charity Action Radiotherapy. The charity has said an excess of 35,000 early deaths are likely because of a backlog of cancer patients awaiting treatment.
The Daily Mirror takes aim at England’s social distancing guidelines, as the new “rule of six” banning gatherings of more than six people came into force. The paper points out that grouse hunting is on the list of sports exempt from the rule. It quotes one Tory MP as saying the exemption shows the government’s “topsy-turvy prioritisation” in its rules.
Brexit makes the front of the Guardian. The paper says it has seen confidential government documents which warn that a “reasonable worst case scenario” in January – when the transition period ends – could see queues of 7,000 lorries in Kent. Passengers could wait an extra two hours for Eurostar trains, the paper says, adding that border disruption could ensure whether or not the UK and EU strike a trade deal.
Concern over the government’s coronavirus testing system makes the front of several newspapers. The Daily Telegraph says the “crisis” over testing across the UK is deepening, with NHS hospitals cancelling operations because there are not enough tests for doctors and nurses. Labs are struggling to clear a backlog of 185,000 tests amid a recruitment drive for lab workers, the paper adds.
The Metro compares the testing situation with the “world-beating” system that Boris Johnson promised, saying it has instead been branded a “shambles”. It says people living in England’s top 10 virus hotspots have found it “impossible” to book a test – with no slots available online for home test kits or appointments.