What the papers say – February 18

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Photos of the Duke of Edinburgh feature on a number of Thursday’s front pages after the 99-year-old was admitted to hospital, while the latest on coronavirus testing and infections are also covered.

The Daily Telegraph leads with reports parents will be asked to test their children for Covid-19 as part of plans for pupils to return to the classroom, with schools only being responsible for one round of mass testing.

The Guardian reports the number of cases are down two-thirds in a month, but new research has suggested the virus is now spreading among primary-age children.

Metro writes about a clinical trial where healthy volunteers will be deliberately infected with Covid-19 to understand how small amounts of the virus can cause infection.

The i writes about a “blueprint for tackling Covid vaccine hesitancy”, reporting the NHS will work with faith groups in areas with lower rates of people receiving the jab.

The Daily Mirror writes lockdown restrictions will be lifted “cautiously”, while the Daily Mail calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “take the brakes off”.

And the Daily Express leads with a line from Mr Johnson that “data, not dates” will determine how the lockdown is eased.

The Times leads on figures from Ucas suggesting a surge in people studying nursing, with the interest provoked by the pandemic.

The Sun says Britain has wished Prince Philip well after he was admitted to hospital.

The Financial Times writes about a “power struggle” in Whitehall in which Lord David Frost has taken charge of discussions with the EU about the future relationship.

The Independent leads with a speech from Sir Keir Starmer, with the Labour leader expected to discuss his blueprint for recovery after Covid-19.

And the Daily Star writes bald men with beards are “the best in the sack”.

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