Schools row continues to dominate the front pages

What the papers say – May 19

Differing views on Britain’s schools reopening their gates lead Tuesday’s papers.

The Daily Mail asks of the UK’s “militant” teaching unions “When will they learn?” as it pushes for the country’s schools to be reopened on the basis that EU countries have said welcoming back pupils “has not been harmful”.

But the Daily Mirror says “worries of many teachers and parents remain” about reopening, and quotes Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham as saying: “I worry it’s too soon.”

The Guardian reports on an unpublished Government document which suggests temporary staff brought in to cover permanent workers spread coronavirus between care homes.

A new daily death toll low prompts the Daily Express to wonder “Has Britain turned a corner on the virus?”, while the i says the first report into the pandemic response has found Britain “missed a ‘critical’ moment” to stop the virus’s spread.

Every person over the age of five displaying Covid-19 symptoms is now eligible for a test, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says in The Independent.

Losses of smell and taste have been added to the symptoms requiring people to self-isolate for 14 days, according to Metro.

Holidays abroad could be saved, report The Daily Telegraph and The Times, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps telling MPs “air bridges” could be created to countries with low infection rates, helping get around the UK’s incoming 14-day quarantine programme for international visitors.

Staying on the continent and the Financial Times reports France and Germany “join forces” to call for an €500-billion (£447-billion) virus recovery fund for the bloc.

Not even royalty are immune to the pandemic, with The Sun reporting the “lockdown threatens to blow an £18-million hole in the Queen’s finances”.

And the Daily Star cites a leading British astronomer’s claim that “Intelligent life is only found on Earth” under the headline “Aliens are dumber than Uranus”.