Christmas morning UK press briefing: top Telegraph headlines of the day

Welcome to your morning press briefing from The Telegraph – a recap of the main stories we cover on Christmas Day. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, subscribe for free to our Front Page newsletter.

1. Stricter Covid rules until spring among several proposals developed by experts

Strict new Covid restrictions would go into effect next week and last until spring, according to a scenario that has been modeled for government scientists.

Papers published by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) included modeling from the University of Warwick examining stricter rules from December 28 or New Year’s Day and through January 15, January 28 or to March 28. Read the full story.

2. Possible fourth hit as Covid booster immunity could drop to millions by New Year

The booster immunity of more than six million people may have already waned by the new year, the data shows, raising the prospect of a fourth jab.

Government data shows protection against disease with omicron is as low as 35% 10 weeks after a booster. Read the full story.

3. Gas prices plunge as a flotilla of tankers heads to Europe

At least 15 tankers full of natural gas are crossing the Atlantic to replenish depleted European supplies, pushing prices down for the third day.

The number revealing Western European ports as destinations is up from 10 on Wednesday, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg. Read the full story.

4. The Duchess of Cambridge enters the limelight to show off her revitalized piano skills during the pandemic

She is not known to enjoy the limelight, generally avoiding being the center of attention and, in her debut in the royal family, trembling with nerves when speaking in public.

However, on Friday evening, the Duchess of Cambridge broke the humble habit of watching a Christmas carol televised concert, playing the piano for the first time in public. Read the full story.

5. Northern Ireland Christmas tree market becomes Brexit ‘battleground’ as UK exporters stranded

EU Christmas tree suppliers are supplanting their British rivals who are exporting to Northern Ireland this holiday season due to Brexit and the Irish Sea border.

The Northern Ireland Protocol means the country continues to follow certain EU rules, including for plant and tree health, in order to avoid a hard Irish border. Read the full story.

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