Christmas Day morning UK news briefing: Today’s top headlines from The Telegraph

Welcome to your early morning news briefing from The Telegraph – a round-up of the top stories we are covering on Christmas Day. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.

1. Tougher Covid rules lasting until spring among several proposals drawn up by experts

Tough new Covid restrictions would come in next week and last until the spring, under one scenario which has been modelled for government scientists.

Papers released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) included University of Warwick modelling looking at tighter rules starting on December 28 or New Year’s Day and lasting until January 15, January 28 or March 28. Read the full story.

2. Fourth jabs possible as Covid booster immunity may fall for millions by new year

More than six million people’s booster immunity may have already waned by the new year, data show, raising the prospect of fourth jabs.

Government data show that protection against getting sick with omicron is as low as 35 per cent 10 weeks after a booster. Read the full story.

3. Gas prices plunge as flotilla of tankers heads for Europe

At least 15 tankers filled with natural gas are steaming across the Altantic to replenish depleted European supplies, sending prices tumbling for the third day.

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

4. Duchess of Cambridge steps into limelight to show off piano skills revitalised during the pandemic

She is not known for enjoying the limelight, typically shying away from being centre of attention and, in her early days in the Royal Family, shaking with nerves when public speaking.

However, on Friday night, the Duchess of Cambridge broke that modest habit to take a star turn in a televised Christmas carol concert, playing the piano for the first time in public. Read the full story.

5. Northern Irish Christmas tree market becomes Brexit ‘battleground’ as UK exporters frozen out

EU Christmas tree suppliers are supplanting their British rivals exporting to Northern Ireland this festive season because of Brexit and the Irish Sea border.

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

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