United Kingdom
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Monday morning UK news briefing: Housebound yet to get boosters

Ministers stand accused of "ignoring" those at greatest risk from Covid. The Telegraph can disclose that nearly two thirds of housebound people have yet to receive their Covid booster after many GPs opted out of delivering top-up jabs. 

Internal Whitehall data revealed at least 300,000 people unable to travel for jabs had not been protected by a booster vaccine. 

Relatives of elderly and vulnerable people up to 10 weeks overdue for their boosters said they had been given "no answers" by the NHS despite fears over the omicron variant, cases of which rose by more than 50pc in a day. 

In a sign of mounting government concern over the slow rollout, Sajid Javid said GPs would be paid a £30 incentive for every housebound person given their booster and freed from carrying out routine health checks on over-75s. 

In our exclusive report, Bill Gardner reveals a significant proportion of family doctors who visited homes to give first and second jabs have opted out of the booster campaign.

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Sport briefing: Hamilton sets up perfect decider

Lewis Hamilton took an incredible victory in an action-packed inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to draw level with Max Verstappen in the world championship standings heading into next weekend's final race of the year. Tom Cary has our report from Jeddah. Meanwhile, England captain Joe Root has declared himself ready for an Ashes series which he admitted, at the official launch, would "define my captaincy"

Business briefing: Mortgage rules 'to be eased'

The Bank of England is set to loosen mortgage lending rules introduced in the wake of the financial crisis in a move economists have warned risks creating a housing bubble. Officials are understood to be considering softening affordability checks for borrowers as part of a review of restrictions. Meanwhile, recruitment giants are struggling to snap up enough headhunters to cope with the "Great Resignation" boom.

Tonight's dinner

French ham and tomato macaroni cheese | You do not need many ingredients to create this spectacular, indulgent pasta bake by Diana Henry. View the recipe. For more, try our Cookbook newsletter.

Your daily travel inspiration

Fabulous Christmas breaks | Are you beginning to see the appeal of a winter holiday, but have not yet booked anything? Do not panic - there is still availability. From glorious luxury hotels to self-catering havens, Hattie Garlick offers her pick of 20 last-minute UK getaways.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

'How we kept face-to-face appointments' | This time last year, Britain was preparing for a Christmas in tiers. Cancer patients were enduring a desperately lonely winter, with many support services reduced - or moving online or over the phone. Claudia Rowan discovers how workers at Maggie's - one of four charities supported by this year's Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal - took careful steps to ensure that in-person interaction continued.

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.

Meanwhile, ministers are racing to address the shortage of hotel rooms designated for quarantining Britons stuck abroad in red-listed countries.

Some of the holidaymakers and travellers stranded in South Africa say they have been told they will have to wait until next Monday to return to the UK, forcing them to spend hundreds of pounds more on bed and board abroad. 

It comes as pre-departure tests for travellers flying into the UK come into force at 4am tomorrow. In other developments:

End of 'slaps on wrist' for middle-class drug users

A crackdown on middle-class drug users will be announced today as they face being forced to go to rehab or lose their passports and driving licences. Boris Johnson wants thousands more "lifestyle" drug takers to face "tougher real-life consequences" for their use of illicit substances such as cannabis, cocaine and ketamine. "It's the end of the slap on the wrist and send you on your way," said a Home Office source. The move is part of a 10-year drugs strategy that will see police handed £145m. Home Affairs Editor Charles Hymas explains what the money will be spent on.

Epic model railway makes tracks back to 1983

Simon George spent hours hanging over a wooden fence, watching the trains rumble past. So precious were the memories of those childhood days that Mr George set about creating a scale model of the Heaton Lodge Junction, West Yorkshire, as it looked in 1983. That was eight years ago. Now, having given up his job to dedicate every waking hour to the project, the 53-year-old has unveiled what is Britain's biggest model railway. View the astonishing labour of love that recreates every detail.

Daily dose of Matt

View Matt's latest cartoon as he covers how some December diaries are rapidly emptying.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Arthur's killing | A national review into the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes will look at how social workers can be unshackled from their desks so they can spend as much time with families as possible. Government sources confirmed to Whitehall Editor Harry Yorke that the review into the six-year-old's death would look at how personnel could be freed up to give them more contact with children of concern.

Around the world: Zemmour put in headlock

Hard-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour suffered an injured wrist during his first political rally as his supporters beat up anti-racism activists who had come to disrupt the event. Video footage showed a member of the crowd jumping at Mr Zemmour and briefly placing him in a headlock as he waded through swarms of people. The 63-year-old author and television commentator was injured as he made his way to the stage at a giant exhibition near Paris yesterday afternoon.