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 Monday. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.

1. Backlash against face masks in secondary schools as Covid cases ease

Plans to force children to wear face masks in secondary schools were hit by a backlash on Sunday night as figures showed a fall in the number of new Covid cases.

Tory MPs, a government scientific adviser, charities and parents’ groups warned of the long-term impact of masks on children’s mental health and said restrictions must be balanced against the risks of the virus. Read the full story.

2. Bin collections cancelled across the UK as Government plans for Covid absences in public sector to rise by a quarter

Bin collections have been cancelled across the country amid staff shortages, as the Government prepares for up to a quarter of public sector workers to be absent due to Covid.

Councils in Manchester, Essex, Somerset and Buckinghamshire have scaled back or suspended waste collections due to staff being off sick with Covid-19 or in isolation. Read the full story.

3. One-hour operation could cure prostate cancer by destroying tumours with electric currents

Prostate cancer could be cured with a “game-changing” one-hour operation that uses electric currents to destroy the most difficult to reach tumours.

The pioneering treatment has been used to treat the disease for the first time on the NHS, with surgeons saying the breakthrough could offer hope to thousands of men. Read the full story.

4. Sadness for the Queen as her devoted lady-in-waiting, Lady Farnham, dies

The Queen has lost her second close friend in less than a month after her longstanding lady-in-waiting, Lady Farnham, died four days after Christmas at the age of 90.

Lady Farnham had been the 95-year-old monarch’s Lady of the Bedchamber since 1987 and rode alongside the Queen on the way to the Diamond Jubilee service in 2012 after the Duke of Edinburgh was hospitalised. Read the full story.

5. Prince Andrew could face legal action despite agreement between Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein

A deal that Prince Andrew’s accuser made with Jeffrey Epstein does not explicitly rule out legal action against the royal, The Telegraph understands.

The agreement Virginia Roberts Giuffre struck with convicted sex offender Epstein in 2009 will be made public by a New York judge on Monday. Read the full story.

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