tv The Travel Show BBC News October 31, 2020 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT
the prime minister is to announce a month—long lockdown in england as uk records its millionth case of covert. boris johnson records its millionth case of covert. borisjohnson will hold a case in the next half an hour. it comes after new scientific advice warns more than 4,000 people could die each day, unless tighter restrictions are brought in. nhs leaders urge ministers to act quickly. it is really important that the government moves quickly and does tough lockdowns as quickly as possible because otherwise the nhs won't have the capacity it needs. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, has issued
new advice that people should not travel to or from england, except for essential purposes. as the government's furlough scheme ends, there's concern from business leaders on what a second lockdown would mean for jobs. hello and welcome to bbc news. the prime minister is set to announce a month—long national lockdown in england. borisjohnson will hold a downing street press conference in the next hour. the cabinet has met this afternoon to discuss how to tackle the rate of transmission, after one of its scientific advisers warned the virus was "running riot" in england. non—essential retail and hospitality will be forced to close, but schools and universities will be allowed to stay open. it comes as the uk
records a further 326 deaths from coronavirus within 28 days of a positive test and another 21,915 poeple have tested positive. that takes the total number of uk cases to over one million since the outbreak began. 0ur political correspondent chris mason reports. stay at home, protect our nhs and save lives... the stark message from spring, and the stark reality — a similar instruction for england appears imminent again. this is why. the lines here are the projections of different groups of scientists of what might happen if there aren't any further restrictions. the steadily climbing low black line is what was the so—called reasonable worst—case scenario, but all of the projections now suggest things could be much, much worse than that. and compare them with the blue shaded curve on the left of the graph — that is what happened earlier this year.
we have been saying — and we've been saying it for about three or four weeks — that it's really important the government moves quickly and does tough lockdowns as quickly as possible, because otherwise the nhs won't have the capacity it needs. it's expected england's lockdown will last for a month. schools, colleges and universities will stay open, but nonessential shops will shut — as will pubs and restaurants. we will hear from the prime minister shortly. because action wasn't taken earlier, when it should have been, we are now in a harder place, and the tier 3 approach essentially just levels us off at a bad place. and the rest of the country is coming up to that bad place. and it's the recognition of that scenario which is now leading, i think, to what's been discussed today. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, urged people to comply with scotland's current restrictions, and said people should not travel to or from england unless it's essential.
wales is already a week into a lockdown. northern ireland's schools will reopen as planned on monday, and current restrictions will end a week on friday — as planned. in recent weeks in england, the government's focus has been on a regional response to the virus — that, it seems, is about to radically change. chris mason, bbc news. and chris is here now. chris, this story is moving very fast and details are coming out as we speak. please just run through exactly what we know, what we expect will happen. at 1:30pm today the cabinet met remotely. they were joined by senior scientists who have been briefing the prime minister and others over the last couple of days. 0ur others over the last couple of days. our understanding is there was quite a bit of pushback from ministers given where policy has been in england with its regional approach up england with its regional approach up to now. but nonetheless we understand from sources around the table and also sources and done echo
on calls that have taken place this afternoon that the prime minister will announce in the next hour at this england wide lockdown starting on thursday. we expect it will mean that hospitality sectors are closed, so that hospitality sectors are closed, so pubs, cadres and restaurants closed except for a takeaway is. nonessential retail, as well, will be closed. supermarkets remaining open. it does not look like there will be the equivalent we saw in wales where particular aisles in supermarkets are effectively banned and cordoned off. the big distinction with the lockdown this time in england compared with what happened around the uk in spring is that the schools, colleges, universities, educational settings will remain open and clearly that is a significant difference from last time. the government, though, feeling that, given the data it has been presented by the scientist in the last couple of days, simply had to act. you sort the graph in my
report there, suggesting which have it projection you looked at from whichever group of scientist that, u nless whichever group of scientist that, unless something was done and done quickly, the number of deaths per day could be significantly higher than even the worst—case scenario predicted relatively recently, and therefore they have had to do what we expect the prime minister to announce in the next half hour or so. announce in the next half hour or so. until very announce in the next half hour or so. untilvery recently announce in the next half hour or so. until very recently the prime minister and ministers have been avid mint —— are adamant they wanted to follow a lockdown local tiered systems. what has changed? the warnings from scientists have been going on since late september. we had that warning from this age group of scientists that advise the government back in mid september —— the group. they advised national lockdown now as a circuit breaker to coincide with the half term holiday, where you would an additional element to any lockdown because the schools would have been off anyway. the government decided that was not necessary because of this fine balance we have so often talked
about between lives and livelihoods, trying to keep the economy going, minimise the restrictions on our liberties. but, given the data, they felt they had no other option, even though they have had all of the political pain of the last couple of weeks of the tiering system, the regional approach, the high profile public row with andy burnham, the labour mayor of greater manchester, on restrictions imposed on that city and its surrounding boroughs. despite all of that, despite the desire for ministers to maintain the regional approach because he said —— because they said it brought the advantage that regions could continue with a greater level of normality, the numbers being presented by the scientist, whether in terms of rising cases or potential exhaustion of hospital capacity, has led them to the conclusion that even within areas of relatively low rates, unless they act now there is the danger in that
capacity will be overwhelmed. this may be the worst option they had, but ultimately it was the only option, faced with the data that the prime minister has been presented with over the last 204i was. there is no doubt this is a complete u—turn in strategy. yes, they said all along that they rule out no option but for several weeks they have been talking up the significance and importance of a regional approach whilst other countries around europe, including within the uk, wales has pursued a national lockdown strategy, france and belgium and others heading down that route. borisjohnson now concluding that is inevitable here, too. that will be difficult for some conservative backbenchers who have fought against a national lockdown. what is quite striking on that score is that steve baker, conservative backbencher, who has previously been sceptical about some of the lockdown measures, has been into downing street this afternoon and has just come out into the street in the last
half hour and spoken to our collea g u es half hour and spoken to our colleagues and said he has been briefed, he has seen the data, this isa briefed, he has seen the data, this is a very, very difficult decision for the prime minister but he acknowledges the seriousness of it, the severity of the current situation and therefore the need for pretty significant action. there are some conservative backbenchers who are sceptical of the others are absolutely fuming at what they see asa absolutely fuming at what they see as a botched communicationjob, given that this emerged in several newspapers late last night and in briefings, and sources journalists have within whitehall, that is the job ofjournalist to do thatjob, but this frustration from some that the first we heard of this was not the first we heard of this was not the prime minister at elect own, that when we do finally hear from him alongside sir patrick vallance and professor chris whitty, they will be confirming what they already reporting as opposed to breaking the news first. is this action that the government willjust news first. is this action that the
government will just take, news first. is this action that the government willjust take, or news first. is this action that the government will just take, or does it have to go to parliament? government will just take, or does it have to go to parliament7m looks like it probably will go through parliament, so it will not start until thursday. it is scheduled to last until the 2nd of december, sojust scheduled to last until the 2nd of december, so just under one calendar month. it would appear, but is yet to be confirmed, to leave a window where it can be discussed in parliament. i would where it can be discussed in parliament. iwould not where it can be discussed in parliament. i would not have thought, in broad terms, it is likely to meet a massive amount of resista nce likely to meet a massive amount of resistance given the data that we are likely to hear from the scientists, but clearly there will be concerned about restriction on liberties and huge questions about the economic support package. today isa the economic support package. today is a day the furlough scheme ends and the new scheme that did imagine and the new scheme that did imagine a more benign picture than the one we now face, the new scheme due to start tomorrow. and so no doubt big questions for boris johnson start tomorrow. and so no doubt big questions for borisjohnson and for rishi sunak in the coming days about what economic package there might be to ensure that that is commensurate with the scale of the lockdown england is now looking at. are so
many issues facing the government. thank you very much indeed. we will come back to you around the time of the press conference when it spotlights. —— when it starts. there have been 1,101 new cases of covid—i9 in scotland in the last 2a hours. 2a deaths have been registered of people who had tested positive in the last 28 days. the figures come as scotland's first minister nicola sturgeon has told scots not to travel south to england unless essential. writing on twitter, she said the government in edinburgh would continue to consider data on the spread of the virus in the coming days and take account of any developments in england. 0ur scotland correspondent alexandra mackenzie has been giving me more details. we can go live to her at our studio in glasgow. 1101 new cases, sobering news. absolutely. in scotland, nicola sturgeon has pointed out that scotla nd nicola sturgeon has pointed out that scotland is doing better than some
of the other nations, but that is still a lot of cases. it has also been levelling out slightly, so she made that point in that twitter feed that you mentioned earlier in your introduction. she sent out quite a lengthy tweet this morning and said that people should not travel backwards and forwards to england, except for essential purposes. that would mean that things like going for a doctor's appointment or going to help people who needed care or for going to work. she also said the scottish government will take account of any developments in england, but she did make that point that the prevalence of the virus is lower in scotland. and across scotla nd lower in scotland. and across scotland she has said that we have been under quite strict restrictions, particularly in the central belt. across scotland we
have not been able to visit each other in each other‘s homes and across the central belt pubs and restau ra nts across the central belt pubs and restaurants have been closed. she also made the point that financial factors would come into any future decision about the lockdown. she said that if we were to be in step with england now, would that be the only opportunity to get any kind of financial support, or if scotland makes a different decision, and possibly goes into a lockdown further down the line, would financial support be available then, why would it not be guaranteed at a different date? now, scotland is due to go into a five tier system on monday. no area is going to go into the highest level, which is level four. that would be closest to lockdown. at this stage, we expect that to go ahead as planned on monday with no changes.
that to go ahead as planned on monday with no changesm that to go ahead as planned on monday with no changes. it is interesting, if, as we expect, the prime minister announces a national lockdown in england, scotland will be the one nation of the uk that is not having a circuit breaker type of national lockdown. yes, that's right. as i said, we go into the five tier system on monday and lanarkshire we are told it had been borderline and could possibly have gone into tier 4, the closest to lockdown. at this stage, the highest tier will be at level three, that will be most of the central belt so not an awful lot will change there. yes, at this stage, no area will be close to lockdown after the prime minister borisjohnson close to lockdown after the prime minister boris johnson makes close to lockdown after the prime minister borisjohnson makes his announcement. hopefully we will hear something from that first minister nicola sturgeon after that. we believe it there. thank you very much indeed. the welsh government has said
a two—week firebreak there will still end on the 9th of november, regardless of the lockdown in england. ministers in cardiff meet tomorrow to finalise post—firebreak rules. first minister mark drakeford took to social media to reiterate that any downing street announcement "will relate to england". northern ireland's first minister, arlene foster, has said that the current tightened restrictions there will end — as planned — on the 13th of november. pubs and restaurants have been closed, and schools — which will re—open on monday — were closed for two weeks. let's recap on what we know so far. the bbc understands the prime minister will announce a month—long national lockdown in england. non—essential retail and hospitality will be forced to close. schools and universities will be allowed to stay open. 0ur health editor, hugh pym, is here. very interesting, looking at wales
and northern ireland, saying that they will be ending their short national lock dans at the time that had been anticipated, just as england is thinking of going into a national lockdown itself, why are they so out of step? that is a very big question, because the sage advisory committee of experts, back in september, was calling for a two—week circuit breaker in england because of the way things were going then, the way cases were rising rapidly. it didn't happen, the government at westminster opted for the tiered approach, going for different restrictions in different areas and is now opting for the sort of national circuit breaker which experts have been calling for for some time. and we have seen some of the documents presented to the bbc and released by the government yesterday, from sage, showing how concerned members of that committee have been in recent weeks, saying that the worst case scenario, this
was two weeks ago, was being exceeded. to be clear, they are scientists and they have always said they are there to advise, it is up to ministers to decide and they acknowledge that ministers do have to ta ke acknowledge that ministers do have to take on board the economic impacts, but they have been clear for a little while now that tougher action in england was needed. and they make that case, despite the fa ct they make that case, despite the fact that, although the deaths in england have gone up in the last few weeks, they are nowhere near what they were in the height of the lockdown in march, april. yes, it is very sadly more than 200 a day at the moment. it was more than 1,000 a day back in april at the peak, but they do predict that figure will go up. tragically, they know and we know that, based on cases diagnosed a couple of weeks ago, there will be people who don't survive, because there is always a bit of a lag, a couple of weeks, before somebody become seriously ill so they are
predicting an increase in the death figure. and i have picked out a couple of things to show how things have changed since late august. then, there were 100 hospital admissions each day around the uk with daily cases around a thousand in late august, know it is 20,000. but those daily reported cases are only those who have come forward to have a test. the various estimates by the 0ns and other modellers say there is probably more than 50,000 a day, people becoming infected, because many of them don't have symptoms and they don't know they have got it, so the projections they make based on that are at the situation will become more difficult progressively if there is some form of intervention. and in terms of the age profile of people who are getting covid—19, what does that look like now? well, the office for national statistics, with a report on different parts of the uk just
yesterday was saying that, actually, it was the 20—39 age group where there were the higher rates and various experts have identified that, at the younger end, there are higher rates amongst women, so it is spreading across all age groups, we are told, no doubt about that but it is interesting it is this slightly younger demographic that people are saying is where the higher infections are. obviously, older people are more vulnerable but they may be staying at home more and are socialising less, but the message, loud and clear, is this affects everybody, particularly younger adults and be older, and that covid can be very unpleasant if you get it, particularly with symptoms that last a long time, long coded, as it is called, in some cases. and if, as chris mason was saying, we are to expect a national lockdown of about a month, what is the hope and what is to be achieved in that month?
if you look back to the last national lockdown in march, april and may, it did bring the death rate right down and it brought to hospital admissions down and that was the main purpose of it, particularly to secure the nhs. people will argue it succeeded in those aims but there was a lot of work cancelled by the nhs, a lot of people had illnesses that weren't treated and missed operations and procedures and that could have been a very unfortunate side effect, it was, of lockdown but the aim right now is to suppress the virus, bring it down to levels where they think the test and tray system can work a lot better. at the moment, it is close to really struggling to keep up close to really struggling to keep up with case numbers —— test and trace. the idea is to bring it down and see if test and trace can do more after november but, of course, the hope is that lockdown can be eased. and is it the case that we may have to prepare ourselves for a series of lockdowns over the winter?
yes, i think the point is the virus doesn't go away until the vaccine comes along and there have been mixed messages on that but it seems clear nobody in authority wants us to expect it any time really before the early months of next year. the virus will always be there so if you suppress it with this intervention we are going to hear about shortly, then relax a bit, you will get more cases, it will spread more, so it is a delicate balancing act and, of course, everybody and certainly politicians and the government, governments in different parts of the uk, will be working hard to ensure there is some form of christmas celebrations for those who wa nt to christmas celebrations for those who want to do that but that will be a difficult decision when it comes along. many thanks, our health editor hugh pym. i'm joined now by devi sridhar, who's chair of global public health at the university of edinburgh. good afternoon to you, thank you so much forjoining us. so, it seems that we have to prepare ourselves for a lockdown of around a month. do you think this is the right way
forward ? you think this is the right way forward? unfortunately, there is no choice at this point, giving the horizon —— given the rising hospitalisations and that is what we see with this virus, we continually underestimate this and are caught in a reactive position when we let it spread or we let case numbers rise and think that is harmless. so, u nfortu nately, and think that is harmless. so, unfortunately, in the position england is in, it seems inevitable they have to slow it down. nobody wa nts a they have to slow it down. nobody wants a lockdown but it seems like there is no other choice right now because uncontrolled spread would be even worse. is this action that you think the government should have taken earlier? i actually go back to the summer and say we had a lockdown and we had some kind of restrictions, but we got a number is pretty low in june, restrictions, but we got a number is pretty low injune, what did we do wrong in june which pretty low injune, what did we do wrong injune which means we are not ina wrong injune which means we are not in a better position now? for me, there are three things that east asian countries have done, many didn't lockdown, which was, first, strict border restrictions, you don't reimport infection. second,
communication and good guidance, you don't want to get this even if you are young and third, a test trace and isolate system which works well forflare—up and isolate system which works well for flare—up numbers but just and isolate system which works well forflare—up numbers butjust using a lockdown is the harshest and the cruellest way to sustain this, i don't think it is... it is a pretty rubbish have to go down. what is the alternative? which countries have managed this better? we look across the channel to france, italy and spain, they are all having a rough time of it, too. the country is doing the best are in east asia, taiwan, south korea, vietnam, hong kong, singapore and, interestingly, new zealand and australia, which first looked to the european model, looked later to the sars model, which is eliminating the virus and we saw in the summer that, with the right restrictions, you can keep numbers low and as cases come m, keep numbers low and as cases come in, you can catch them at airports
and deal with him at a localised level but as long as we try and live alongside its virus, we will have restrictions on our daily life because it is so infectious, it ta kes because it is so infectious, it takes up quickly and rising hospitalisations, health forces are forced to react and slow things down. the choice is not between covid and non—cobit harm? do you wa nt covid and non—cobit harm? do you want non—or minimal —— non—covid. that is the choice now. so how do you see england, within the uk, for example, because england is, in a sense, the last to impose a strict set of rules. scotland, of course, is not in national lockdown but it does have this five tier system. england correctly has been seen as the outlier in the uk. we have talked about wales and northern ireland and scotland, and the idea was to move quickly, use the half term break when schools were off to get numbers low and the question is,
once they are low, you keep them there while you try and get back some normality and keep the economy going? that is where border restrictions become important and coming back to european to european countries, european countries have been loath to do this, they have not wa nted been loath to do this, they have not wanted to stop movement in and out of their borders and it is why islands have done so well. to be an islands have done so well. to be an island in 2020 is a gift because you can control and prevent and catch infections at ports of entry, at airports. if you have a land border like germany, i know they have considered this, land borders with nine countries, how do you stop traffic across those, especially when you are part of the eu? it has to bea when you are part of the eu? it has to be a joined up strategy so i think the integration and movement had created a lot of cross contamination and with no joint strategy, and a similar approach on a similar timeline. if england goes, as it appears, if england goes into this four week lockdown, what does the government need to do within that time? well, i think they clearly have to build up the test
and trace system to be functional, i don't understand what i don't have that. they need to pay people to isolate so they have enough money to stay home, yourjob is to stay home. they need to look at better guidance, we have had a lot of confusing mixed messages and get away from the debates like is this like the flu? these are distractions, tell people simple things, get outside, have ventilation inside, wash your hands, keep your distance, use face coverings and we need to have real testing at airports and quarantine procedures because there is no point getting the numbers low again if you are going to reseed it. it will be in an ad, you will import it, you have people move, it is receded, go into lockdown, you will be stuck in the cycle and we have to break it and personally, ithink locking the cycle and we have to break it and personally, i think locking down over and over again is incredibly destructive and we need to find a better way and other countries are finding a better way. ijust wish for 20 minutes, sage finding a better way. ijust wish for20 minutes, sage and independence age, a couple could get together and convince number ten that there is a better way than they
are going right now which is waiting for a vaccine, which is not going to be optimal. there needs to be a better way to buy time than the lockdown and release cycle, so vaccine is the ultimate way out but we need a more sustainable approach. and yet we are being told that the nhs will have the capacity to carry out half a million tests by today, we think that the government probably nearly is on course for that. isn't that the sort of work that. isn't that the sort of work that you want to see being done? yes, of course, mass testing is a step forward but there is no point toasting people if they don't isolate. the whole point is to break chains of transmission, so someone is infectious, they don't pass it on. this virus lives on and canjump from one person to another person in the infectious phase, so there has been a huge focus on metrics, goals, getting to 100,000, half a million but if you don't have the whole system, you want to use testing strategically. 0ther system, you want to use testing strategically. other countries have tested less but more strategically, it is how you test and how you use
it is how you test and how you use it to break chains of transmission and suppress the virus and isolation is one component we haven't nailed down. it is not penalising people for not isolating but are saying, what would make them isolate? do we have to pay them a pretty good wage to stay home so it is theirjob? the £12 billion we have spent on test and trace, we could have spent a whole bunch of people to stay home and it probably would have been more effective. and are there other countries that are paying people to stay at home if they test positive? yes, definitely. if you look at sweden, i know it is raised but it has great benefits if you have sickly will need to isolate, germany has done a good job at looking to east asia, taiwan, south korea, they have come through this and, actually, people stay at home and they isolate because it is a benefit to others. it doesn't really help themselves, they have the virus, they do it to make sure they don't infect others. you have to reward that goodwill they are showing in some appropriate way, so i don't think we have given enough support
and, also, it is emotionally hard, 14 and, also, it is emotionally hard, 1a days on your own so having people call you. in east asian countries, there are facilities you can go too voluntarily to say i don't want to infect my household members and want to be ina infect my household members and want to be in a medicalfacility where, if i'm feeling pretty rubbish, i will get the support i need and if i really get on well, they will move me to really get on well, they will move metoa really get on well, they will move me to a hospital, so there are other models than the current one we have but it is a question of how long it ta kes but it is a question of how long it takes is to get there because what we are seeing now is entirely predictable and i don't want to be stuck here again on the bbc in february, talking about the third or the fourth lockdown, we need to sort this now and there is a playbook we can this now and there is a playbook we ca n follow this now and there is a playbook we can follow to find a better way. we are very grateful you are stuck here on the bbc. can ijust ask you finally and quite briefly, do you think, given where england is, for weeks will be enough? i don't know about that. the infection is quite deeply seated in communities and we are seeing numbers quite comparable to march, and that was quite a long lockdown. of course we all hope you can have a
short one, but given the delays at the start it might last longer, so i cannot really say after four weeks for sure it will be lifted. it might go longer than that. i have because iam go longer than that. i have because i am delighted to be on the bbc, i'm just saying i don't want to keep talking about lockdown is. i am just hoping we can move to a post—covid chat. thank you very much. it is 5pm, you are watching bbc news. the prime minister is due to announce new lockdown measures in england. let's recap on what we know so far. the bbc understands the prime minister will announce a month—long national lockdown in england. nonessential retail and hospitality will be forced to close. schools and universities will be allowed to stay open. i'm going to take it to downing street, where we are waiting for this press conference to start. it had been thought that it would be