tv BBC News BBC News December 19, 2020 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT
nearly 18 million people in london and south east england to move into stricter tier for restrictions from midnight. people must stay—at—home and nonessential shops have to close. for those in tier 4 it means the relaxation of rules that christmas has been scrapped and reduced to one day, the 25th, for the rest of england. we must be realistic. we are sacrificing the chance to see our loved ones this christmas so we have a better chance of protecting their lives, so that we can see them at future christmases. the new restrictions are due to a spike in cases that is being blamed ona spike in cases that is being blamed on a fast spreading new variants of the disease.
the whole of wales is to be placed under lockdown from midnight with festive rules cancelled for all but christmas day. scotland reduces the five—day festive window from mixing with other households indoors to just christmas day itself, and imposes a strict travel ban between itself and the rest of the uk. borisjohnson has announced a new tougher level of coronavirus restriction in england, after scientists said a mutation of covid—19 was spreading rapidly in london, the south east and east of the country. the variant is said to be much more contagious but doesn't cause more serious illness. from midnight tonight — tier 4 restrictions will apply
in all current tier 3 areas in the south east including london, kent, buckinghamshire, berkshire, and hertfordshire. that's more than 17 milllion people. in this new tier, a stay at home order will be issued to residents — except for those travelling to work or for education. there will be no ‘christmas bubbles‘. social mixing will be restricted to meeting one other person in an open public space. non—essential shops will close, along with personal services such as gyms, beauty salons and hairdressers. no one should enter or leave a tier 4 area. and there are also changes to the advice for those living in tiers 1 to 3 in england. the so—called ‘christmas bubbles‘ will be restricted to just christmas day. the advice is to remain local and not to travel internationally. our political editor, laura kuennsberg has the full story. another twist in 2020‘s terrible karma — the virus is outpacing politicians‘ and the public‘s attempt to get hold of itjust
at the time of year when journeys are meant to bring us together. from midnight, travel from london‘s paddington or anywhere in the south—east will be banned, the government cancelling families‘ christmas plans. this couple have already decided not to see family. it was never a good idea tojust say, we shouldn‘t have any restrictions over a short period. it‘s not like covid is going to take a break or anything like that, so itjust made no sense whatsoever and it‘s messing with people‘s minds. this man from south london resolved his big family won‘t get together. i think i'm choosing to be wise and say, look, let's celebrate later on next year. i think the consequences of actually mingling are just too great. this man, a teacher, won‘t see his family from italy now either. it's a very annoying situation, but i can't see it getting better because they're talking about now zone four, which is even stricter. i can't understand what's
stricter than this. the prime minister pushed to take action he decided against earlier this week. it is with a very heavy heart i must tell you we cannot continue with christmas as planned. in england, those living in tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household at christmas, though support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation. we have a particularly fast—moving problem with increased numbers in the area going into tier 4 but a generalised increase across the country. there were calls for you to drop the plans for christmas last week just a few days ago but, on wednesday, you told me and our viewers it would be inhuman to change the plans, and now that's exactly what you've done. aren't there millions of people whose plans have just been torn up entitled to feel that you just left this too late?
we of course bitterly regret the changes that are necessary but, alas, when the facts change, you have to change your approach, and the briefing that i had yesterday about this mutation of the virus, particularly about the speed of transmission, was not possible to ignore. professor whitty, if someone is packing a bag right now, listening to or watching this, trying to leave the south—east by midnight tonight, what should they do? my short answer would be, please unpack it at this stage. uk opposition leaders had already called for a rethink. i‘m really frustrated because i raised this with the prime minister on wednesday, and he dismissed that and went on to tell people to have a merry little christmas, only three days later to rip up their plans, and i think the british public‘s entitled to more decisive leadership than that. they‘re getting confusion where they need certainty. another upset, another change of heart in number ten. after a year many of us would rather forget,
a christmas that may be remembered for all the wrong reasons too. earlier i spoke to our political correspondent, nick eardley. what a difference 72 hours makes because a few days ago we were talking about a much stricter message when it came to christmas, urging people not to travel, but the rules being kept in place. something has changed in the last 2a hours which is the data that ministers are getting is extremely concerning, it has worried them and the scientific advisers who in a hastily arranged meeting last night decided the action had to be taken, it was decided this morning that this new tier 4 in england, something that boris johnson was desperate to avoid which some ministers had completely dismissed as a prospect but which clearly now
is something that they think is necessary. i think boris johnson will take a lot of political criticism for this because it was on wednesday that he accused others of wanting to cancel christmas, of saying it would be inhuman to cancel christmas. that is effectively what has happened for many people in tier 4 now and for millions of others in england it has been massively curtailed to one day. the defence ministers will make is that when science changes they have to also change their mind too. we have travelled a long way in 72 hours and what happened today will still be a big surprise to many people. and what exactly does tier 4 mean for those of us who will be in it from midnight? it‘s not far off the lockdown that we saw last month. you are being urged to stay—at—home, people will still be allowed to go out for exercise, but you want to meet groups of friends. the rule of six, for example, is abolished. you are allowed to meet one other person outside, sorry, outdoors,
from outside your household. supermarkets will stay open, so for anyone who is panicking that they have not bought christmas dinner, that can still be done. but if you have not finished your christmas shopping you are in trouble. because nonessential shops are going to close from midnight tonight. it‘s a huge change. it‘s a really significant moment, and although in these tier 3 areas, restaurant and hospitality were already closed, it effectively means that for many people society will be all but shut down. over the christmas period. and you cannot form christmas bubbles, that‘s gone in tier 4, and you know, it‘s notjust in england. massive parts of scotland people are being told there will be in lockdown effectively from boxing day. in wales, lockdown is coming in tonight. this is a big moment in the pandemic for the uk. the latest government figures on coronavirus show there were 27,052 cases in the latest 24—hour period — the average number of new infections reported per day in the last week is now 24,752.
534 deaths were recorded in the last 2a hours, that‘s of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. on average in the past week, there were a36 deaths per day, bringing the total number of deaths across the uk, to 67,075. nicola sturgeon has announced tighter festive restrictions for scotland, reducing a five—day window for mixing with other households indoors to just christmas day itself. let‘s hear what scotland‘s first minister had to say earlier. in order to reduce the risk of more of this strain being imported into scotland, we intend to maintain a strict travel ban between scotland and the rest of the uk. unfortunately, and i am genuinely sorry about this, that ban will remain in place right throughout the festive period. we simply cannot risk more of this new strain entering the country if we can possibly avoid it.
that means people from scotland not visiting other parts of the uk and vice versa, cross—border travel for all but the most essential purposes is not permitted. we‘re also asking police scotland and transport operators to consider how the enforcement of this can be strengthened in the period ahead although, of course, how that is done is an operational matter for the chief constable. we‘ll also be reviewing urgently over the next day or so the position on international travel, and i will update on that early next week, but, in the meantime, my strong advice continues to be against nonessential foreign travel. thirdly, we have already advised that, where possible, people should celebrate christmas at home in their own household and meet with others outdoors only. the five—day flexibility from the 23rd to the 27th of december was planned to recognise the impact of loneliness and the difficulty i know we all feel in leaving loved ones alone over christmas.
however, earlier this week, we advised that people should meet indoors with other households if at all on no more than one day over the five—day period. given the concern we now have about this new strain, we now intend to change the law to allow indoor mixing in a bubble on christmas day only from midnight on christmas day to midnight going into boxing day. in large parts of england, as the prime minister has just announced, that will not even be allowed. we will allow christmas day to go ahead but, as we have said from the start, only use this flexibility if you really truly need to. this new strain makes that message all the more important. our advice is still not to meet indoors, even on christmas day, with other households if you can possibly avoid it. if you had people travelling to join you for christmas from elsewhere in the uk, that will no
longer be permitted. equally, it will no longer be permitted for any of us to travel to anywhere in the rest of the uk for christmas. we simply cannot take the risk of this strain travelling from different parts of the uk. let‘s take a look at those restrictions in more details. the whole country will be moved into the tightest level of restrictions from boxing day. the first minister has introduced a travel ban for people coming into mainland scotland. and the relaxtion of the christmas rules in scotland will be limited to christmas day only. and for schools — the holiday period will be extended to the 11th january — but it will online learning only to the 18th january — apart from children of key workers. wales is also introducing tighter restrictions, with the whole country moving into lockdown from midnight. here‘s first minister mark drakeford. we‘ve had new information shared with us today about the new variant
and its seriousness and, as a result, as a cabinet, we have decided to bring forward to tonight the restrictions that were already planned for immediately after christmas and, over the christmas period itself, what would have been five days of relaxation are being collapsed simply into one day — christmas day itself. i know you were worried about that christmas period potentially being a super spreader event. are you still comfortable with that, even though it‘s just one day of relaxation? we know that there‘s more than one form of harm from coronavirus — there will be people who are lonely, who are isolated, who will have made plans for christmas day itself and, provided people go about it all carefully and responsibly, i think that is something we can accommodate, despite the seriousness of the situation we face. what about support for businesses then that will have to close from midnight? you‘ve already announced a package, but will that be accelerated in light
of the restrictions being accelerated? we‘re doing our best to bring it forward as fast as we can with our colleagues in local government, and i‘ve said today that any extra help that is made available to businesses in england, because of the prime minister‘s announcement, money that comes to wales because of that, all of that will be made available to businesses here in wales. the retail and hospitality sectors have faced unprecedented challenges this year because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses up and down the country. today‘s announcement that all nonessential shops will have to close and areas moving into tier 4 will be a further blow to retailers in the last weekend before christmas. 0ur in the last weekend before christmas. our business correspondent sports. all nonessential stores will have to close after today under tier 4. for
this small close shop in kent it‘s a huge blow. devastating of awful. we‘ve got another five days of trading up to christmas. take a lot of money potentially. and we weren‘t picking up any. this weekend, the last before christmas, normally be one of the busiest if not the busiest weekends of the year for retailers. just today more areas of england had moved to the tier 3 level of restrictions many shops staying open while entertainment venues closed apart from takeaways. the retailers organisation set even tighter restrictions would have severe consequences. previous lockdown cement that store sales have fallen by between one and a half to £2 billion a week and that obviously is going to be even greater at this time of year, so it‘s vital that future support is targeted to those businesses by
government that have been most affected. the best his group since afternoon said its rate the government take necessary steps it protect public health but that this news would be a real kick in the teeth purposes is already struggling badly. and we‘ll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers the political editor of the sunday mirror and the political commentatorjo phillips — that‘s coming up after the national bulletin with clive myrie. you‘re watching bbc news.
as large parts of england are placed under new, stringent coronavirus restrictions. the tougher rules affect those living in london, and large parts of the south east and east of england, and come in the wake of a rapidly spreading of covid—19. given the early evidence we have, on this new variant of the virus, the potential risk it poses, it is with a very heavy heart i must tell you we cannot continue with christmas as planned. wales will go into lockdown from midnight tonight, and scotland has banned all travel to the rest of the uk for the whole of the festive season. also tonight...
italy goes into a full national lockdown, to slow their rising number of coronavirus infections. and a decision is likely before christmas on whether or not a post brexit trade deal can be reached with the european union.. good evening. in a dramatic change of policy, millions of people across england have been placed under stringent new coronavirus restrictions for the festive season. borisjohnson made the announcement today after scientists said a mutation of covid—19 was spreading rapidly in london, the south east and east of england. the variant is said to be much more contagious, but doesn‘t cause more serious illness. wales and scotland tonight have also tightened their coronavirus rules.
well, from midnight tonight, new tier 4 restrictions come into force, affecting all current tier 3 areas in london, the south east and east of england. more than 17 milllion people are affected. the public is being asked to stay at home and there will be no so called ‘christmas bubbles‘ for gatherings. get—togethers will be restricted to meeting one other person in an open public space. nonessential shops will close, as well as gyms, beauty salons and hairdressers. for those living in tiers 1 to 3 in england, ‘christmas bubble‘ gatherings can only take place on christmas day. the original plan was for five days. meanwhile, all of wales will go into lockdown from midnight tonight, with the restrictions only eased for christmas day. scotland is also only limiting relaxing its rules to christmas day, with the highest level of restrictions coming into force for the whole country on boxing day. all travel to the rest of the uk is also banned for the festive season.
northern ireland has already announced it‘s new national lockdown, from december the 26th. with all the details, here‘s our political editor, laura kuenssberg. literally i sat in my chair in floods of tears. and messaging my family, you know, what are we going to do? leslie nelsen was planning a family christmas round the table in norfolk. the spare beds are made up, the presents bought. she spent the last two in hospital and fears this year might be her last. now her sister can‘t visit and her sons can‘t stay. itjust seems so unfair for somebody like me, i am terminally ill, i will not be here next christmas. people can think 0k, that‘s all right, we will celebrate christmas in the summer. i don‘t know if i‘m going to be here in the summer. my sister is going to be sitting at home by herself a hundred miles away. and her presents are under the tree.
but rising alarm about the new variant of the virus has left number ten feeling there simply is no choice. christmas plans have to be dropped and a third of the population is back under limited lockdown in less than two hours. it is with a very heavy heart i must tell you we cannot continue with christmas as planned. in england those living in tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household at christmas. though support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation. we have a particularly fast—moving problem with increased numbers in the area going into tier 4. but a generalised increase across the country. on wednesday you told me and our viewers it would be inhuman to change the plans. and now that is exactly what you have done. aren‘t the millions of people whose plans have just been torn up
entitled to feel that you just left this too late? listen, we of course bitterly regret the changes that are necessary but alas, when the facts change, you have to change your approach. professor whitty, if someone is packing a bag right now listening to or watching this, trying to leave the south—east by midnight tonight, what should they do? my short answer would be please unpack it at this stage. rules will only be relaxed for get—togethers on christmas day in scotland, too, and the next day, all of scotland‘s mainland will be under the tightest limits. travel to other parts of the uk will be banned. it makes me want to cry, as i‘m sure listening to it, many of you want to cry. because i know how harsh this sounds. i know how unfair it is. but this virus is unfair. but the new variant of the disease is already in wales so like the south—east of england, limited lockdown is coming into force at midnight. there are hundreds of people in wales who are suffering from this new variation and they are to be found in every single part of wales.
and those figures are very likely to be an underestimation of the prevalence of this variation. in northern ireland, from boxing day, there will already be six weeks of tougher restrictions. but conversations are ongoing about changes to christmas plans. and the uk opposition had already called for a national rethink. i‘m really frustrated because i raised this with the prime minister on wednesday and he dismissed that and went on to tell people to have a merry little christmas. only three days later to rip up their plans. and i think the british public is entitled to more decisive leadership than that. so plans are changing for millions. some rushing for a last—minute late—night trim before hairdressers across the south—east close again. itjust means that i'm probably going to work until 12 o'clock tonight just to fit a few more clients in. less than two hours until so many doors close again, less than a week until the strangest of christmases.
the end of a year of bizarre traditions, few would care to repeat. laura kuenssberg, bbc news. while the new variant of covid—19 is particularly prevelant in london and the south east of england, there‘s growing concern over its possible spread to other parts of the uk. in a moment we‘ll get the view from scotland with alexandra mackenzie in glasgow, but first let‘s speak to james williams in cardiff. not long to tell, midnight is when lockdown comes into force where you are. absolutely, three days after announcing tougher christmas wills and a wales wide lockdown from the 28th of december the 1st minister has accelerated and tightened restrictions in light of this new variant detected right across wales. suffer midnight the whole of wales will enter its third national lockdown and for christmas, two households will be able to meet plus one other single person household
but only for christmas day itself. following these announcements we seen following these announcements we seen huge following these announcements we seen huge queues following these announcements we seen huge queues at many welsh shops and many people trying to do it last—minute christmas shopping in person leading the first minister to call on them not to do that. these announcements will be a big blow to peoples plans and also to many welsh businesses but a sigh of relief i‘m sure from the welsh health leaders who have been urging the welsh government to introduce an immediate lockdown given the pressure on hospitals and wales having many of the highest case rates in the uk. and tougher rules in glasgow as well including a travel ban to the rest of uk? nicola sturgeon said she could have tried these announcements today. christmas was meant to be five days and now is down to just one day, just the 25th of december. people are not going to be allowed to travel, it will be illegal for people to travel between scotland
and the rest of the uk. people are being encouraged to have christmas at homejust within being encouraged to have christmas at home just within their household and not within that extended christmas bubble that we have talked about before. and men in scotland will go into level for restrictions on boxing day. that is pretty much lockdown and island communities will go to level three. the school pupils all expected to go back to school at the beginning of january all expected to go back to school at the beginning ofjanuary but some now will be studying at home, online learning, until at least the middle of january. alexandra mckenzie and james williams, thank you. let‘s take a look at the latest government coronavirus figures, and there were 27,052 new cases in the last 24—hour period, with the average number of new infections reported per day in the last week standing at 24,752.
534 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, that‘s of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. on average in the past week, there were 436 deaths per day, bringing the total number across the uk to 67,075. our medical editor, fergus walsh joins us now. what is the effect of this new variant? and how and why has it affected government thinking so radically? this new variant appears to be up to 70% more transmissible, thatis to be up to 70% more transmissible, that is very significant and crucially it does not appear to cause more significant disease but it makes it much harder to control the epidemic. it is thought that it could push the reproductive number of coronavirus up by not .4. it is
currently between 1.1 and 1.2 across the uk. it was first identified in kent in september and seems to just be one of these spontaneous mutations. it now accounts for six in ten cases in london and in the east of england but has spread throughout the uk. a virus will mutate all the time and in itself thatis mutate all the time and in itself that is not a concern and sometimes when they become more transmissible they become less lethal. coronavirus is actually much more stable than the flu, we need a new flu vaccine every year because it mutates such a lot. it is thought that the current tea m lot. it is thought that the current team to vaccine will still be effective against this new variant. 350,000 people in the uk have now had theirfirst dose 350,000 people in the uk have now had their first dose and the hope is that most over 65 is and vulnerable will be protected by easter but that isa will be protected by easter but that is a long way off and it is going to bea is a long way off and it is going to be a long winter of restrictions
ahead. fergus walsh, thank you. the retail and hospitality sectors have faced unprecedented challenges this year because of the pandemic, and today‘s announcement that all non—essential shops will have to close in areas moving into tier 4, is a further blow to retailers, on the last weekend before christmas. here‘s our business correspondent, katy austin. there were plenty of people shopping in london‘s oxford street this afternoon and shoppers queued to enter this department store in high wycombe while they still could. nonessential stores in england‘s tier 4 areas must close from tomorrow along with beauty businesses and gyms. it is a blow for this men‘s clothes shop in kent. it is devastating, awful. yeah, because we got another five days i think of trading up to christmas when, yeah, we would take a lot of money potentially. and we won‘t take a penny. this weekend, the last before christmas, would normally be one
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