you are north. all the details are on the website. you are watching north. all the details are on the website. you are watching bbc north. all the details are on the website. you are watching bbc news. millions of people in the uk have woken up good afternoon. millions of people are facing tougher covid restrictions as new rule changes have come into force across the uk. around six million more residents in east and south—east england have gone into tier 4 — england's highest level — and lockdowns have started in scotland and northern ireland. measures have also been reimposed in wales after being eased for christmas.
coronavirus deaths in the uk passed 70,000 on christmas day. daniela relph reports. high restrictions have returned and it shows. with christmas day done at the centre of southampton is empty. as new areas of southern and eastern england now find their lives restricted by even tighter rules. it's very, very quiet. it's unusual at this time of the year. so, yeah, it's strange and different stops some people are totally not seeing their family. it has caused friction in families. it would be nice if it could all come to an end and we could all come to an end and we could all come to an end and we could all be back to normal. the blue areas on the map are all now in tier 4, where you must stay at home u nless tier 4, where you must stay at home unless you need to travel for work or education. you may only meet one person at a time outside. nonessential retail closes, and you
shouldn't leave a tier 4 area. but elsewhere, there is a familiar look to boxing day. the prime minister had warned people to think carefully and avoid sales crowds. in leeds, though, still in tier 3, the prospect of a bike and drew some people out of. i always go to the sales on boxing day for bargains and i don't like doing online so i want to support the shops. enjoying it so far, just a shame we can't have a cup of coffee somewhere or a glass of wine. it's a lot quieter than we we re of wine. it's a lot quieter than we were expecting, it's a bit eerie but were expecting, it's a bit eerie but we got what we wanted and it was nice but the staff all looked a bit not as festive, as well. it's a different feeling. there is one activity the hardiest can still do despite restrictions. 0pen water swimming here in somerset has been a lap down comfort for many. it'sjust addictive, it's just lap down comfort for many. it'sjust addictive, it'sjust something lap down comfort for many. it'sjust addictive, it's just something that for your mental health, to keep you sort of balance and a reset from a
busyjob. sort of balance and a reset from a busy job. it's just sort of balance and a reset from a busyjob. it'sjust perfect. sort of balance and a reset from a busy job. it'sjust perfect. across the uk, harsher rules are now in force. made in scotland has moved into its toughest level of restrictions, and northern ireland, along with wales, is now in full lockdown. as we've been hearing, in northern ireland a six—week lockdown has begun with non—essential shops forced to close. hair salons must also shut, while pubs, cafes and restaurants are restricted to takeaway and delivery services. the measures will be reviewed in four weeks' time. here's our ireland correspondent, chris page. as soon as christmas day ended, the lockdown began. there are no seasonal sporting events in northern ireland on this 26th of december. racecourses and stadiums are silent. shoppers... as soon as christmas day ended, the lockdown began. there are
no sporting events in northern ireland on a 26th of december. racecourses and stadiums are silent. shoppers and sales are absent, too. instead, belfast city centre is shut it down. 0ne festive tradition that is allowed, though, is a brisk and breezy boxing day walk. people said tighter restrictions were for the best. 0h, tighter restrictions were for the best. oh, i think it's tighter restrictions were for the best. 0h, ithink it's very necessary. it's a good thing and anything to keep us safe. necessary. it's a good thing and anything to keep us safelj necessary. it's a good thing and anything to keep us safe. i think it's best everybody stays safe. we just have to do it. i think it's ok. lockdown is in place from today until early february. pubs and restau ra nts until early february. pubs and restaurants have been hit particularly ha rd restaurants have been hit particularly hard at what is usually a popular time of year to eat out. particularly hard at what is usually a popular time of year to eat outlj know the health of people is just paramount and it protects the nhs, but we were given very, very short notice on some of the lockdown is and we had got a lot of stock in, staff had to be organised and it has
a very big financial impact on all hospitality trade. the devolved government has said it had no option but to take strong action because infections, hospitalisations and deaths have been rising throughout this month. everyone in this part of the uk is hoping this lockdown will be the last. chris page, bbc news, belfast. tier 4 restrictions have been reimposed in wales after yesterday's relaxation of the rules which allowed two households to mix for christmas day only. all but essential shops are closed and people have been told to "stay at home to save lives". latest figures from the office of national statistics suggest the virus is infecting one in 60 people in wales. meanwhile, scotland has moved into the toughest level of coronavirus restrictions. 0ur correspondent alexandra mackenzie joins us now from glasgow. just explain the latest restrictions there in scotland. well, from one
minute past midnight, most of scotla nd minute past midnight, most of scotland went into the toughest level of coronavirus restrictions. all of mainland scotland, plus aaron and sky, were moved into it level four. other island communities were moved up into level 3. now level 4 is pretty much lockdown. hospitality had to close, nonessential retail, headdresses and gyms all had to close. nicola sturgeon has not ruled out tightening the restrictions within level 4 over the next few days if she has to. now this has all happened because of a growing concern in the rise of the number of cases in scotland, and also the number of cases, around a third now, that are being connected to the new strain of the virus. these are due to be in place for three weeks but they will be reviewed after two weeks. now, no travel is allowed between council areas, and the
travel ban between scotland and the rest of the uk remains in place. so very tough days ahead for many people across scotland. indeed, alexandra, many thanks indeed. and wherever you live in the uk, you can find out what the rules are in your area, by entering your postcode in our interactive tool — you can find it online at the bbc news website or on our app. a trial has begun of an experimental antibody treatment which could offer emergency protection against covid—i9. the treatment is designed to be given to people who've been exposed to the virus within the previous eight days. researchers hope it could stop them developing coronavirus. the met office has warned of severe gales and heavy rain as storm bella approaches the uk. yesterday, more than a thousand people in bedfordshire were advised to leave their homes because of flooding. evacuation centres have been set up to help those affected. anisa kadri reports.
i rise in the river at levels he had caused rising anxiety. i300 households were told to evacuate after heavy rainfall, with people urged to stay elsewhere. police said the flooding situation overrides the requirement to stay in your own home according to tier 4 coronavirus restrictions. with the restrictions we we re restrictions. with the restrictions we were all kind of eating in our own homes and so forth. we have ended up doing kind of what we have donein ended up doing kind of what we have done in the past few years anyway, so done in the past few years anyway, so oddly enough it has ended up being more sociable christmas than we we re being more sociable christmas than we were planning on. debit ward had police turn up at the door late on christmas eve telling her she should evacuate, but she chose not to. our toilets are not working, we have not been able to have a shower. 0ur pet, we have had to rehome her to our daughters because she can't go in
the garden because it is completely flooded, and obviously just, the garden because it is completely flooded, and obviouslyjust, you know, you worry, panic. it was rising quite fast and has come up but luckily it has not reached the top of our state and come in the house. benefit international athletic stadium was one of the emergency assistance centres set up for people who have nowhere else to go out. people have had a terrible time. we have had all of the measures in place to protect people from the spread of the virus. christmas day yesterday, boxing day today, obviously, and our heights just go out to people that have now, with all of that going on, have now had some of the highest level floods for over 20 years thrown at them. you can see the river's water levels have risen. the water is seeping onto this path here and the bin submerged in the water is proving to be quite the photo opportunity this morning. the environment agency and other authorities are keeping a close eye on the situation. more rain is expected as different parts
of the country prepare for a storm bella. anisa kadri, bbc news. the former mi6 officer george blake, who became one of the cold war‘s most infamous double agents, has died, according to russian media reports. he was 98. as as a soviet spy blake handed over information that led to the betrayal of at least a0 mi6 agents in eastern europe. 0ur moscow correspondent steve rosenberg reports. he had a russian cone, a russian wife, even a russian name. but george blake was a british intelligence officer who became one of the most no tory is double agents of the most no tory is double agents of the most no tory is double agents of the cold war. he spied for the soviets for nearly a decade. blake had spent three years in captivity in north korea, and by the time he returned to britain in 1953 he was a committed communist. posted to berlin by mi6, he became a kgb mole. he would take the train to the
soviet sector, hand over data on western intelligence operations, and western intelligence operations, and western agents, and then drink champagne with his kgb handler. may be 500, 600. agents, you betrayed 500 or 600 agents? may be. blake convinced himself that what he was doing was morally right. convinced himself that what he was doing was morally rightlj convinced himself that what he was doing was morally right. i looked upon it likea doing was morally right. i looked upon it like a sort of voluntary job. you know, like people... oxfam with yellow yes, something like that. he was eventually jailed in britain for 42 years. he was able to escape and smuggled to germany and spent the rest of his life in moscow cocking a snoop at the brits who had not succeeded in keeping him. cocking a snoop at the brits who had not succeeded in keeping himm 2012 he told a russian tv channel that he had not changed sides because of blackmail or torture. he had offered his services voluntarily. in a message of
condolence, president sonu vladimir putin described him as courageous, and outstanding professional, adding that his memory it would remain in russian heights for ever. russia gave him medals and much praise, but to britain he is the cold war traitor who escaped justice. the former mi6 officer george blake, who has died aged 98. that's it from me. now on bbc one, it's time for the news where you are. goodbye. you're watching the bbc news channel. i'm ben brown. let's get more on the news that the met office has warned of 70 miles—per—hour gales and heavy rain, as storm bella approaches the uk. three severe flood warnings are in place in england.
in bedfordshire, police officers have visited more than 1,300 homes near the river great 0use, advising residents to leave as it reaches record levels. there are also alerts in place in northamptonshire. georgina burnham was evacuated from her home at billing aquadrome, in northampton, on christmas eve — she told me that she doesn't know when she'll be allowed to go home. on christmas eve, ijust popped out to get us some post. my road really wasn't flooded that badly to begin with, and as i was leaving billing aquadrome i noticed there was quite a queue coming back in. and by the time i'd got my post and come back, i wasn't allowed back. i had nothing on me, i only had slippers on. i was advised by the police that we were not going to be allowed in, especially by vehicle. i did get told that if i could get some wellies i might be able to get back on by foot. by the time i'd gone and got my wellies from tesco, came back, we were told we were not allowed unless we parked about a mile away and walked. all the gates were closed, we had to climb over. thankfully i had some very nice
friends that came and helped me. by the time we got onto site, the water was knee—high, and you just could not tell what was lake and what was road. there were a lot of people stuck on decking, in their things. some people have not been able to get to their pets, and still aren't allowed to get to their pets. so they've been there for a couple of days, not been checked on. it's just pretty stressful. i know there have been a couple that have got covid, so they've not wanted to go to a hotel. they are stuck on billing aquadrome with no electricity or heating, just waiting to find out when things are going to go back to normal and when we're going to be able to go back on site. what a way to spend christmas, stuck in your slippers, and you had to buy some wellies. my friends were amazing. and it did end up being a bit of fun. the community of billing was amazing, everyone really got together, helped each other. bless the security
guards, they have been working to help and rescue as many people as they could. and the emergency services have been great. very frustrating, and obviously i've got three young nieces and nephews so i had to get their presents, otherwise it would have been over for them. it was stressful. you don't know when you will be back. we were just looking at the pictures that you took, and the water's pretty high. what's the latest state of the flooding? to be honest, we haven't heard much from billing aquadrome themselves. it's been the northampton police, and there is a facebook group where the community keeps each other updated. so the people that are still on there say there is still no electricity. some parts of the park, the water is gone down quite a bit. but other parts are still pretty underwater. i mean, i have got decking, and mine was up to the top step.
i don't know if i've got any damage inside or not. none of us really know. it's all a bit of hearsay, what we are hearing from other people. we are not too sure if we will be allowed back on tomorrow. i think they are waiting to see if this next storm comes. not an ideal way to spend christmas, but you do seem to be in good spirits. well, if you do not laugh about it, you will cry about it. a former conservative mp, brian binley, has passed away at the age of 78. mr binley was elected twice to represent northampton south, first in 2005 and again in 2010. he died at northampton general hospital yesterday. let's bring you an update on the situation with the lorry drivers in kent — you'll remember that thousands of drivers were stuck there, at manston airport, waiting to cross
the english channel, after france imposed a travel ban over covid concerns. particularly the new variant of coronavirus. that ban was later eased, and drivers are now allowed to travel on the condition they first test negative for coronavirus. the transport secretary grant shapps says more than 15,000 coronavirus tests have now been carried out, with just 36 of them coming in positive. he added that manston airport is now empty and lorries should no longer head there. well, these are the latest pictures we're getting from manston airport, and you can see that the congestion has indeed eased, compared to the gridlock we saw earlier in the week. over 8,000 hgvs have passed over the border since 23 december. but around 1,600 lorries are still believed to be held up on the m20.
lets get more on the news that one of the most notorious cold war spies — george blake — has died in moscow, aged ninety—eight. blake was a soviet double agent working in the british secret service. he was caught and jailed in 1960, but escaped from prison in london five years later and fled to the soviet union. let's go live to our moscow correspondent, steve rosenberg. an extraordinary double life, and a great spy story. but it was, it was said, responsible forthe great spy story. but it was, it was said, responsible for the deaths of dozens said, responsible for the deaths of d oze ns of said, responsible for the deaths of dozens of british agents? you hear different figures. some people even say hundreds. and it is believed that some of the agents he exposed we re that some of the agents he exposed were later executed by the soviet union. he has claimed in previous yea rs union. he has claimed in previous years that he was not forced to become a soviet spy. he did it for moral reasons. he said he became a
committed communist during the korean war. he was in captivity in northern korea for three years. that was where he became a communist, where he beat started working for the kgb, and just under a decade he was passing a lot of information to moscow, information about western intelligence operations, like the secret tunnel that was built under the soviet sector in berlin to listen into soviet military communications. he told the soviets all about that and exposed agents. in the ayes of britain, he was a traitor. but in the ayes of russia he was a hero. and only last month, president putin sent him a birthday ca rd president putin sent him a birthday card celebrating him on his 98th birthday, and mr putin sent his condolences today. it is really
interesting because, if you go through what the kremlin leader has said about treachery in the past, he says it is the biggest crime. he says it is the biggest crime. he says it is a sin. but obviously that goes for russians betraying russia. when it comes to british intelligence officers betraying britain, that is clearly a different matter. yeah, if you are betraying the enemy it is a different thing. he was an incredible character, wasn't he? an incredible double agent. but also come escape. having been caught and imprisoned in london, then to escape and managed to flee to the soviet union. absolutely. what a story. he was in workman's scraps, and he was meant to be serving 42 years. but he got out, escaped, ithink to be serving 42 years. but he got out, escaped, i think he fractured his wrist in the escape. he was held in various safe houses for a couple of months, and then he was swirled out of the country. i think he had a camper van. he eventually made his
way to the soviet union, where he eventually acquired a russian wife and a russian name. that is how he was referred to here in russia. there was a big documentary on russian television about him, i think eight years ago, which was fascinating. it showed pictures of him and his russian life, and looking at the meadows he was given by the russian authorities. and he was one of the most important espionage agents in the cold war, really, wasn't he? absolutely. was he the most damaging? that is difficult to say. he had some competition. kim philby, for example. certainly, there is no doubt that he did a lot of damage to britain, and to britain and western intelligence, over a long period of time. it is quite interesting. you hear a lot about british traitors in
the russian media. a couple of years ago, there was a lot of praise for kim philby. in moscow, there is a kim philby. in moscow, there is a kim philby. in moscow, there is a kim philby square, and i think that relates that relationships between russia and the uk are so bad that traitors are praised here in russia. so would be surprised if at some point in the future we got a george blake street, or a george blake avenue. things seem to be going in that avenue. you mentioned putin. he was in the kgb. he seems to love the whole world of espionage, doesn't he? that is one thing that vladimir putin and george blake have in common. vladimir putin very often refers to intelligence agents, praising russian agents, so i expect we will hear quite a bit about george blake in the media here in the next few days. good to talk to you.
thousands of shops across the uk won't be opening for the traditional boxing day sales today — because of the lockdowns in wales and northern ireland, and tough new restrictions in england and scotland. it follows a difficult year for the retail industry, which is calling for more government support. vivienne nunis reports. end—of—year sales have been attracting crowds for decades. newsreel announcer: they're here again — the sales and the queues. you can't afford to miss a good bargain these days. some all—night queuers receive a welcome surprise — an early morning cuppa to warm them up for the battle ahead. but in 2020, with tier 4 restrictions in england, restrictions in scotland and lockdown in northern ireland and wales, many of the uk's high street stores will be empty today, leaving scores of boxing day bargain hunters forced to shop online. for many retailers, the key christmas trading period has been severely disrupted.
footfall for december is down by 45% compared with 2019. the retail industry body is calling for government support to continue beyond next april. we've seen some administrations, somejob losses, some store closures, so making sure that that support is targeted to those businesses as we move into 2021 is going to be really vital, you know, to ensure that we don't see more job losses and more store closures. stores in manchester and birmingham will be among those to open today, some with a cap on customer numbers and digital queueing systems in place. for those looking to find a good deal, the biggest discounts are expected to be in fashion, as retailers look to off—load excess stock. but, after a year of rolling sales from many of the stores, retail analysts say some shoppers may be experiencing sale fatigue —
more bad news for an industry that's endured a year like no other. vivienne nunis, bbc news. certainly a year like no other. it's been difficult 2020 for many of us — but for one baby boy in the uk — 2020 was extraordinarily special. ethan had been awaiting a heart transplant. well, this year, he got one. tim muffett caught up with the family as they prepared for a very different christmas to the one they faced last year. relief, despair, sadness and joy — it has been an extraordinary yearfor all of us. but for ethan and his family, 2020 has been truly remarkable. it's been a long year and a rollercoaster. the last year, he has lived in great 0rmond street hospital on the urgent heart transplant list, waiting for a transplant. we met richard and roselelia 12 months ago. their son ethan was born
with a heart defect and was reliant on an artificial heart machine, but time was running out. in the summer, we received that call and ethan was given a second chance, and yeah, it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. when you received that call, what went through your mind? it's hard to talk or say anything. i rang my mum, and i was... i could barely tell you. and i was practically bawling, and i only said the word heart, and my mum and my sister thought something had happened to ethan. they thought he had actually died, they thought that was what i was ringing to say. and i finally got myself together and said no, no, he's got a heart, and then they started crying. we're crying because it is relief, but then we're crying because someone has lost their little one. they have lost their whole world. what do you say to that family today? i don't even think words can describe it. thank you is not enough. i think i need to come
up with another word — i don't know what it is, but yes, just thank you so much. thank you. what's it like having ethan back? amazing, and i'm very excited. i love him lots and lots. it's not the first time this family has been so grateful for an organ donation. two years ago, richard also had a heart transplant. we've both just been so lucky with donors saying yes and giving us that chance at life, and i got a chance to be a dad. someone has given me the chance to carry on being a dad. in may, the law in england changed so that most adults are now considered to be potential organ donors unless they specifically opt out. that has been the case in wales for five years. scotland will follow suit in march. now, many welcome the change, but it does not apply to children. what do you think about that?
everyone has their own opinion on what they want to do. just have those discussions today. studies have found that families after have said that, if they could go back, they would have said yes. but at that moment in time, that was the first time that they had ever thought about it. are you able to, if you wanted to, make contact with the donor family? so, we're able to write a letter to them. we would send that letter via the transplant team at great 0rmond street. they would then pass that on to the family, and it would be for the family, if they want to make contact, or respond back to us. i hope that they do, because i would love them to meet us and meet ethan. this year, so many gifts given and received will feel extra special, but sometimes appreciation and gratitude goes beyond words. tim muffett, bbc news. now it's time for a
look at the weather. hello. some stormy weather is only way for the next 24 hours as storm bella bears down on the country. the rain is with us in northern and western areas, gradually spreading southwards and eastward through the day. just showers mainly for england and wales, and a relatively mild speu and wales, and a relatively mild spell of weather. with those wins escalating after dark. that is when we are expecting the strongest winds, the heaviest rain. sweeping its way across england and wales. another 10—20 millimetres. we still have severe flood warnings in force. the potential for further flooding and damaging winds across southern wales and southern england. gusts of 80 mph could bring down trees and power lines. we are anticipating some further flooding issues. power lines. we are anticipating some furtherflooding issues. behind it, back into the cold air with the risk of wintry showers further 00:29:59,846 --> 2147483051:51:45,278 north. all the details are on the 2147483051:51:45,278 --> 00:00:00,186 website.