it's the proportion and responsible thing to move to plan b in england. from monday people are being asked to work from home if possible. from this friday the legal requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to most indoor venues. the nhs covid pass will be mandatory for entry into indoor crowded places that rule will be extended to large outdoor sporting events. a negative lateral flow test will be allowed. meanwhile the coronavirus booster vaccine campaign is expanded now anyone over a0 in england can now book theirjab. the premise has asked for an investigation after a video emerged of his team laughing about at downing street christmas party. i can understand how infuriating it must be to think that the people who have been setting the rules have
not been following the rules mr speaker as i was also furious to see that clip. millions of people now think the prime minister was taking them for fools, and that they were lied to, they're right, aren't they? his fictional party was a business meeting — his fictional party was a business meeting and _ his fictional party was a business meeting and it _ his fictional party was a business meeting. and it was _ his fictional party was a business meeting. and it was not - his fictional party was a business meeting. and it was not sociallyl meeting. and it was not socially distanced — and allegra stratton who led that mock downing street press briefing has quit as the prime minister's adviser. to all of you who lost loved ones, who endured intolerable loneliness and he struggled with your businesses, i am truly sorry, and this afternoon, i am offering my resignation to the prime minister.
borisjohnson has announced that he's strengthening coronavirus restrictions in england implementing the government's "plan b" to help slow the spread of the omicron variant. it comes as the prime minister apologised for a video that showed his staffjoking about a christmas party last december and ordered an inquiry led by the cabinet secretary. but speaking to mps, he said he had been "repeatedly assured" that there was no party. tonight the metropolitan police says it will not investigate the allegations due to an "absence of evidence." more on that in a moment but let's take a look at those new restrictions for england introduced by the government. from friday tenth december face masks will be compulsory in most public venues, including theatres and cinemas. from monday the 13th, people will be asked to work from home where they can.
and from later next week, having an nhs covid pass will be mandatory for entry into nightclubs and some other venues. and self isolation will be replaced by daily testing for contact of covid positive people. with the latest on the downing street party and those new restrictions here's our political editor laura kuesnnberg. even when there is official silence, there can be a lot of noise. there is no real hiding behind blacked out windows. should the prime minister come clean about the party? ministers hustling away from defending number ten. why would anyone trust the government after you don't follow your own — government after you don't follow your own rules? after seven days, the fiasco around downing street toss festivities under his roof, it was really down to one man to explain. have you lied to the
public, prime minister? would it be good enough, after his staff were caught on camera joking about a party last christmas that broke the covid rules? you be thejudge. i understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing number ten staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures. and i can understand how infuriating it must be to think that the people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules, mr speaker, because i was also furious to see that clip. mr speaker, i apologise unreservedly. i have asked the cabinet secretary to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible. the prime minister, the government, spent the week telling the british public there was no party, all guidance was followed completely, and millions of people now think the prime minister
was taking them for fools. and that they were lied to. i have been repeatedly assured that no rules were broken. still unable to give the commons or you the full story of what really happened. even behind the mask, his cabinet colleagues wishing they were anywhere but there. borisjohnson himself, his head down, in more ways than one. does the prime minister think he has the moral authority to lead and to ask the british people to stick to the rules? throughout this pandemic, the leader of the opposition in particular has done nothing but play politics to try and muddy the waters, to confuse the public. the prime minister may think there has to be an investigation into what happened, but millions of us have seen what seems to be toe curling confirmation something went on. what's the answer?
for the aids joking about how they would explain away a party that broke covid rules. it was a business meeting. and it was not socially distanced. allegra stratton, who did most of the talking in the leaked footage, quitting this afternoon, last year's christmas laughter turning to tears. can we stop these? she has paid with thejob. the british people have made immense sacrifices in the ongoing battle against covid—i9 and i now fear my comments in the leaked video of the 20th of december last year have become a distraction in that fight. my remarks seemed to make light of the rules. rules that people were doing everything to obey. that was never my intention. i will regret those remarks and will do for the rest of my days and i offer my profound apologies to all of you at home, to all of you who lost loved ones, who endured intolerable loneliness and who struggled with your businesses, i am truly sorry, and this afternoon i am offering my resignation to the prime minister. thanks for your time.
her exit isn't the end of this. there are claims of other parties in downing street last year, even in the prime minister's flat, when socialising was off—limits. that is denied, but this mess has given the snp the vigour to call for the prime minister to quit. the prime minister has a duty, the only right and moral choice left to him, it is for his resignation. when can we expect it? and a moment for mps to raise the agony of constituents who lost loved ones. she is devastated and appalled at recent revelations as to what has gone on in downing street. it'ss something i will never get over, honestly. - jane rusch, who lost her father and sister. when i saw that video sickens me, i was disgusted, thinking, - how can they laugh when so many people through so much - heartache and pain? i find it very hard to swallow, to take instruction _
from the government, especially after this. you know, it leaves me not trusting them. - i feel there has been lie after lie, and this has been the nail- in the coffin, to be honest. this is a miserable and dangerous moment for downing street, it's not just about whether a few dozen staff had drinks in there last year but whether the truth has been told, whether you can put your faith in what government says from day to day, or guidance or even demands from ministers about what you have to do. with the virus creeping back and tighter restrictions too, it's no time for authority to be draining away. alarm has been increasing in cabinet about covid, called to a last—minute meeting today, but the timing of tonight's announcement has been a surprise to some. we can't yet assume that omicron is less severe than previous variants, so while the picture may get better, and i sincerely hope that it will,
we know that the remorseless logic of exponential growth could lead to a big rise in hospitalisations and therefore sadly deaths. that is why it is now the proportionate and responsible thing to move to plan b in england. how can you stand at that lectern, exactly where some of your team laughed and joked about current rules, and tell people they must now follow your new instructions? are you really asking the public to believe that you had no idea what was going on under your own roof? the british public, notwithstanding the point that you make, can see the vital importance of the medical information that we are giving, and they can see the need to take it to heart and to act upon it. borisjohnson may be pushing the button on plan b to cope with the pandemic but this christmas, the prime minister and the tories
may need a plan b for his leadership too. laura kuenssberg, bbc news. we have been getting reaction to the announcement of new restrictions in england, reaction from labour�*s shadow health secretary. it’s reaction from labour's shadow health secreta . �* , , reaction from labour's shadow health secreta . �*, , . ., reaction from labour's shadow health secreta . 3 ,~ ., ., �* secretary. it's very clear that i'm serious risk _ secretary. it's very clear that i'm serious risk to _ secretary. it's very clear that i'm serious risk to public _ secretary. it's very clear that i'm serious risk to public health - secretary. it's very clear that i'm serious risk to public health and | serious risk to public health and the government needs to take urgent action and put in place urgent measures to deal with that, and despite the despite the fact the government are clearly in trouble with their own back benches, we are not playing party politics at this, we will put the national interest first, public health first and support the measures. despite what we have seen in the last 2a hours, 48 hours we have seen in the last 24 hours, 48 hours and the damage that has done to public trust, we would urge people to do the right thing and support the measures in spite of the prime minister because public health relies on it. lets talk to our political correspondent who relies on it. lets talk to our - political correspondent who joins us live from westminster. what a day politically and downing street. all
of these allegations about the christmas party from last year or parties, plural, and also the announcement of plan b restrictions. i suppose one of the questions is will the public be inclined to follow those restrictions given that the allegation at least is that downing street officials didn't a year ago. downing street officials didn't a ear auo. . �* , �* downing street officials didn't a earauo. . ﬂ �* ., �*, year ago. that's right, ben. that's the concern. _ year ago. that's right, ben. that's the concern. i _ year ago. that's right, ben. that's the concern, i think. _ year ago. that's right, ben. that's the concern, i think. certainly - year ago. that's right, ben. that'sl the concern, i think. certainly what borisjohnson is saying at the press conference has effectively whether he is trusted or not for me he was putting his trust in the british people to do the right thing. the chief scientific adviser sir patrick ballin said much the same. while that press conference is taking place, a debate was taking place simultaneously in the house of commons on the new measures. sajid javid the health secretary was giving a pretty hard time from some of his own backbenchers. so the question you played was also pledged effectively by the former cheap wit who is saying, you know coming for rules when followed up our christmas
parties, why should anyone be following the new rules, the new restrictions now? some people were more outspoken on new restrictions that the conservative mp philip davis described as arbitrary socialist measures. so, you can see just the distance between boris johnson and some of his own mps. some of them actually don't like the new restrictions and frankly, people shouldn't necessarily be following them until and unless they see more evidence on why they would be brought in, for example, the former cabinet minister wondered whether the prime minister wasjumping the gun before he had more data on the omicron variants. others think the restrictions should be followed, but like labour are worried that they won't be because people don't trust the pay minister. westminster is also saying, you take the letter in that interview, but labour wanted to remove brycejohnson as pay minister at the general election from he's also urging conservative mps to try
to remove the prime minister sooner. ian, thank you very much. our political correspondent. we will —— and we'll find out how this story and many others are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30 this evening in the papers our guestsjoining me tonight are geri scott, political correspondent at the press association and olivia utley, assistant comment editor at the telegraph. as we heard in today's downing street press conference experts believe the new omicron variant of coronavirus spreads more rapidy than the delta variant. minutes of a meeting of the government's scientific advisers held on tuesday and seen by the bbc say that decision makers will need to look urgently at new covid restrictions, to limit transmission. our health editor hugh pym reports from preston. shoppers in preston today thinking about christmas, but with many questions over the what the next few weeks will bring. there is much which is not known about the new variant, but scientific experts and modellers have become increasingly certain
that omicron does pose a threat. case numbers of omicron are doubling at least every three days, maybe even every two days at the moment. so it is accelerating very fast and to put that in context, it is the same if not faster than we sort with the original strain of the virus in march of last year so it is a concern. minutes of the meeting of the expert sage committee yesterday, seen by the bbc, say that with the speed of growth seen, decision—makers will need to consider response measures urgently to reduce transmission if the aim is to reduce the likelihood of unsustainable pressure on the nhs. referring to any possible new measures, the minutes say adherence is likely to be higher if messaging and policy have clear rationales and are consistent. covid numbers in hospital are much lower than injanuary but any increase will add to the intense strain being felt now on the front line.
the health care system is already facing a winter emergency and it is really very, very difficult to see how we can cope with that increase in covid patients so the government is right and the public is right to want to do everything it can to minimise the risk of this virus spreading more quickly. a central part of the plan has been accelerating the booster vaccine programme. maria has just become eligible and she booked up for herjab at this centre in preston this morning. it's not just about yourself, . it's about everybody, isn't it? yeah, really important, _ and i kind of can't understand why people don't have it. i i think it is our duty to protect. each other that we have it, yeah. the time between second and booster doses for those aged 40 and over has been halved to three months in england from today. there is already a similar policy in scotland. that means more staff will be required at this centre and others. i am concerned about the staff,
and the levels of staff. it is not that we cannot recruit, go out and recruit staff, it is finding those staff that are available to come and help support the programme so, for example, we did have community pharmacy in over the weekend, helping support and give some vaccinations. more data and more evidence about the spread and impact of omicron is still required but there is a clear view that preventive measures, including the faster booster roll—out, have to be taken. hugh pym, bbc news. let's ta ke let's take a look at today's latest coronavirus figures for the uk show there were 51,342 new infections recorded in the latest 24 hour period. on average, there were over 48 and a half thousand new cases reported per day in the seven days. the latest figures show there were over 7,000 people in hospital being treated for coronavirus as of yesterday. 161 deaths were recorded, that's of people who died within 28
days of a positive covid 19 test. on average in the past week, 121 covid related deaths were recorded every day. on vaccinations, over 21 million people have now had a boosterjab. i reminded than of the coronavirus measures that are now in place across the uk. in scotland, wales, northern ireland, face coverings are already compulsory and public transport and in shops, so that hasn't changed. people are also being asked to work from home and vaccine passports are needed for venues including cinemas, clubs and bars. today's announcement brings england in line with the rest of the united kingdom. nicholas sturgeon, the first minister of scotland, has been tweeting about england's new coronavirus restrictions. she says...
sir patrick balance, who is the uk government's chief scientific adviser was asked in the number ten briefing today, in relation to that alleged downing street party whether he was concerned the public would follow the new plan b restrictions. the measures work because people follow them, and that has been shown time and time again. it's important that everyone follows that, it's incredibly important throughout, it will be incredibly important going forward, and it only works if we all do it. we are now facing a viral variants that is rapidly progressing. it's got a doubling time between progressing. it�*s got a doubling time between 2—
progressing. it's got a doubling time between 2— three days, and measures need to be taken to try and slow the spread of that variants as well as community think this is important, as all boosting our own defences by getting a boosterjab. the rules are there quite carefully thought through and given scientific evidence, and they are there because they are important and they are there for everybody to stick to. let's talk to behavioural psychologist, honey langcasterjames. shejoins us to she joins us to talk about whether people will follow these plan b restrictions, given all of these allegations they have been hearing for the last few days about that alleged downing street party, or even more than one party. do you think that is going to have an influence on people's compliance with the new rules? i influence on people's compliance with the new rules?— influence on people's compliance with the new rules? i think we have to look at this _ with the new rules? i think we have to look at this from _ with the new rules? i think we have to look at this from a _ with the new rules? i think we have to look at this from a social - to look at this from a social psychology perspective. one of the things that we know is when we are going to respect authority, we do generally do that more readily if we
see our authority figures as having integrity and following the same rules, that there is rationale behind it. ithink rules, that there is rationale behind it. i think one of the things we need to bear in mind is that we don't actually know what happened there, and i know there's been some controversy around whether there was a party or wasn't a party, one of the things that worries me psychologically is that we have a tendency to get whipped up on these media stories and it can actually have an impact on the behaviour of people in society. i wouldn't want to see that happen because i personally believe that we should be trusting the experts, actually, the message that the government, mps transmit to us are based on the science and based on those experts working behind the scenes. i trust what they have to say. so one of the things i would caution against is being too quick to maybe judge what did or didn't happen perhaps because the media is, you know, blown this up the media is, you know, blown this up into a big story, right at a
point when we need to have the faith and trust in the experts. we need to trust that they have our best interests at heart, because we all want to be with our families at christmas are doing the best we can through the christmas period, and we don't want this new variant to derail that by causing problems for the nhs or anything else. one of the things i do know and hear a lot is that lots of people are just exhausted by it all. lots of people just want to get on with their lives. we have got a much better chance of making that happen, i think, if we follow the directives of the experts because they know what they are talking about more than you or i do.— than you or i do. some of those directors. _ than you or i do. some of those directors. for— than you or i do. some of those directors, for example - than you or i do. some of those directors, for example the - than you or i do. some of those directors, for example the work than you or i do. some of those - directors, for example the work from home guidance, work from home where you can. isuppose home guidance, work from home where you can. i suppose a lot of people will actually welcome that because they quite like working from home. some well. i think that's the thing about this pandemic overall, it's not 1—size—fits—all as to how we respond to it. it very much depends
on our unique circumstances. there will be some people who at the moment our thinking, well, will be some people who at the moment ourthinking, well, i actually went to see my family across christmas and i don't want to be going into the office, i don't want to be travelling because they don't want to risk getting sick across the christmas period and they might welcome this change and say great, now we can stay at home and minimise the risks. there will be some other people who are quite isolated at home or perhaps really enjoy going back into the office because it gives them a sense of normality, and we do get a lot of social benefits from working alongside our colleagues. for them it may be quite difficult, or perhaps there people who have got childcare responsibilities or other responsibilities at home that it makes it difficult for them to work. so like with many aspects of this pandemic, it isn't1—size—fits—all, it's going to be very much down to your unique circumstances as to whether this is welcome news or unwelcome news. of course, you also have different perspectives on the management of the pandemic in
general which affects the way we listen to ready and want to buy into the rules are not. i listen to ready and want to buy into the rules are not.— the rules are not. i wonder if you think peeple _ the rules are not. i wonder if you think people might be _ the rules are not. i wonder if you think people might be compliant| the rules are not. i wonder if you i think people might be compliant to the rules because we have this very intent people are actually quite nervous about it because we just don't know how dangerous it is. we know it's more transmissible, but not how dangerous it is, whether it is more likely to make a seriously ill or even to kill us. so perhaps people will comply with the rules because they really don't want to see it spreading.— see it spreading. well, again, i think some _ see it spreading. well, again, i think some people _ see it spreading. well, again, i think some people will- see it spreading. well, again, i think some people will be - see it spreading. well, again, i| think some people will be more nervous, and i think some people in general are wanting to actually do everything they can to avoid risk, including having your booster and readily wearing masks. those people often tell me that they welcome when restrictions come in because it means that it's less awkward for them if they have to say to people i'm not coming in or i'm going to weara i'm not coming in or i'm going to wear a hope you don't mind, whatever else. i think there will be some people who are anxious, there will
be others more and sceptical about the virus in general who perhaps see this additional restriction as being an affront on their liberty, and for them, maybe they are just feeling they are absolutely sick of it, over a document that kind of burn—out that we get to. i think we are probably are nearing the limits of our own resilience. we have been through so much. we had two years now i've repeated stress and strain and changes and adaptations. that takes its toll on us emotionally, psychologically and physically as well i'm of the effects of stress, so i think many of us are at that point at the moment. it's also difficult coming into winter, it's difficult coming into winter, it's difficult where lots of people have got to play in christmas. i think the only way forward is to keep talking to our loved ones, keep talking to our loved ones, keep talking to our loved ones, keep talking to those people close to us about how we feel, expressing that, if we are frustrated, express that.
ultimately, band together and do what needs to be done to reduce the risk. i want to look ahead at a 2022 where we can put this pandemic behind us to some extent, and i think we've got more chance of doing that if we actually follow the guidelines that are coming from the experts who ultimately are looking at the data and doing what needs to be done. no one wants these restrictions. no one wants to be in the position of telling people to stay—at—home, wear masks and do those things, but they are doing that because they feel it is going to help. bill that because they feel it is going to hel. �* ., , that because they feel it is going tohel.�* ., , ., to help. all right, honey lancaster james, behaviour— to help. all right, honey lancaster james, behaviour psychologist, i thank you very much indeed. the advice in england to from home again if you can will have a major impact on businesses and employees. the guidance was lifted in mid—july, along with most covid restrictions. there's currently no formal advice to work from home in wales and northern ireland — though it is being encouraged — but in scotland the government already advises working from home wherever possible. our business editor simonjack has been getting the reaction from businesses and workers.
we are all in need of a bit of christmas cheer but in manchester this evening, the fears felt a bit flat for some. i think it's better for us to be in the workplace with our colleagues, supporting each other. working from home has really isolated so it's just not an option. others felt better prepared this time round. when we did the first lockdown and we had to work from home, we didn't know what we were up against and i feel we are in a better place now, better equipped to deal with it so i feel it is a bit of an overreaction if i'm honest. but are business is prepared for another setback? in our big cities, commuters and office workers are the lifeblood for businesses like this family owned cafe who suffered last time workers were told to stay at home.
we already lost a workshop - because everybody was working from home so we lost that. start again working from home, i don't know what we can do. i it's going to be very sad. for some customers, the office is more than just a place of work. mentally, it's awful. you know, in my early 30s, stuck in my bedroom in london, no family around, i have housemate, like, you'rejust getting up and going to a desk, working and then you're stuck in your house. what's the point? the uk economy is primarily a service—based economy, sandwich places like this, this pub, a convenience store, shoe repairs from all these businesses rely on people coming to work. and things were going back to normal, estimates are now that 60% of office workers were spending at least some of the week in the office and footfall on streets like this at 70% of pre—pandemic levels, which is why this news has been described
by business organisations here in london as a crushing blow. and it could also lead to some unexpected and unpleasant consequences for the cost of living. if we are not able to go out and take full advantage of the reopening of the economy, then we are staying at home, we're not buying services, not going out, we're buying goods instead, and that increases demand for physical goods and that potentially could add to already quite acute inflationary pressures. rising prices at the same time as slower economic activity is the worst of both worlds and certainly not the christmas boost that many businesses were hoping for. simon jack, bbc news. with me is baroness mcgregor—smith who is president of the british chambers of commerce, and a conservative peer. thank you very much indeed for being with us. first of all, what do you make of these restrictions and how do you think they will affect business? i do you think they will affect business?— do you think they will affect business? ,, ., , business? i think we are very devastated — business? i think we are very devastated that _
business? i think we are very devastated that these - business? i think we are very devastated that these have l business? i think we are very - devastated that these have been put in place. we haven't been given much notice for any of our businesses and also these restrictions are open—ended with no end in sight potentially as well. all we have had todayis potentially as well. all we have had today is words and no financial support. i'm really concerned about the impact it will happen businesses up the impact it will happen businesses up and down the country. isailfish the impact it will happen businesses up and down the country.— up and down the country. which of the restrictions _ up and down the country. which of the restrictions do _ up and down the country. which of the restrictions do you _ up and down the country. which of the restrictions do you think- up and down the country. which of the restrictions do you think are i the restrictions do you think are particularly onerous? one of them of course is working from home. is that a very onerous restriction? i course is working from home. is that a very onerous restriction?— a very onerous restriction? i think for many businesses, _ a very onerous restriction? i think for many businesses, they - a very onerous restriction? i think for many businesses, they have i for many businesses, they have adapted to hybrid working, but for our city centres were so many small businesses are so reliant on office records to come in, such as restaurants, such as cafes, it is going to be a real blow to them, and wejust don't know going to be a real blow to them, and we just don't know how long this will continue for, and there is no financial support being given by the government this time around. [30 financial support being given by the government this time around. do you not take the — government this time around. do you not take the point _ government this time around. do you not take the point that _ government this time around. do you not take the point that the _ government this time around. do you not take the point that the prime - not take the point that the prime minister and his scientific advisers were making that the omicron variant, you know, it's potentially going to spread very, very fast,
even exponentially. it's a real rest, and they have to hit it hard. i absolutely agree with that. we are hugely supportive at the health measures that need to be put in place, but alongside that needs to be a support package for businesses that are really going to struggle and will not be able to come out of this pandemic now. 5.33; and will not be able to come out of this pandemic now.— this pandemic now. say you are really saying that _ this pandemic now. say you are really saying that we _ this pandemic now. say you are really saying that we need - this pandemic now. say you are really saying that we need to i this pandemic now. say you are | really saying that we need to go back to the days where rishi sunak was helping businesses up and down the country get through this? absolutely. we need a road map out of the pandemic financially. we know this will cause huge economic strife to many organisations, more support will be needed and i urge the chancellor to do that now. surely it's different _ chancellor to do that now. surely it's different from _ chancellor to do that now. surely it's different from complete - it's different from complete lockdown. i can see how it will affect some businesses, for example cafes and city centres where if people are working from home, they are not going into those cafes. other businesses presumably want to be affected at all.— be affected at all. absolutely. so it has to be _
be affected at all. absolutely. so it has to be specific. _ be affected at all. absolutely. so it has to be specific. the - be affected at all. absolutely. so it has to be specific. the travel. it has to be specific. the travel industry has already been hit significantly. city centres will be badly hit as well. also, the events industry will also be hits. there are new requirements coming in for vaccine passports. the cost of implementing that has to be borne by business. businesses have already suffered significantly through this pandemic. i would urge the government, specific sector support where it is needed as we continue to grapple with this pandemic. i just grapple with this pandemic. i 'ust want to read ﬂ grapple with this pandemic. i 'ust want to read you i grapple with this pandemic. i 'ust want to read you some i grapple with this pandemic. ijust want to read you some news i've had in from our economics editor saying there will be no new economic support measure is, it may not surprise you, but the government is not planning any new economic support package as asked for by people like yourself. sources say this is in—line with existing winter plans which seek to control the virus without significant economic restrictions. the government has pointed to continuing sources of support from loan schemes to vat and business rate schemes. that's what
the is saying. with what we've been asking people since the summer and until we have a full load map out and we understand stop start nature of fasan can stop start nature of fasan can actually plan the government should really reconsider now that the fact that giving their support is just not on. it that giving their support is 'ust not on. , ., ., ,, ., ,, that giving their support is 'ust noton. , ., ., ,, ., not on. it is not and i speak for many businesses _ not on. it is not and i speak for many businesses of _ not on. it is not and i speak for many businesses of many - not on. it is not and i speak forj many businesses of many sizes not on. it is not and i speak for i many businesses of many sizes up not on. it is not and i speak for - many businesses of many sizes up and down the country who are struggling and making a company needs to start listening to businesses now. can i ask ou listening to businesses now. can i ask you one _ listening to businesses now. can i ask you one last _ listening to businesses now. can i ask you one last question, - listening to businesses now. can i ask you one last question, as - listening to businesses now. can i ask you one last question, as a conservative what do you make of these allegations that there was a christmas party on downing street years ago may be christmas parties and how do you think what sort of impact that will whether the british public can actually go along with these restrictions or actually feel these restrictions or actually feel the people in downing street to make these rules seem to be following them themselves. i these rules seem to be following them themselves.— these rules seem to be following them themselves. i don't know what ha--ened them themselves. i don't know what happened last _ them themselves. i don't know what happened last year. _ them themselves. i don't know what happened last year. all _ them themselves. i don't know what happened last year. all know - them themselves. i don't know what happened last year. all know is - them themselves. i don't know what happened last year. all know is i'm l happened last year. all know is i'm really disappointed. this is
disappointing. we are still trying to grapple coming out of the pandemic and it's clear they have been contentious around christmas parties last year. i am really disappointed that all this happened. thank you for your time. we can get some reaction from michael who is the chief executive of the night—time industries association. talk us through how you think the night—time industry will be affected by the new plan b restrictions, the use of vaccine passes to get into nightclubs? it’s use of vaccine passes to get into nightclubs?— nightclubs? it's been a huge challenge- _ nightclubs? it's been a huge challenge. it's _ nightclubs? it's been a huge challenge. it's something i nightclubs? it's been a huge i challenge. it's something that's been opposed by from an industry perspective politically. we have seenin perspective politically. we have seen in scotland and wales the impact of both of these mitigations getting in place which affect businesses quite considerably and enhance the cost to operate at such a critical period but one of the big challenges is sending these to implement an extremely difficult at
such a critical phase of the regeneration of our sector. talk us throu . h regeneration of our sector. talk us through the _ regeneration of our sector. talk us through the difficulties _ through the difficulties logistically of implementing that sort of scheme. seven days it seems like a reasonable period of notice, doesn't it? the like a reasonable period of notice, doesn't it? . ., like a reasonable period of notice, doesn't it?— doesn't it? the challenge that we have more _ doesn't it? the challenge that we have more than _ doesn't it? the challenge that we have more than anything - doesn't it? the challenge that we have more than anything is i doesn't it? the challenge that we| have more than anything is things like staffing and logistics around the technology and bearing in mind that 1—size—fits—all environment and you have got the implementation of things like text — testing at doors so i think there is a huge amount of cost involved and i think there is a burden in terms of the loss of trade and we have seen in scotland in particular up to 30% loss in trading people voting deciding not to come because of this mitigation so i think the impact is four or five fold. he had an impact on trade with additional costs but we have also cut some challenges around the logistics implementing particularly
over a very short... i logistics implementing particularly over a very short. . ._ over a very short... i think we miaht over a very short... i think we might have — over a very short... i think we might have lost _ over a very short... i think we might have lost you. - over a very short... i think we might have lost you. i - over a very short... i think we might have lost you. i am i over a very short... i think we might have lost you. i am notj over a very short... i think we i might have lost you. i am not sure if we can get you back. i think we will have to try to get back to you later on. pfizer—biontech say three doses of their covid vaccine have been able to neutralise the new omicron variant of coronavirus, following initial tests. but they said two doses may not be sufficient to protect against infection from the new variant. as our medical editor fergus walsh reports , pfizer and biontech are the first manufacturers to provide data on the efficacy of their vaccine against omicron, and say it underlines the importance of getting fully vaccinated. morning. there are many remarkable stories of survival against the odds on covid wards. this patient was admitted to university hospital coventry six weeks ago, pregnant and unvaccinated.
she was put on a ventilator and her baby, now in special care, was delivered at 26 weeks. i nearly died. and i wish i had that vaccine, i wish i knew how bad a pregnant woman can get by not being vaccinated, and the risks of covid. this covid has ruined my life. so you didn't see your daughterfor a month? no, i didn't see her because i was in a coma, and that is a parent's worst nightmare. there are many who are admitted who wish they could turn back the clock and have had their covid jab. four out of five patients on the covid wards here are unvaccinated and although it is much less busy than back injanuary, there is real concern about what the coming weeks may bring. a small laboratory study by pfizer biontech has suggested three doses of their covid vaccine produce sufficient antibodies
to neutralise the omicron variant, with two doses likely to stop severe disease. it is not real—world evidence but it underlines the vital nature of boosting immunity. we are turbo—charging the programme again. we have almost 3000 centres open, more vaccine centres than we have ever had. we are recruiting 42,000 extra volunteers and of course we freed up gps so they can spend more time vaccinating. it is a year to the day since margaret keenan became the first person in the world to get the pfizer vaccine outside of a trial. reunited with the nurse who gave her thejob, 92 next week, she urged those still unvaccinated to come forward. please, please do, do have the jab. because it does save your life and the life of your friends and family and the nhs as well, of course.
you are a global icon now. iam! people meet me in the street and they say, "thank god for you because i wasn't going to have this jab." and it's lovely to hear that, you know. since then, more than 51 million people in the uk have been vaccinated, but the pandemic is still far from over. fergus walsh, bbc news, coventry. joining me now is professor mark harris — a virologist at the university of leeds thank you for being with us. we were hearing that pfizer reckons that three doses of their vaccine is pretty effective against omicron. are you confident that all is not going to be able to if they do vaccines? i going to be able to if they do vaccines?— going to be able to if they do vaccines? . ., , ., vaccines? i am not sure we are completely — vaccines? i am not sure we are completely confident _ vaccines? i am not sure we are completely confident of i vaccines? i am not sure we are completely confident of that i vaccines? i am not sure we are l completely confident of that yet. the pfizer study was encouraging but it was a very small study. about 30 orso it was a very small study. about 30 or so patients they looked at. so
it's difficult to extrapolate from that to the whole population but certainly we know that the more vaccine you get the better year even will be in the better your immunity is then more likely you are to be able to protect itself against omicron or any other variant. and omicron or any other variant. and then there _ omicron or any other variant. and then there is _ omicron or any other variant. and then there is the _ omicron or any other variant. and then there is the possibility of tailoring the various vaccines to omicron and i think that could take one a matter of months. that omicron and i think that could take one a matter of months.— one a matter of months. that will take months _ one a matter of months. that will take months but _ one a matter of months. that will take months but that's _ one a matter of months. that will take months but that's inevitable| take months but that's inevitable and we have been talking about this for a while that we can stay with the original vaccines that have been developed over a year ago and whether we need to move as the virus moves and we take some changes in the vaccine needs to mutate and change as well and that's similar to what we do for for the flu so i think it would be in a similar situation that we will be modifying the vaccine over a period of time so vaccines will always change. i the vaccine over a period of time so vaccines will always change.- vaccines will always change. i know there is only _ vaccines will always change. i know there is only limited _ vaccines will always change. i know there is only limited ebb _ vaccines will always change. i know there is only limited ebb - - vaccines will always change. i know| there is only limited ebb - evidence there is only limited ebb — evidence of that omicron so far but from what
you have seen and read it smart transmissible than delta but is it more dangerous? is it more likely to make people seriously ill or to kill them? we make people seriously ill or to kill them? ~ ., �* ., . them? we don't have the evidence et. it's them? we don't have the evidence yet- it's still— them? we don't have the evidence yet. it's still early _ them? we don't have the evidence yet. it's still early and _ them? we don't have the evidence yet. it's still early and it's - them? we don't have the evidence yet. it's still early and it's been i yet. it's still early and it's been less than two weeks since we first heard the word omicron so it's still early days in terms of trying to study this new variant of the virus and see where it's any different from previous variance in the type of disease it causes. the one thing we can say with certainty if it is more transmissible because it's clearly spreading rapidly much like we saw delta spread rapidly back in the early parts of this year so that's one thing we know for certain and whether it's mild there are some suggestions that it might cause milder disease but we don't really have the evidence that we need to be patient and wait for some proper trails to be done and dated to be accumulated for that. the trails to be done and dated to be accumulated for that.— trails to be done and dated to be accumulated for that. the fact he saves transmissible _
accumulated for that. the fact he saves transmissible is _ accumulated for that. the fact he saves transmissible is why i accumulated for that. the fact he saves transmissible is why the i saves transmissible is why the government brought in these plan b restrictions. the question to you is do you think they are going to work against omicron?— against omicron? omicron is a variant of— against omicron? omicron is a variant of sars _ against omicron? omicron is a variant of sars coded - against omicron? omicron is a variant of sars coded two, i against omicron? omicron is a | variant of sars coded two, the against omicron? omicron is a i variant of sars coded two, the virus which causes covid—19 and like all the other variance transmitted in exactly the same way that there is nothing different about how this virus will be transmitted itself by bringing in these measures we will be going back to a situation where we are trying to prevent that transmission by wearing masks and social distancing and working at home etc so it will help and i'm sure these measures as they are brought in and people adhere to them they will help to reduce the transmission of any variant of sars convicted but maybe we need to go at it further. it's quite surprised to see the hospitality has been excluded from any mandatory mass clearing because that's clearly a situation where a lot be transmitted
particularly over the christmas period when people get together and celebrate and so perhaps they would be a rationale for thinking about whether semi—mandatory mass clearing might be appropriate at this stage. of might be appropriate at this stage. of people are probably thinking this is groundhog dayjust like last christmas and another variant and p°p5 christmas and another variant and pops along and threatens to spoil christmas. are we going to have to just get used to more and more variance make they score some scientists are talking about their virus fading away, not going away but becoming more like the common cold and phasing out in terms of its destructive power, is that how you seeit? destructive power, is that how you see it? i destructive power, is that how you see it? ~' ., ., , ., �*, see it? i think unfortunately that's very unlikely _ see it? i think unfortunately that's very unlikely it _ see it? i think unfortunately that's very unlikely it will— see it? i think unfortunately that's very unlikely it will fizzle - see it? i think unfortunately that's very unlikely it will fizzle out i see it? i think unfortunately that's very unlikely it will fizzle out in i very unlikely it will fizzle out in terms of its destructive power. i think we will have to get used to this virus and it will become part of the normal set of viruses that affect us on a regular basis like the common cold like never virus and if you live in the tropics you have
to deal with the pharisees and i think if there are lots of viruses out there which are there all the time and we will never get rid of them and we have to live with them and effective vaccines is a way in which we can do that i increasing our community as a population. we have to get used to that. we're in a different position than what we were in last year because we have vaccinations and we have fantastic coverage of vaccines across the country and unfortunately that's part of the problem that the vaccine and equity is going to drive production of variance because if you have large populations who are not vaccinated the virus is an opportunity to propagate and to grow and the more virus there is the more likely it is to mutate and generate variance so it's a global problem that we need to address as a matter of urgency and perhaps this new variance will be to try to tackle that problem.— variance will be to try to tackle
that roblem. . ~' . more now on the continuing fallout from that downing street video. so with an apology from the prime minister, how is all this being viewed beyond the confines of westminster? in the constituency of north shropshire people will get the chance to voice an opinion next week in a parliamentary by—election. the vacancy was caused by the resignation of the conservative mp owen paterson — who was found to have breached parliamentary rules on lobbying. our political correpsonent alex forsyth has spent the day there. the livestock sale in market drayton might feel a far cry from westminster but the political noise does resonate among the pens, the talk of a downing street party and whether here it could come with a price. former farmer dennis and local minister mark differ on how much it will matter. if lies have been told, that is... it affects people's decisions. we want to vote for people whose
word means something. 12 months ago doesn't count any more, it is what is happening today which counts. do you think that will affect how you vote here in a by—election? no. this rural seat has been solid conservative for decades but the party is facing a fight from labour and the lib dems who are pushing hard, with a host of other parties standing as well. this contest is a crucial measure of the national mood. the result will have ramifications that stretch beyond shropshire. for mums cathy and claire, though, it is local issues that really count. services provided for families and children. they have been such big cuts in this area recently, in recent years. we are not really connected, we're a bit in the middle of nowhere in shropshire when it comes to public transport. while public services matter most to them, they are frustrated at the idea of a party having happened, particularly with the prospect of new covid restrictions coming down the track.
it makes me think, if they are so blase about the rules, why should we be that concerned about the rules? it feels like a betrayal really, if that has happened. covid is still on people's minds here. at this cafe in market drayton, manager louise is open to more regulations for the sake of safety but is angered by the idea that others haven't stuck to the rules. i'm wondering why it has taken so long for them to announce that they had a party, or cheese and biscuits and a gathering. would that affect how you might vote in this by—election in north shropshire? no, i don't think it would. i think i will stick to who i think will do the bestjob for shropshire. there is a lot riding on this increasingly heated race, which hasn't escaped those at this festive wreath making. what are the issues on your mind? probably education, the health service as well. and basic morals of the person who is actually going to be standing in parliament for us as well. i have been a conservative voter all my life and i will not be i voting conservative.
what is the reason? parties in downing street and downright lies. i i don't think it does them any favours, i think we have to wait and see. i am sick to death of people going on about the party, though. it is when the polls open next week that we will know whether the ghosts of christmases past have effected the political present. alex forsyth, bbc news, north shropshire. and you can find a full list of all candidates standing in the north shropshire by—election on thursday december 16th on the bbc website that's implement is minister announced new restrictions in attempt to try to fight the omicron variant of coronavirus. the coronavirus booster vaccine campaign has been expanded and anybody over 40 in england can book their vaccine. the prime minister has asked for investigation after a video emerged showing for my
senior members of his team laughing about a downing street christmas party. borisjohnson has apologized by the video showing staffjoking about a lockdown christmas party at number ten and made growing public angen number ten and made growing public anger. the permit is that he shared people spirit and had ordered an inquiry into whether rules had been broken. during a heated session of premises questions the s and p westminster leader called on the pen minister to resign. let's talk more about that with the snp meal gray, a former mp and newly elected msp. the tabby with us. but fred said if he does not resign he should be removed, what does that mean? i suspect that like most of us across the aisles, people are running out of patience with borisjohnson and that would include tory mps. you can
sleep tonight that heckling and the really awkward questions that sergeant javid was getting when he was making his statement that listening to it that people are running out of patience with this government and at such a lack of consistency and the lack of trust in terms of the messaging that's been put out. and of christ you can see in scotland with a beater that is trusted to make nicola sturgeon that there is a far greater confidence in there is a far greater confidence in the messaging and the rules and guidance that have been brought in here in scotland compared to the rest of the uk. that completely undermines the public health messaging and the rest of the uk which is a really serious feeling of this whole episode and write blackford was absolutely right to say that trust has been absolutely shattered during this last week and a half. �* ., , shattered during this last week and ahalf. , ., «r, a half. boris johnson is not likely to be removed _ a half. boris johnson is not likely to be removed by _ a half. boris johnson is not likely to be removed by his _ a half. boris johnson is not likely to be removed by his own i a half. boris johnson is not likely to be removed by his own mps. i a half. boris johnson is not likely i to be removed by his own mps. he's got a thumping 80 feet majority. stranger things have happened. like
i say, people across these aisles are running out of patience and the opinion poll that was run today show that the majority wanted to see him resign as prime minister. terry campese will be saying that like the rest of us and i know there are people in those tory back benches that tory corruption scandal, now with the lies and deceit and attempt to cover up over the number ten christmas parties and however many other christmas parties that have been around downing street. people are utterly fed up. the been around downing street. people are utterly fed up.— are utterly fed up. the prime minister has _ are utterly fed up. the prime minister has asked _ are utterly fed up. the prime minister has asked for i are utterly fed up. the prime i minister has asked for investigation by the cabinet secretary. he minister has asked for investigation by the cabinet secretary.— by the cabinet secretary. he has been dragged — by the cabinet secretary. he has been dragged into _ by the cabinet secretary. he has been dragged into it _ by the cabinet secretary. he has been dragged into it because i by the cabinet secretary. he has been dragged into it because of| by the cabinet secretary. he has| been dragged into it because of a leak of the stadium of ethnic restaurants and who has done the right thing and resigned her position but for political extracting to be the fall person for what is a culture that is inspired
by the leadership is really wrong. the pen minister has to be asking serious questions about the culture of the government that he's running and it starts at the top. he has to be held accountable for 1's for the bad behaviorfor his be held accountable for 1's for the bad behavior for his government. what about the plan b restrictions that have been announced by the prime minister of england in some ways bringing in england more into line with scotland and other parts of the uk? it’s line with scotland and other parts of the uk? �* , , , line with scotland and other parts of the uk? 3 , , ., of the uk? it's 'ust the benefit of the cautious _ of the uk? it'sjust the benefit of the cautious approach _ of the uk? it'sjust the benefit of the cautious approach that i of the uk? it'sjust the benefit of the cautious approach that has i of the uk? it'sjust the benefit of. the cautious approach that has been brought here in scotland under the leadership of nicola sturgeon. we have for fastest vaccination programme anywhere in the uk and we were getting down to under control until omicron came on the scene and now we are seeing the uk government catching up in terms of its plan b which was a set of restrictions that scotland were already following in terms of mass clearing and that never went away in scotland in terms of covid—19 passports and it's made
opposition look rather silly because now we have a labour party and the conservative party which means there bringing covid—19 passports and their colleagues in scotland have been opposing scottish government has been missing for business and now the covid—19 passports team has been amended of course to ensure that nsp tests go alongside that and it shows the benefit of having clear, consistent messaging and clear consistent leadership in the face of what is an ever—changing situation with this virus. ever-changing situation with this virus. . ~' , ., ever-changing situation with this virus. . ,, , ., ., ever-changing situation with this virus. . ., germany's new chancellor, olaf scholz, leader of the social democrats, has been sworn in, closing the long chapter of angela merkel�*s 16 years as the head of government. he's just the fourth chancellor of germany in nearly forty years — as our correspondentjenny hill reports from berlin. in the powerful heart of europe, a new political era has begun.
no pomp, little ceremony... olaf scholz isn't known for his charisma or stirring speeches, but the social democrat and former finance minister's style, his manner, his politics, remind many germans of angela merkel, and they like him for it. mr scholz had promised the country a new government for christmas. his other pledges, to create a fairer, more liberal society, and a climate friendly country, may be harder to keep. angela merkel has done a greatjob but i think now it was a time for something new, something more green. translation: now we have something different but they have _ to prove themselves. that mr scholz managed to form a government at all is seen by some as nothing short of a miracle. he will have to hold to get an unusual coalition. the social democrats, the greens, and the business
friendly free democrats are not natural bedfellows. this is an historic day for germany and there is a real sense of excitement at the political changes unfolding here. what the rest of the world wants to know is what does this mark a significant shift in germany's wider positions and policies? for now, it seems the answer is no. olaf scholz championed the eu, likes a multilateral approach. his government plans to spend more on defence and will stick to nato commitments. you might see some shift on russia and china, in tone at least, if not in substance. this man was once angela merkel�*s foreign policy adviser. the outside world will be surprised that there will be much more continuity and change. there are many people who like to have this type of stability in germany. after 16 years, the merkel era is over.
earlier, she wished mr scholz luck. he will need it. germany is experiencing its worst covid wave to date. the chancellor's first task — to develop, like his predecessor, a reputation for managing a crisis. jenny hill, bbc news, berlin. a mobile phone signal and access to high speed broadband are something that most of us take for granted, but in rural areas across the uk it's something that many can only dream of. the rise of home—working and distance—learning during the pandemic has put even more pressure on communities already struggling with connectivity. our correspondent, danny savage, reports from coverdale in north yorkshire. in this picturesque part of yorkshire, the quality of life is rich. but technologically, it's poor. it is a problem. we have a lot of complaints from customers. at this smart restaurant and wedding venue, they struggle with one modern facility nearly everyone expects.
there's no mobile phone signal. probably the biggest reaction is a walk—out. where somebody booked a cottage for a whole weekend, they were up here, they were also doing work as well as wanting to phone their loved ones, and theyjust couldn't do it. so, they just sort of threw the keys and left, unfortunately. no, nothing at all. here, to get a mobile phone signal, leo has to drive to the top of a nearby hill. the problem is i might be doing this four, five times a day, and especially now with the new things about the banks where you have to get a text message and come out and everything, it's becoming a lot more often. and this isn't a small not—spot for phone signal, it lasts for more than 12 miles, which can take about 40 minutes driving down these country lanes. visiting and need to make a call? well, then you might need one of these. but things are about to change. a 5g mast will soon be switched on, giving wireless broadband to the homes scattered through this dale. how slow is the broadband here? very slow!
sarah tries to work from home online. a 5g signal will make a huge difference. it's infuriating. we pay the same amount as people in cities, and we get _ an absolutely terrible service. we live in a beautiful place, j but it's very difficult to work in that beautiful place - with the speeds that we have. her partner tim will get a mobile 5g receiver so he can get coverage outside, too, immediately improving farm safety. if there's an accident, it's extra minutes, isn't it, to try and get emergency services here. we'd have to run down home or take a vehicle down home and ring from the house. and you know, time's lives, isn't it? i can't enjoy what other people enjoy and take for granted. sam is 22. he hopes better connectivity will see people stay and live here. it probably would influence maybe not young people, but families to move back. and that would have a knock—on
effect and make their children hopefully stay in the dale and start their own business or want to work from home like i want to do. after the imminent 5g switch—on, mobile phone coverage is planned to follow, bringing this ancient dale into the 21st century. danny savage, bbc news, coverdale. today's strong winds and frequent showers are easing as we speak. still a few from england and wales but they will do so and then clear skies further north will allow some patchy mist and fog to form and temperatures in one or two spots dipping just below freezing. a touch of frost as well. it would be a cold start thursday morning. there will be rain as we go into the day. another weather front drifting off the atlantic. it will bring more cloud as we go through the morning. enjoy the sunshine while you've got
it. and sheltered eastern areas should stay dry and bright and relatively sunny throughout the day. but on the cold side. the cloud gathers in the rain and winds in west end scotland, towards the midlands by the middle of the afternoon. top temperatures, 539 degrees may be milder in the far southwest. into friday it will be a quiet story. it would be bright with some sunshine but still cold. this is bbc news with this is bbc news with me christian fraser, me christian fraser, we are going backwards, we are going backwards, to work from home where possible. as the omicron variant advances. as the omicron variant advances. tonight the prime minister tonight the prime minister has moved to plan b. has moved to plan b. mask wearing will be required mask wearing will be required in most indoor settings in england — in most indoor settings in england — and from monday people will be asked and from monday people will be asked
to work from home where possible. have you lied to the public, prime minister? but the prime minister says sorry, for a video in which downing street staffjoke about a christmas party last year, that broke covid rules — the rules he'd asked everyone else to follow. i apologise for the impression that has been _ i apologise for the impression that has been given, that staff in downing _ has been given, that staff in downing street take this less than seriously — downing street take this less than seriously. i am downing street take this less than seriously. lam it downing street take this less than seriously. i am it sickens myself and furious _ seriously. i am it sickens myself and furious about that. we will hear about another christmas party in norway that led