this is bbc news — the headlines. the hospitality sector welcomes the decision not to impose further covid restrictions in england before the new year describing it as a lifeline, but ministers say further restrictions hinges on the number of hospitalisations. at the moment, we don't think that the evidence supports any more interventions beyond what we've done. but obviously we've got to keep it under very close review, because if it is the case that we start to see a big increase in hospitalisations then we would need to act further — and that's why we have to keep it under close review. the french government call their new covid measures "proportionate", as rules for remote working and public gatherings come into force next week. more young children are being forced work on the streets, as afghanistan's humanitarian crisis deepens, we'll bring you a special report from kabul.
heavy snowstorms batter western states in the us — leaving thousands without power and causing travel chaos. it's all over — australia thrash england to win the ashes, after a dismal collapse in melbourne. the hospitality sector has welcomed the decision not to impose further coronavirus restrictions in england this week — describing it as a "lifeline" to pubs, bars and clubs relying on new year trade for their survival. the health secretary, sajid javid, announced yesterday that the government would wait untiljanuary before re—evaluating the situation in england. but, scotland, wales and northern ireland have
all introduced further restrictions this week. people in wales and scotland are living with curbs on hospitality, including the closure of nightclubs and all three nations have imposed restrictions on social mixing indoors. some of the scientists who advise the westminster government say ministers in england are acting "on the optimistic end of the spectrum" in terms of assessing the impact of the omicron spread. record numbers of coronavirus cases were recorded in england on christmas day. here's our political correspondent, iain watson. with christmas celebrations coming to a close, there had been fears of a much bleaker new year. with covid cases continuing at high levels, scotland, wales and northern ireland have all imposed new restrictions. but in england, the emphasis for the time being is on caution, not compulsion. we think some 90% of cases now across england are this new omicron variant, so it shows you just how quickly it has spread.
we have had news in recent days that it's milder. now, that in itself isn't good news enough — that's good news, but we know that it spreads very rapidly, so we have to set that news against that. but whilst we should all absolutely remain cautious, we don't think there's any need for any further measures until the new year but, of course, we will keep that under review. many in the hospitality industry welcomed the fact that there'll be no new restrictions in england before new year — the night time industries association said it was amazing news — but some businesses say that even the existing restrictions have hit them hard, and they're still looking to the government for more help. it feels that, if there isn't some intervention that happens within the next sort of week or so, there'll be a lot of hospitality business like mine that will go out of business comejanuary, february, because we do not have the reserves to be able to weather the storm. with no new restrictions before the new year, parliament won't need to be recalled from its winter break. the ayes to the right, 369...
100 of borisjohnson�*s own mps rebelled earlier this month against the introduction of covid passes in england. if the prime minister had tried to push more measures through this week, he could have faced even fiercer resistance. as long as the nhs is not overwhelmed, then we stay, keep the uk open for business, keep our schools open — because the collateral damage to wider society and the economy of any lockdown measures are very much underestimated. but ministers are still concerned about the effect of self—isolation and sickness on nhs staffing levels — so they've given no guarantees that there won't be more restrictions injanuary. and labour is calling for the government to publish the data and advice it receives when making its decisions. england is now on a divergent path from scotland, wales and northern ireland... ..but it's not yet clear whether that will also lead to different results in trying to keep the virus under control. iain watson, bbc news.
michael kill is the chief executive of the night time industry association and says it's a relief venues in england will be staying open for the new year celebrations. people are very keen to trade, particularly around new year's eve. once we've got past the christmas day celebrations where people were concerned about infecting, or the virus getting to some of the sort of elderly relatives etc, many people are now sort of focused on new year's eve. and it's notjust about new year's eve for us. i mean, it's bigger than that. it's the start of a recovery and we believe that we've created safe environments for people to come out and socialise and we think it's the best scenario, given the fact that if we'd have closed, we would potentially have seen more house parties and more illegal events which would have been counter—productive. our political correspondent ione wells is here. relief from the hospitality industry
but how much of a gamble is this the borisjohnson and the government not to impose restrictions in england? i think gambill is the right word. there is a positive reaction today from the nightlife industry, from hospitality bosses calling this amazing news and reassuring ahead of new year's eve when they were worried whether events would be able to go ahead. there is a gamble being played and the reaction amongst scientists is interesting. some calling it a fairly proportionate response given that the number of people is in hospital and icu units who are vaccinated is very low. there are high numbers of people who are unvaccinated in icu and although hospitalisations are rising, ministers don't think they justify putting on any further curbs on england because they say at the moment they are at manageable levels. however, if hospital admissions continue to rise in the
new year, there could be a risk this doesn't pay off for the prime minister if they then have to impose tighter restrictions and cases have been able to get out of control. earlier george eustice hinted at this and while any further interventions in his view when justified yet, ministers would have to active those hospital admissions continue to rise in the new year. while we know the infection rate has been rising, we always predicted it would, we have known that for weeks — the key question is how many of those infections will translate into hospitalisations and there is early encouragement from what we know in south africa that you have fewer hospitalisations and the number of days they stay in hospital if they go to hospital is also significantly lower than in previous variants so at the moment we don't think the evidence supports any more interventions beyond what we've done but we have to keep it under very close review because if it is the case we start to see a big increase in hospitalisations then we would need to act further and that's why we have to keep
it under close review. keeping it under close review, say the government as far as england is concerned. but that puts england on a different path from the other nations of the uk, quite a divergence now.— nations of the uk, quite a divergence now. that's right. en . land divergence now. that's right. england is — divergence now. that's right. england is on _ divergence now. that's right. england is on a _ divergence now. that's right. england is on a diverging - divergence now. that's right. | england is on a diverging path divergence now. that's right. - england is on a diverging path from scotland, wales and northern ireland. they have decided to introduce further restrictions on hospitality, social gatherings and social distancing to try and tackle the rise in cases. i think we are seeing a difference in approach to the data. they're looking at the same data. uk ministers for england have been focusing on hospital data. other nations have responded quickly because of the rise in cases we are seeing. even in england cases reached a record number on christmas day. there is another nations have decided to act and what could become a potential problem is cases are causing a different kind of chaos, evenif causing a different kind of chaos, even if they're not necessarily
translating into hospital admissions they causing staff shortages both in they causing staff shortages both in the nhs but also other sectors like businesses, schools, with some head teachers warning they could be seeing teacher shortages when term resumes in the new year as well. today we had the chief executive of nhs providers warn some executives are saying it could be based staff shortages in the nhs that end up being a bigger problem than the numbers of people needing treatment for covid. that something uk ministers will need to keep under close review in case that is the thing that ends up overwhelming the nhs rather than people in icu. thank ou. health officials in the us have halved the recommended isolation time for people with asymptomatic covid—i9 from ten to five days the centers for disease control says this must be followed by five days of wearing a mask around others. the measure is expected to alleviate disruptions caused by staff shortages in many areas because of infections.
new restrictions come into effect in germany today. demonstrators took to the streets in towns across eastern germany overnight to protest against the new rules. they include a limit on private gatherings to ten vaccinated people and the closure of all night clubs. students of all ages will have to wear masks in school, and sports competitions will be held behind closed doors. unvaccinated people are already banned from much of public life and only two are allowed to meet in private. other countries across europe are also tightening restrictions as infections rise and the omicron variant spreads across the continent. in france — a record of more than 100,000 new cases on saturday — means tougher restrictions. remote working is now compulsory — where possible — and public gatherings have been cut to 2,000 people for indoor events. the bbc�*s azadeh moshiri reports. with the festivities over and memories made, france is now snapping back
to the reality of the pandemic. president macron convened a remote cabinet meeting to review the latest data on the omicron variant. and his government's verdict is clear — cases are surging, and more restrictions are needed, at least for the next three weeks. starting on monday, all public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for indoor events, and 5,000 for outdoor ones. all spectators will also have to be seated at concerts. food and drinks can only be consumed while seated at bars and restaurants. and they will be banned on all public transport as well as cinemas. working from home will now be mandatory three days a week, where possible. and masks will be compulsory in outdoor city centres in addition to public transport. france's prime minister said he knows this all sounds like a film without an ending. translation: i know these
measures can sometimes i make people feel fed up, but since the start of the crisis, the president, like his government, has sought only to protect you. the government is preparing for a huge wave of omicron cases, having already hit a record number in the last few days, registering more than 100,000 positive cases for the very first time. that's why france is offering a third booster shot after three months instead of four. but there is a fear that hospitals could buckle under the pressure, and that more measures will be needed. translation: with the omicron i variant leaving the wave to continue to expand would not only mean putting pressure on hospitals but especially that would mean putting pressure on all of society, because there will be one million to 1.5 million people who would have
to self—isolate each day. the government has warned it will introduce passes that would make vaccines mandatory for certain activities by january 15th, that's if parliament approves. but it did stop short of imposing a lockdown on new year's eve. a silver lining, as france prepares for a fifth wave of the pandemic. children whose parents smoke are four times more likely to take up smoking, according to a uk government campaign. the findings show 4.9% of teenagers whose parents smoke have taken up smoking, compared to only 1.2% of teenagers whose parents don't smoke. professor nick hopkinson is a smoking cessation expert from imperial college. i suppose these findings are not
entirely surprising.— entirely surprising. yes, i think everybody _ entirely surprising. yes, i think everybody appreciates - entirely surprising. yes, i think everybody appreciates that - entirely surprising. yes, i think- everybody appreciates that smoking is harmful for health and most smokers would like to quit to protect their own health and also those around them because of the dangers of passive smoking. what's less well appreciated is that smoking is a habit is something that can be passed down through families. the additional motivation to quit for parents will be knowing that if they do, they can substantially reduce the risk of their own children taking up smoking and that is super important because most people who smoke started smoking themselves when they were children. so, if we can break that cycle it's going to produce huge health benefits now and for future generations as well. you've taken art in a generations as well. you've taken part in a film _ generations as well. you've taken part in a film talking _ generations as well. you've taken part in a film talking about - generations as well. you've taken part in a film talking about this. l generations as well. you've taken part in a film talking about this. i | part in a film talking about this. i suppose it's the time of year when people are possibly making their new year's resolutions, possibly
thinking about giving up. what would you say to parents who do smoke? there is help out there to quit and hopefully the additional motivation of knowing how they can help to protect their own children from taking up smoking will help to motivate them to do so. one way they can access support is to search online, have a look for nhs smoke—free, there is a lot of information online for people trying to quit. information online for people trying to auit. , ., , information online for people trying to auit. , .,, ., ., to quit. tell people now in a nutshell. — to quit. tell people now in a nutshell. l _ to quit. tell people now in a nutshell, i know _ to quit. tell people now in a nutshell, i know it's - to quit. tell people now in a nutshell, i know it's not - to quit. tell people now in a | nutshell, i know it's not easy to quit. tell people now in a - nutshell, i know it's not easy and some people find it incredibly hard, but what are the best strategy is to give up smoking? the but what are the best strategy is to give un smoking?— give up smoking? the tobacco industry has — give up smoking? the tobacco industry has put _ give up smoking? the tobacco industry has put a _ give up smoking? the tobacco industry has put a lot - give up smoking? the tobacco industry has put a lot of- give up smoking? the tobacco l industry has put a lot of science into making cigarettes as addictive as possible so it is hard but it's possible. but people need all the help they can find. the key things are to set a quit date, stick to it
and get help both in terms of counselling support and also other sources of nicotine because it's the nicotine that people are addicted to his smoke. using nicotine replacement therapy or other medications together with counselling is the most effective way to quit but the first thing is to take that decision and decide to quit, set a date and keep to it. it's a very good time of year to think about a resolution to give up smoking. thank you. sport, and for a full round—up, from the bbc sport centre, here'sjohn. well, i'm not sure we want to hear the news because it's pretty devastating from down under. apologies to be the bearer of bad news especially if you're a cricket fan. but the writing was certainly on the wall for england. they didn't
stand a chance in this third test. england's ashes hopes are over. 3—0 down in the five match series after another heavy defeat in the boxing day test in melbourne. joe root and ben stokes resumed this morning on 31—4, but england were bowled out forjust 68, there lowest score in australia in 117 years. and questions will now be asked of how england turn their fotunes around in the longer format of the game. our sports correspondent joe wilson was watching. 100,000 seats at the melbourne cricket ground. did one person give england half a chance? ben stokes can defy all the odds — sometimes. oh, he's got him, there's the comeback. the bowling here was just too good — stokes knew it — gone for 11. england's collective collapse was so painful because it was so predictable.
bairstow — lbw — given. a bowler playing in his very first test match, scott boland took over — joe root out for 28. well, that's one to celebrate — and the catcher, david warner, certainly did. england's resistance vanished. never mind making australia bat again — england couldn't even keep going until lunch. boland — six wickets for seven runs. and it was australia's future who wrapped it up — 22—year—old cameron green... oh, there we go! ..dismissing 39—year—old james anderson. 68, all out. i'm absolutely gutted. bitterly disappointed. you turn up today and you walk out to bat with ben stokes and you feel like anything's possible. er...you know, we're bitterly disappointed to find ourselves in this position. the whole mystique of the ashes is the concept of the ultimate competition.
well, as the two teams shook sanitised hands, the gulf between them had never seemed so wide. joe wilson, bbc news. it's not been much of a competition at all. there was success for one english player down under, albeit in t20 cricket. sam billings top scored for sydney thunder as they beat big bash league leaders perth scorchers in canberra. his 67 off 35 balls helped his team to 200 for seven off their 20 overs. they won by 3a runs. the busy premier league schedule continues today with four more games. two are off though, because of covid cases. a record 103 players and staff tested positive for covid in the seven days up to and including boxing day. three games kick off at three o'clock. bottom side norwich are hoping to end a run of four defeats in a row when they go to crystal palace. and then the battle for fourth place continues. sixth placed west ham
are at watford, southampton host fifth placed tottenham who are hugely improved under antonio conte. we know very well that in front we are very good, we are totally involved in a fence but above all defence. this is good because we are a team. the rest of the team i think has a great, to appreciate the effort of the strikers without the ball. dominic thiem has pulled out of january's australian open. the 2020 finalist has not played because of a wrist injury sincejune. the issue meant thiem could not defend the us open title he won last year. naomi osaka has landed in melbourne to prepare for the defence of her australian open title. the japanese four—time grand slam winner hasn't played since losing in the third round of the us open and taking a break from the sport.
the australian open begins in just under three weeks. where the inquest will continue following that defeat for england. you can find more on all those stories on the bbc sport website. there's video highights and lots of reaction to england's ashes humiliation. that's bbc.co.uk/sport. i'm sure the questions will come thick and fast as to how england revived their fortunes in the test format of the game. more on that ashes disaster for england now — sam landsberger is a cricket writer for australia's herald sun newspaper. well, 3-0, well, 3—0, embarrassment, humiliation, whatever you want to call it. what's the reaction in australia? i guess fans want to see competitive ashes series, they might
like destroying england as they have done but at the same time they want it to be competitive. i done but at the same time they want it to be competitive.— it to be competitive. i think that's a really good _ it to be competitive. i think that's a really good point. _ it to be competitive. i think that's a really good point. last- it to be competitive. i think that's a really good point. last year- it to be competitive. i think that's a really good point. last year we | a really good point. last year we had a great summer against india, australia lost 2—1 but it was exhilarating cricket. every test went to the fourth or fifth day, it was on the line. today at the mcg it was on the line. today at the mcg it was a bit flat. day three lasted 80 minutes. it's the home of the sport as we like to say here and everyone who bought a ticket on day four, they can't go. we were really excited to welcome fans back to life sport but because england were so miserable it was all over 80 minutes into the third day which i don't think anyone saw coming, to be honest. ~ , ., , , ., think anyone saw coming, to be honest. ~ , , ., ., think anyone saw coming, to be honest. ~ , ., , honest. miserable is one way to put it. what honest. miserable is one way to put it- what do — honest. miserable is one way to put it- what do you _ honest. miserable is one way to put it. what do you think _ honest. miserable is one way to put it. what do you think are _ honest. miserable is one way to put it. what do you think are the - it. what do you think are the reasons australian cricket is now so good and english cricket is so miserable? we were listening to
graham gooch talking earlier and he was saying there are long—term reasons, that the growth of the one—day game, the decline of the county game means that english batsmen are not patient, they don't stay at the crease long enough. if we're being honest, this isn't a great australian line—up. if you look at the attack that bowled england out for six runs today, josh hayes was missing, jimmy pattinson retired, so we have this debutant who took six or seven. it's a great story, he was the man of the moment today but he was probably six in line and he's taken six wickets for seven runs against this england batting line—up. if we're being honest, this isn't the best australia team we put out. there is no shane warne, there is no jason gillespie. what graham gooch said is
right, it seems like the county system in england has got it wrong. they're playing on the wrong pictures at the wrong time of year, just not producing test batsmen. i thinkjoe root, if you look over the last six years, he can't get a game at the moment. if you takejoe root out of this line—up there is not a batsmen in there that can really hold his ground at test level. i think it goes back on england and there's going to be a lot of changes after this summer. to there's going to be a lot of changes after this summer.— after this summer. to reflect on that from _ after this summer. to reflect on that from australia's _ after this summer. to reflect on that from australia's point - after this summer. to reflect on that from australia's point of. after this summer. to reflect on i that from australia's point of view, is there more long form cricket in australia? is that why they are better and perhaps will continue to better and perhaps will continue to be better and will see a divergence between england and australia and england get worse and worse in terms of test cricket? i england get worse and worse in terms of test cricket?— of test cricket? i think i'm conditions _ of test cricket? i think i'm conditions are _ of test cricket? i think i'm conditions are a _ of test cricket? i think i'm conditions are a big - of test cricket? i think i'm| conditions are a big factor.
australia goes there in 2023. but i think right now horses for courses, australia is a far better team and they're certainly a lot deeper. the big difference is in the batting line—up. to look atjimmy anderson bowl, late on day two, that was world class. i think ollie robinson is coming along really well. the differences in the batting. australia reduces really good batsmen, they've got a couple of young guns who england haven't seen yet. i think in terms of the two teams, australia might have a clear edgein teams, australia might have a clear edge in the batting but in two years time when they go back to reproduce this england will be a different battle but that's where the difference lies right now. jae battle but that's where the difference lies right now. joe root was sa in: difference lies right now. joe root was saying they — difference lies right now. joe root was saying they could _ difference lies right now. joe root was saying they could perhaps - was saying they could perhaps salvage something by winning the remaining test matches, is thatjust a pipe dream? remaining test matches, is that 'ust a pipe dreamaﬁ a pipe dream? they've got covid in the cam . , a pipe dream? they've got covid in the camp. they _ a pipe dream? they've got covid in the camp, they are _ a pipe dream? they've got covid in
the camp, they are 3-0 _ a pipe dream? they've got covid in the camp, they are 3-0 down, - a pipe dream? they've got covid in | the camp, they are 3-0 down, they the camp, they are 3—0 down, they are flying to sydney where the virus is rampant. i think it's going to be really hard for england to even find the willpower to push on. i really feel for them. 18 months in bubble life, ithink feel for them. 18 months in bubble life, i think they're probably at breaking point. joe root said they've got to restore pride but i don't think it's going to be in the next two tests. i would be surprised if they play the west indies in march, i think there are question marks overjoe root�*s future as captain and i find marks overjoe root�*s future as captain and ifind it hard to marks overjoe root�*s future as captain and i find it hard to see how they're going to turn this around. ., i. ., ., around. you said you were going to be brutally honest _ around. you said you were going to be brutally honest and _ around. you said you were going to be brutally honest and i _ around. you said you were going to be brutally honest and i think- around. you said you were going to be brutally honest and i think you l be brutally honest and i think you have been. thank you forjoining us. heavy storms have battered western regions of the us, leaving thousands without power. almost 30 inches — 76 centimetres — of snow fell in california at the weekend, causing major disruption and road closures. other western us states too continue to be battered by heavy snow storms
including the state of washington. sylvia lennan spence reports. record amounts of snow are falling in western and northern japan, blocking roads and railways and disrupting flights. thousands of homes are without power. one town in fukushima district has registered one and half metres of snow in recent days. forecasters say the amount of snow this season is twice that of an average year. there's no let—up in sight, with more snowfall forecast into tuesday along the japan sea coast. warnings are in place for residents to stay home. here's carol with the weather. hello again. over the next few days the temperature is going to rise to unseasonably mild levels. today, what we've got is rain pushing away into the north sea leaving a lot of cloud in its wake, thick enough for some patchy light rain or drizzle at times. the clearer skies across the highlands, northern ireland and parts of england and wales means that some of us will see some sunshine.
but a windy day, especially with exposure in wales and the english channel. through this evening and overnight, there will be quite a bit of clear sky around, so especially in scotland, parts of northern england, we are looking at a touch of frost before this next system swings in bringing its rain from the south—west. so tomorrow, we start off with all that rain spreading from the south west steadily northwards and eastwards, behind it, there will be some residual cloud, there will still be some dampness in the air, but for some, it should start to brighten up, particularly so for north—east england and also parts of northern ireland. temperatures tomorrow ranging from 7 to 16.
as rules for remote working and public gatherings come into force next week. more young children are being forced work on the streets, as afghanistan's humanitarian crisis deepens — we'll bring you a special report from kabul. heavy snowstorms batter western states in the us, leaving thousands without power and causing travel chaos. now on bbc news, it's time for political thinking with nick robinson. "oh, my god, how do you know ed balls?" someone said to me the other day, assuming the only reason you might know my guest on political thinking for this christmas special is because of his dancing on strictly come dancing, winning the celebrity best home chef, or making all those