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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 31, 2020 1:00pm-1:31pm GMT

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the government says there's no reason schools in england will not be ready to roll out mass testing of pupils for coronavirus. it follows criticism by unions of another delay in returning secondary school children to classes. making sure that we do everything we can do to root out this virus, making sure that schools are safe, pupils are safe, staff are safe, but also communities are safe as well. we'll be assessing the growing pressure on hospitals. also on the programme... people are being urged to stay at home this new year's eve, with most of england now in the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions. a bill to implement the brexit deal has passed through parliament and takes effect at 11pm tonight, when the uk will stop following eu rules.
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and the former leeds rhino player rob burrow is among those to receive a new year's honour. good afternoon. the education secretary has insisted there's "absolutely no reason" schools in england will not be ready to roll out mass testing of pupils for coronavirus. gavin williamson also said he wanted school closures to be as "short as possible", after delaying their reopening amid a surge in coronavirus cases. lessons will start online, with pupils due to take exams next summer returning to class on the 11th of january, and other years following a week later. primary schools will also remain closed in areas with the highest infection rates. here's our education
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correspondent, frankie mccamley. for the murray family, this latest announcement is going to have a big impact. siobhan has four children, all of them will be staying home next week. my husband works from home full time and it's going to be quite stressful to keep the children under control, working quietly. my work has been delayed. i understand why it was last minute, but a bit more time for primaries, for us to get our heads around it and make some plans, would have been helpful. the latest changes in england mean any secondary school children taking exams will go back on the 11th of january and all other secondary schools will be remote learning until at least the 18th. most primary schools will be open as normal except those in virus hotspots, like london and the south—east, which have been told to stay closed. in northern ireland, children will have their return to school delayed by a week or more.
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online learning is planned for pupils in wales until the 11th of january and, in scotland, schools won't return until at least the middle of the month. this is yet another u—turn by the department for education. you may remember, a few weeks ago, it threatened some schools with legal action if they closed. on the one hand, teachers will welcome the latest announcement as it will give them more time to implement the massive testing programme but, on the other hand, this has been called a last—minute mess that could have been avoided. it's something we have become accustomed to, in terms of late announcements, delayed announcements and sometimes u—turns as well. our job is really to make sure that stu d e nts job is really to make sure that students get as clear an education as possible and that we are clear in oui’ as possible and that we are clear in our communication with parents. for some primaries are forced to close, head teachers are resigned to this new way of working. we have good systems, the schools are used to closures, we have had blended
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learning and bubble closures and children have had to be learning online anyway, so our systems are robust and we are ready for that. the education secretary is confident mass testing in schools will be ready when pupils go back. there is no reason schools would be ready. we have given them extra time to fully prepare and we are giving them £78 million worth of additional funding. on monday next week, all secondary schools are going to be getting a drop of tests, all the equipment they need to set up. for those staying at home, it's back to the new way of learning for now, online or with your parents. people across the uk are being urged not to celebrate the new year with anyone outside their household, as the new variant of coronavirus continues to spread rapidly. nhs leaders are warning that "covid loves a crowd". more than three quarters of people living in england moved into tier 4, the toughest level of restrictions, at midnight.
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duncan kennedy reports. the final day of the year, and the first taste of tier 4 for millions. this is burnley, home to nearly 90,000 residents, now told to follow the toughest covid restrictions. 90,000 residents, now told to follow the toughest covid restrictionsm an essential worker, i see that, you know, it's ridiculous, to be honest. it's unfortunate, but it's got to be done. hopefully, soon we will be backin done. hopefully, soon we will be back in tieri and the virus will be over, hopefully. the more you look at it, the deeper you think about it, the more it's going to affect you. it's notjust urban areas, this is the borders of hampshire, wiltshire and the new forest. a place where locals have turned to dark humour to lighten the new mood of lockdown. in rural areas, we
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thought we might escape the worst of it. we haven't. the speed with which the new variant has been spreading locally is no different to anywhere in the urban areas, so it doesn't surprise me we have to follow the same rules as everybody else. another 20 million people were brought into tier 4 level in england over night, bringing the total to around 44 million people. that's three quarters of the population of england. in leicester, they've now spent exactly six months under covid restrictions, so the mood here was one of resignation, especially ahead of tonight's new year's eve celebrations. stay at home and watch telecom i suppose. nothing different. go to bed early. there have now been many warnings about the need to avoid partying tonight, from the prime minister to the nation's health officials. even if you are in an area where you are not under lockdown or severe
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restrictions, start to change your behaviour, have a quieter new year's eve. this virus spreads from one person to another in close contact. there is one place where 2020 will be seen off with something approaching a smile, they isles of scilly, now the only place left in tier i. scilly, now the only place left in tier 1. it scilly, now the only place left in tier1. it was scilly, now the only place left in tier 1. it was busy, which is a good thing, obviously. food and drink is busy. i have got quite a lot of people booked in for our new year's eve menu tonight, so that's a good thing. the islanders know they are fortu nate thing. the islanders know they are fortunate at the end of a year where the world was visited by a pandemic. for millions, it changed everything. duncan kennedy, bbc news. i'm joined by our health correspondent, katharine da costa. we have heard about the measures for schools and in the wider community with the tier system. necessary because of the pressure the health service is under. put that in more
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context. in winter, particularly january and february, the nhs is at its busiest, because respiratory viruses like flu are most prevalent and, this winter, hospitals are under significant pressure because ofa under significant pressure because of a surge in covid patients and there are more in hospitals across there are more in hospitals across the uk now than in the first peak in april, but there are 10% fewer beds because of social distancing and infection control, and a big challenge, hospital leaders say, is a staff absence, of sick or self—isolating. the latest figures from the nhs for england show that 13 london trusts were forced to increase their critical care capacity in the last month. seven of them by over 20% and one by as much as 60%. overall, the number of occupied beds was 83% for the week ending last sunday. that's down from the week before. it could be that more patients were being discharged over christmas, so there is some wriggle room in the system, but it doesn't tell us at what cost. it could be more routine surgery and
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outpatient appointments are being cancelled to help hospitals cope. the nationalfigure cancelled to help hospitals cope. the national figure often cancelled to help hospitals cope. the nationalfigure often masks cancelled to help hospitals cope. the national figure often masks the severe pressure in local areas, and yesterday we heard that hospital trusts and councils in buckinghamshire and essex declared major incidents. in essex, they are calling on the military for support. in buckinghamshire, they are looking to the police and fire service for help. some experts have said the fa ct help. some experts have said the fact that the faster spreading variant has now circulated in the winter has created a perfect storm and that, because there is a lag between a surge in new infections and people falling seriously ill, hospital admissions are expected to get worse in the new year. thank you. the united kingdom will complete its transition from the european union's single market and customs union at 11pm this evening, bringing an end to a partnership lasting almost 50 years. legislation to ratify the uk's post—brexit relationship with the eu became law early this morning. our political correspondent,
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jonathan blake, reports. four and fourand a four and a half years on from the referendum result,... the british people have spoken and the answer is, we are out. after resignation is...idoso is, we are out. after resignation is... i do so with no ill but enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country i love. political turmoil. behave yourself! and passionate protest. the brexit process neared an end last night, in the house of commons. her majesty signified her royal assent to the following, european union future relationship act 2020. earlier, the prime minister signed the agreement he had struck with the eu, allowing borisjohnson to claim perhaps his ultimate political victory.
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borisjohnson to claim perhaps his ultimate politicalvictory. this deal satisfies the request of the british people to take back control, and what that meant was we now have the freedom to do things differently and do things better, if we choose. brexit has dominated politics for so long it's hard to imagine life at westminster without it, such a divisive issue won't disappear overnight. although smaller opposition parties remains bitterly opposed to the trade deal, in the end, parliament gave its overwhelming support for a new set of rules and a new relationship with the european union. for businesses like this dairy farm in cheshire, it means more admen, at least, and some uncertainty still ahead. it protects our business and probably a great million medium—sized businesses in the uk. there is an element of course, the great big christmas box with its ribbons and sparkles, you look inside, it isn't quite what we thought it would be, and we are now
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looking for the instructions to work out what we are doing. for now, the politics gives way to the practicalities, a new normal that some never wanted, but others have longed to see. jonathan blake, bbc news. tonight, at the end of the brexit transition period, trading goods between the uk and the eu will no longer be frictionless. while the new trade agreement ensures there will not be tariffs or quotas on goods, there will still be more checks and paperwork. some hauliers are nervous about the changes, as our transport correspondent, caroline davies, reports. is this the calm before the storm? after weeks of queues, a quiet eurotunnel. the way goods are moved in and out of the country is about to change and requires new paperwork, but here they say they are ready for it. it will add no more time to theirjourney, because it takes place where we are already doing safety and security checks, so it's all lumped together. we don't really expect to see things build up until late on in the first week or early in the second
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week of january. but some are not so confident. concerned that delays will cost money, rob's haulage company decided not to run lorries from the uk to the eu for the first week of january. we didn't think that the risk ofjoining a queue that could be one mile, two miles, ten miles long in either direction was worth doing. new paperwork will also be required taking goods from england, wales or scotland to northern ireland. sarah's haulage company, based in larne in northern ireland, has already lost a customer because of the added complications. northern ireland's been left in a bit of a precarious position. we have a call set up with hmrc on the 11th of january, but that's just too late. we have freight coming in on the 1st and 2nd and 3rd. the memories of last week's queues to dover, after the border with france was closed for 48 hours, are still fresh. the government say they do expect some disruption, as the uk adjusts to its new relationship with the eu, and say that hauliers without correct documentation will be
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stopped and have their goods held. the changes start tonight. a new year and a new way of trading lie ahead. caroline davies, bbc news. the seven—time formula one champion, lewis hamilton, has been given a knighthood in the new year honours list, and actress sheila hancock has been made a dame. but many of the honours have gone to members of the public, with a fifth of those on the list recognised for their work during the pandemic. our entertainment correspondent, lizo mzimba, has more. former rugby player rob burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019 and over the last year he's worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the condition. he's been made an mbe. it's an honour and privilege to accept this honour on behalf of the mnd community. i hope it gives people hope we will not ignore them and we will drive for more research and support for mnd.
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we will not stop. it's been a huge year of celebration for anne baker. she's turned 106 and has become the oldest person on record ever to receive an honourfor her work fundraising for the children's charity the nspcc during the pandemic. i think it's so important, really, that we give the children because they are the future. they are our future after all. so i really was thrilled to find this honour. tanya and nadim ednan—laperouse campaigned for a change in the law on food labelling after their daughter natasha died from an allergic reaction. they have both been made obes. we just did what we felt at the time we had to do. it was like we were on a wave and we are still on that wave. we are just moving forward and really trying to make a difference for all those people. we know that is what natasha would want us to do. musician kirsty baird vowed not
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to stop her successful choirs in the city project during the pandemic, organising events including online virtual choirs and singalongs. people need people just to encourage. you might be having a bad day but somebody might be having a worse day and itjust helps to put things into perspective. i always encourage folks to come to the zoom with a smile on their face because it could just be somebody‘s smile thatjust makes somebody‘s day. her work helping to lift the community. she is one of hundreds being honoured for what they have done. lizo mzimba, bbc news. there's more throughout the afternoon on the bbc news channel. now on bbc one, it's time for the news where you are. you're watching bbc news.
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iamat i am at the bbc sports centre. after a record—breaking year in formula 1, lewis hamilton has been knighted. he's one of a number of sportsmen and women who have been recognised in the new years honours list. adam wild reports. ina yearof in a year of unprecedented challenge, lewis hamilton has excelled, leading from the front, he won a seventh world formula 1 title days after being crowned bbc sports personality of the year and he now becomes sir lewis hamilton. he deserves his knighthood. he was has been an exceptional talent. but it is incredible what he has achieved this year. not a good year for most of us on the planet, but pretty good for him. jimmy greaves, one of english football's greatest ever goal—scorers, awarded and in the. as his fellow world cup winner bob
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flowers. billie jean king his fellow world cup winner bob flowers. billiejean king anne keothavong also becomes an mbe. after a a0 year career in sport including snooker, darts and boxing, promoter barry hearn reserves and 0be. promoter barry hearn reserves and obe. the best thing that has come into my life for a long time. obe. the best thing that has come into my life for a long timelj obe. the best thing that has come into my life for a long time. i am really chuffed. former rugby league star rob burrow full services to sport and awareness campaign since being diagnosed with motor neurone disease. rugby league players, former players, they don't get too many of these awards, but he does not need a medal from us. many of these awards, but he does not need a medalfrom us. he deserves every honour. so proud of him. other recipients in the list include director of rugby rob baxter
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at exeter chiefs, and the captain becomes mbe. former england captain appointed mbe for services to football. and for his charity work, former jockey football. and for his charity work, formerjockey bob football. and for his charity work, former jockey bob champion football. and for his charity work, formerjockey bob champion becomes cbe. adam wilde, bbc news. burnley‘s new american owners say they will fully support the manager, sean dyche, and give him funds in the januray transfer window. the investment group alk capital has completed its takeover of the club by buying an 8a% stake. alan pace has replaced mike garlick as club chairman and he says the takeover marks a new era for burnley and they are looking to be involved for year to come. what attracted us specifically to burnley had a lot to do with the passion of the fans, the quality of the club and the way it had been managed, the longevity of the coaching staff, and the ability for us coaching staff, and the ability for us to see a path to growth. we would not do anything that is not on a
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long—term basis. this is not a short buy to flip opportunity, it is very much something we have been passionate for ourselves and we are looking for the opportunity to be involved for years to come. the premier league says the idea of pausing the season after a rise in coronavirus cases at clubs hasn't been discussed. an outbreak at fulham meant that their game against tottenham was postponed last night, just three hours before kick off. premier league bosses say they're confident that their coronavirus protocols will allow fixtures to be played. one match did go ahead last night. champions liverpool were held to a goalless draw at newcastle. the magpies keeper karl darlow was man of the match. jurgen klopp's side finish the year three points clear at the top of the premier league table. the motherwell manager stephen robinson has resigned. it follows last night's defeat to kilmarnock that has left them third bottom of the scottish premiership.
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he'd been in charge for three years but says that he's taken the club as far as he can. assistant keith lasley will take the team for saturday's trip to hamilton. that's all the sport for now. you can find more on all those stories on the bbc sport website. that's bbc.co.uk/sport. including tennis news, andy murray has opted out of the open in florida next month, worried about jeopardising his chances of getting to participate in the australian open pushed back to the beginning of february. worried about not being eligible for the quarantine hoops they have to jump through to get into australia. an update in the next hour. thank you very much. the highly anticipated oxford—astrazeneca vaccine was approved for use yesterday, bringing with it a change in strategy in how the uk aims to innoculate the population. like the pfizerjab, the oxford vaccine is most effective after two doses, but protection is provided after the first dose. the medicines regulator has changed its advice that people should have their second dose three weeks after the first.
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now gps and hospitals must prioritise getting the most people possible their first jab. the second can be administered up to three months later. earlier, professor robin shattock, head of immunity at imperial college london, explained the change in strategy from the joint committee for vaccines and immunisations the reason for taking this approach is they have looked at the data and they can see a single dose has the potential to prevent hospitalisation, even though it may not necessarily prevent infection, mild or asymptomatic infection. so, by getting as many people to have a first dose, it is hoped it would dramatically reduce the numbers of people ending up in hospital, which will be essential for the nhs to be able to cope more appropriately. and that i think is worth hammering home, the whole point of this strategy is not necessarily to prevent someone getting coronavirus, people will be encouraged to take all the measures they have
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been asked to take all the way through this year, but it is about if someone does get the virus that the effects of that are minimised, one hopes. yes, absolutely. it is to try and minimise the huge numbers of people ending up in hospital. it is important that people get the second dose in order to have long—term immunity. so, it is a short—term fix. it is not a long—term fix. you need two doses to have prolonged levels of immune response against this particular virus. on a public health measure, it could have a significant impact on trying to reduce the burden on the nhs. we were told at the news conference yesterday not to get too hung up on percentages when it came to talking about the efficacy of vaccines. it has been interesting to hear, i am just going to quote pfizer biontech, the people behind the first of the vaccines to be rolled out here, saying they only assessed their vaccine on a two—dose regimen
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whereby people were given the jab three weeks apart. and they say data from the phase three study demonstrated although partial protection from the vaccine appears to begin as early as 12 days after the first dose, two doses of the vaccine are required to provide the maximum protection against the disease and that is a vaccine of efficacy of 95%, says pfizer. so, it is saying, if you separate out the vaccines over a period of more than three weeks, you cannot guarantee the efficacy that it has promised. do you have concerns around that? first of all, it is important to recognise that these vaccines are not the same. you cannot make the same judgment call on different types of vaccines. the pfizer and the moderna vaccine are rna—based vaccines, they get a small response after the first dose and it is really amplified by the second dose. the astrazeneca—oxford vaccine is based on what we
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call a viral vector. the majority of the respons is after the first dose. actually, you get a relatively modest boost with the second dose. and that is why they can perhaps be used in different fashions. so, if you had yourfirstjab of the pfizer vaccine, you might be rather disappointed not to be getting it within that three—week time frame, the second jab, i mean. yeah, i am not sure actually the roll—out of single doses is really... the majority of that will be applied to the astrazeneca vaccine, rather than the pfizer vaccine, is my understanding. obviously, this is a response to the crisis that is in front of us, but it is really important, therefore, that these vaccinations are rolled out as quickly as possible and do you have any concerns about the ability of the production process to keep up with the demand? certainly, that is going to be the rate—limiting factor in terms of getting the vaccines out there.
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we hope it won't be too much of a delay, but it does represent one of the huge challenges we face in terms of getting as many people in the uk vaccinated as quickly as possible. so, it is not going to happen as quickly as people might hope. certainly, this approach, particularly with the astrazeneca vaccine, of giving a first dose, it may give some breathing space as we start to then catch up with the second dose of that particular vaccine. this week marks 75 years since the first families returned to the channel island of alderney after it was evacuated ahead of german occupation. when they did get the call to return, six months after the german surrender, they discovered that their home had changed forever. robert hall has been hearing their stories. all we could hear for the five years from our parents, "when we get back, when we get back."
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and every time there was news, we always listened for the name of alderney. five years of exile, five years of memories. but the homecoming they anticipated for so long had a shock in store for the first weary families. all the excitement of the people on board and talking about home and alderney and then the boat arrived. it suddenly went a bit quiet. they were on the second boat that came in. so they came in when it was really dreadful. my mother took one look at it from the ship and said, "i'm not getting off, i'm going back to scotland." hitler's orders had been clear. alderney was to be an impregnable fortress and his armed forces had changed the island landscape for ever. there wasn't a tree, not a tree. every house — you could
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see through them. and no birds. grandpa just looked at the house and he just started sobbing quietly. tears rolling down his face. i think that's when i realised just how devastating everything was. there was no proper understanding of the true conditions here. it took a long time, a, to clear the island of all the military detritus, and, secondly, to get a grip with the reinstatement of the infrastructure and so on. british troops flooded in to make the island safe, helped by german prisoners of war whose kindness began to break down barriers. i went with a german and i married him. we were together for ao—odd years before he passed away. they were human beings, just like us. just like us. for alderney‘s children, the weeks and months that
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followed were a daily, if hazardous, adventure. we would go and explore. we explored tunnels. and we had a torch and a big ball of string. we would attach it to something. underneath, it was a maze of tunnels. when we left home, they didn't say, don't mind the cars and don't talk to strangers. don't go near the cliffs, and mind the barbed wire! they were hard times, but every survivor from those post—war years remembers the resilience and community spirit that brought alderney through. it was a very basic sort of living. i heard no one complain. everybody simply got on with it. the whole feeling of the island was one of being enveloped with warmth and kindness. all the people that came back made alderney what it is today. as far as my family was concerned, it wouldn't have mattered what they were coming back to. they were coming back here
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and that was all there was to it. new zealand and australia have rung in 2021 with spectacular fireworks displays in auckland and sydney. in new zealand, thousands gathered by the harbour in auckland to enjoy the five—minute light and firework show. the country is one of the few places in the world where crowds are allowed to gather, after it declared itself covid—free in october. in sydney, the public was urged to watch the fireworks on television and avoid taking part in coronavirus super—spreading events after a rise in infections. normally around a million people would gather at sydney harbour to watch the display a in a moment on bbc news, we'll have a special programme featuring veteran explorer robin hanbury—tenison, who spent weeks in a coma battling
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covid—19 and says the healing power

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