this is bbc news, i'm tim willcox. the headlines at 5pm. the government criticises the president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen for suggesting that exports of the astrazeneca covid vaccine outside the eu could be blocked. yesterday saw another record—breaking number of vaccinations in the uk, nearly 900,000 but there's a warning that facemasks and some social distancing could be with us, for years. more questions over whether people can plan forforeign holidays as some experts warn coronavirus restrictions could stay in place for years. i think it would be premature to do that. it would be potentially risky. we are seeing growing variants. we have done a huge amount of work, the taxpayer, the nhs staff, my
constituents who have been in lockdown since september and i don't want us to throw that away. a snapshot of life in england, wales and northern ireland — today's the deadline for millions of people to take part in a once in a decade census. homes washed away in australia — as heavy rain and flash floods batter the east coast, thousands of people are ordered to evacuate. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the government has warned the european union that any attempt to block the export of coronavirus vaccine to the uk would be "counterproductive". the defence secretary, ben wallace, told the bbc there's a risk
of reputational damage to the eu, if it stops vaccines manufactured on the continent from leaving. fut frustration, though, is widespread in some eu countries, that they're not receiving the doses they need. it comes as yesterday saw another record—breaking number of vaccinations in the uk — nearly 900,000 people receiving either their first or second jab on saturday — bringing the total number of first jabs delivered in the uk to 27.6 million. a further 33 people who tested positive for coronavirus in the past 28 days have died — the lowest figure since october 5th. and the number of new confirmed cases registered on saturday was 5,312. here's our political correspondent, ben wright. protection against covid delivered at pace. yesterday, just over 873,000 people received a jab, a second record in as many days. more than half of uk adults have had theirfirst dose and infection rates are falling.
but in europe, rising cases and slow take—up of the and slower take—up of the vaccine has seen restrictions reimposed in some countries and lead vaccine has seen restrictions reimposed in some countries and led to a warning last week by the european commission it could block vaccine exports including the uk. there was no retreat from that threat today. what is terribly important this week, as you say, there is an increase in infections in europe, alarming for everybody, but the leaders will meet this week and they will make an assessment of the current situation about the roll—out of vaccines and perhaps make decisions. as the president of the commission said herself, everything is on the table, but there is no decision. despite the cross—channel tension, one cabinet minister said the two sides had to work together. if you are a country around the world and you see this kind of language being employed by the commission, it would be counter—productive. what we know about the manufacture of our vaccine, it is collaborative.
the astrazeneca vaccine was developed in oxford. parts of the supply chain are in europe and some are in india. trying to sort of build walls around this would only damage both eu citizens and the united kingdom. the government does expect a big drop in vaccine supply next month but insists all adults will be offered a first jab by the end ofjuly. the speed of the uk's vaccine roll—out has hardened calls by some tory mps for lockdown restrictions in england to be lifted sooner. they will be vocal this week when mps get a vote on renewing the government's emergency powers for another six months. but ministers insist their road map must remain cautious and that applies to any summer holidays people might be planning. the very earliest date people will be allowed to travel abroad is may 17th and with infection rates rising in some european countries, the chance of a getaway might be shrinking. we need to be careful, we need to be cautious. frankly, i haven't booked a foreign holiday for this summer and i won't be doing
so because i don't think we're there yet. ministers will set out their plans for restarting foreign travel on april 12th. there's still hope that summer holidays can happen but it's by no means guaranteed. ben wright, bbc news. with no further clarity yet on foreign holidays or travel to visit family abroad — with infections rising in europe — there's a warning that some coronavirus restrictions could last for years. 0ur health correspondent, jim reed, has more. this weekend, more than i million doses of a coronavirus vaccine are likely to be given across the uk. the question is, how quickly will that allow us to unlock society and return to normality? today, one of england's most senior doctors warned masks and social distancing might need to continue for some years. certainly, for a few years. at least until other parts of the world are as well vaccinated as we are and the numbers have come down everywhere.
that's when we may be able to go very gradually back. one of the concerns that doctors and the scientist have are variants. all viruses constantly mutate. most changes are not a worry but vaccines use the gene from the spike protein on the outside of the virus to train the immune system. so if this mutates, as it has done in the variants first found in brazil and in particular, south africa, it may make the virus less visible to the protective antibodies generated by the vaccine. surge testing like this has found around 300 cases of the south african variant in the uk so far. in france, the level is much higher with around 5,000 cases in the last week alone. it's one reason why some scientists have said foreign travel might not be possible this summer. others think some form of vaccine passport might be needed. for example, the south african variant, we know that the vaccines
being rolled out in the uk have at least 50% efficacy against them. and it is likely that the death rate, for example, if you do get the illness, the new variant, will not be as high. scientists say the vaccine roll—out in the uk is now starting to pay off. but returning to normal life will depend, very much, on what also happens in the rest of the world. jim reed, bbc news. tim hawkins is chief of staff at the manchester airports group, and he was wondering if the government was being too cautious. it feels premature to be taking the views we have heard from scientists about prospects of travel over the summer. i'm not really sure what purpose it serves but i know many people will have been very disappointed to hear that. but as i say, i think it is very premature. the government has set up a task
force to look at these issues and we are contributing that and putting our ideas in about how we can stage a restart of international travel over the summer months. and i think that really needs to be the focus rather than talking in the press about the prospects of travel over the summer. you say premature but perhaps realistic, you know, bearing in mind that we have got new variants and we've got many countries in europe going back into lockdown. the government has been very clear and we support the view that it is going to take a cautious approach to reopening international travel. it has already demonstrated that cautious approach as aviation was the only sector not to have its own road map just over a month ago. we are waiting for a report of the global travel taskforce on 12th april and the government has already been clear that international travel cannot restart until 17th may, so we are some months away from 17th may. we are probably four months away from the peak summer season. so there is time and there is an opportunity to come up
with a framework to enable safe travel over the summer, we believe. you have had a terrible year alongside so many other aviation groups. i was just reading that you have announced 900 job losses. you have had the furlough scheme. what more do you need? we do need this framework from government and i think we need to have a framework which enables the restart of travel, just as soon as that is possible to do in a safe way. that is why i think it is extremely disappointing to hear some of the views that we have, which do seem to prejudge or at least seem to be quite premature about the prospects of travel over the summer. these are people's jobs, first and foremost. there are i million people working in jobs supported by the uk aviation industry and there are people's hopes around travel in the summer. i know from people that i talk to, just how desperate people are to take that opportunity
to travel abroad. so, setting some of these very negative comments aside, we are hopeful that the taskforce will set out a positive path ahead potentially with some stages to recovery. we might not get everything up and running straightaway but by the time we get into the peaks of the season, we would be very hopeful that the vaccination programme in the uk and abroad will have delivered a great deal of immunity and a safe way to travel. it seems logical that some sort of vaccination passport scheme will have to existjust to get all international countries on the same page. do you want to hear the british government committed as more than they are at the moment? we do. we think that will be an important part of the framework. certification around vaccination or around recovery from covid—i9 or that you have had a negative test. i think those will be important components of a new framework. the government is working hard on this. we know that because we are working with them on the solutions and trying to design them.
we hope to see those come through in the travel taskforce report on the 12th of april. tim hawkins speaking to me earlier. the government has been warned that its decision to slash billions of pounds from its overseas aid budget is illegal. the former top prosecutor ken macdonald said the commitment to meet a un target of spending 0.7% of national income on foreign aid was enshrined in domestic law. 0ur diplomatic correspondent, james landale, gave us more details. it comes down to the international development act, existing law. the government says this allows for the target of 0.7% of national income on aid every year to be missed. but this judgment says, yes, you can miss it inadvertently, by mistake, and come to parliament and explain why you made the mistake and what you will do to correct it. what the judgment says is what you cannot do is say, we are going to miss the target
in future deliberately. we will reduce it down to 0.5. lord macdonald says you cannot do that, only if you put new legislation through parliament and that is why it is unlawful. buckingham palace is reviewing its diversity policies in all of the royal households. palace sources have told the bbc that although the work has been under way for some time, it would now include looking at the allegations of racism made by the duke and duchess of sussex. the source said there are already policies in place, but there's an acceptance that more needs to be done. the work is said to have the full support of the royal family. details of every adult and child in england, wales and northern ireland are being collected today as part of a once—in—a—decade census. by law, everyone has to be accounted for — in order to provide the government, local authorities and other organisations with information needed for future planning. the bbc�*s home editor,
mark easton, has the details. voiceover: the census builds a picture of your community. when you fill in yours, you help make decisions about services like local transport and healthcare. reporter: almost every decade since 1801, the uk has held a census, a detailed snapshot of our society that helps governments plan and fund the local services we need. schools, gp surgeries, roads, transport and housing. but only for the third time in its long history, part of the country will not be participating in this census day. in scotland it has been delayed for a year because of concerns the results would reflect the abnormal circumstances of the pandemic and prove less useful in the longer term. lockdown means people are not necessarily staying in their usual household, or have left the country during the health emergency. but the event goes ahead in the rest of the uk, with the justification that understanding the impact of life under covid will be vital in distributing funds where they are needed most after the pandemic is over.
it's easy to complete the census online. you can do it on a computer, tablet, or phone. this census, for the first time, will be conducted primarily online. 90% of households will have received a letter with a 16—digit code to access a secure website page. but paper forms are available for those who need them. the 2021 census includes one new question, counting military veterans, and extra categories on sexual orientation and gender identity. it is a legal requirement to complete or be included in the census by the end of today, although officials will go door—to—door to offer support before prosecuting those who refuse to comply with a fine of up to £1,000. mark easton, bbc news. earlier, i spoke to peter benton from the office for national statistics, who is responsible for the delivery of the census. i asked him iasked him how i asked him how it was going. it's going really well.
the responses are pouring in but i have to say, i will never be satisfied until we have every last one, so thanks to all that have done it and please do keep going for those of you who have not yet. i was just reading some of the reports earlier that some people haven't had their 16 digit numbers. they are having problems getting through to the call line as well. what is the percentage that we are talking about? there may be a fraction that haven't got a questionnaire or a letter in the post yet but if you haven't, don't worry. you can go on our website, you can pick your address and we will send you a code via text message, so that you can fill it in. today is census day. people need to try and record who usually lives there but if you don't get it done until tomorrow or tuesday, you don't need to worry. we will start following up and get as good account as we can for all of our local communities. that's interesting. so, it is mandatory. today is the deadline but, actually, it's not a deadline. no, it absolutely is but we recognise that there
are circumstances, where for some people, they may be unwell and they can't do it today and tomorrow is ok. but if you are able to do it, you need to do it. the census provides a unique snapshot of every local community — our ethnic mix, the age breakdown. and that is fundamental for planning all of our local services. what about personal information, details, how do guarantee that is protected? so, we are familiar with censuses from history. they are actually locked away for 100 years. the 1921 census returns have not yet been released. all we will publish as aggregate statistics. the details of our names and addresses are never passed on to government or local councils. they are locked away securely. the statistics we publish paint a fabulous, rich picture of our local communities but the details are safely locked away.
peter benton from the 0ns. you're watching bbc news. 5:16pm. the headlines on bbc news... the government warns the european union that any attempt to block the export of doses of coronavirus vaccine to the uk would be "counterproductive". more questions over whether people can plan forforeign holidays, as some experts warn coronavirus restrictions could stay in place for years. homes washed away in australia — as heavy rain and flash floods batter the east coast. thousands of people are ordered to evacuate. as we've been hearing, a record number of people — nearly 900,000 — received either their first or second vaccination yesterday, it means over half the adult population has now had at least one dose of a covid—19 jab. but vaccination centres are detecting a rising number of queue—jumpers, as the nation prepares for a four—weekjab shortage. officials say people are posing
as care or health workers to cheat their way to an early vaccination, and there are concerns that fraudulent bookings could increase before next month. let's speak now to ash soni, vice president of the international pharmaceutical federation, which represents over 4 million pharmacists across the world. how widespread is this, ash? difficult to tell, i can tell you from my own experience and colleagues i have spoken to, who have said they have seen quite a significant number and have had to turn people away every day who don't necessarily meet the criteria. they are claiming to be social care or health care workers. they are key workers, and in many cases they have been working throughout the pandemic but don't realise that actually what they are doing is, they think they are entitled under social care but obviously they are not. so are entitled under social care but obviously they are not.— are entitled under social care but obviously they are not. so these are innocent mistakes? _ obviously they are not. so these are innocent mistakes? they _
obviously they are not. so these are innocent mistakes? they are - obviously they are not. so these are innocent mistakes? they are not. innocent mistakes? they are not deliberately fraudulent? it is difficult to — deliberately fraudulent? it is difficult to assess. _ deliberately fraudulent? it is difficult to assess. i'm - deliberately fraudulent? it 3 difficult to assess. i'm sure some of them are definitely trying to jump of them are definitely trying to jump the queue but i'm sure in the majority of cases these are not attempts to commit deliberate fraud. but people are worried. they are the people that have been face to face with the public for the entire last year who feel that they have been classified as key workers, so assume that because they are classified as key workers that they would be entitled to a vaccine as well. but honestly that isn't the criteria which is making life from our end quite difficult.— which is making life from our end uuite difficult. ~ ., ., , ., ., quite difficult. what do you do when these peeple _ quite difficult. what do you do when these people come? _ quite difficult. what do you do when these people come? presumably . quite difficult. what do you do when i these people come? presumably they have a place, they have a vaccine, a jab associated with them, which will go to waste if you don't give it to them. it go to waste if you don't give it to them. , , , . go to waste if you don't give it to them. , ,'~ them. it is very difficult because effectively _ them. it is very difficult because effectively what _ them. it is very difficult because effectively what we _ them. it is very difficult because effectively what we are - them. it is very difficult because effectively what we are having i them. it is very difficult because| effectively what we are having to them. it is very difficult because - effectively what we are having to do is act almost as a policing exercise which makes it quite challenging, but at the end of the day of people don't make the criteria, we have to say to them, actually you are not entitled to a vaccine at the moment, you have to wait your turn, then we
have to look and see if we do have spare doses at the end of the day left, people we have and are waiting lists who either do meet the criteria, or that are appropriate to vaccinate at that time. that suggests — vaccinate at that time. that suggests it's _ vaccinate at that time. that suggests it's just _ vaccinate at that time. that suggests it's just taking - vaccinate at that time. that suggests it'sjust taking up lots of suggests it's just taking up lots of unnecessary time for you guys, isn't it? it unnecessary time for you guys, isn't it? , ., ., ., ., it? it is to a great extent in a way because as _ it? it is to a great extent in a way because as i _ it? it is to a great extent in a way because as i say _ it? it is to a great extent in a way because as i say we _ it? it is to a great extent in a way because as i say we are _ it? it is to a great extent in a way because as i say we are having i it? it is to a great extent in a way because as i say we are having toj because as i say we are having to act as police, ask for copies of their id, check that they are appropriate, and i have had people that have brought in letters that demonstrate they are a key worker but are not appropriate for what is classified under the social care or health worker criteria and you have to say, i'm sorry. they have had letters from tesco, kfc, local off—licences, and actually they all say i am a key work and therefore i should be entitled but they are the wrong letters, therefore we have to say, i'm really sorry but at this moment in time you are not part of the group we are vaccinating and i'm
afraid i have to turn you down and you have to come back at another time. ., , ., you have to come back at another time. . i. ., ., , you have to come back at another time. . ., time. have you had any really egregious _ time. have you had any really egregious examples - time. have you had any really egregious examples of - time. have you had any really - egregious examples of deliberate attempts to forge get one and what happened then? do they get stroppy if they are told they can't have it? we do, unfortunately. people can get aggressive, they get a bit angry, they get anxious. you can understand why but actually that anger gets directed at us because we are the person sitting in front of them saying computer says no, almost. and from their point of view, they are saying i have a booking, iam here and entitled to it because i'm booked in, so why won't you just give me the vaccine? we are having to take that decision and say to people i'm sorry, you don't meet the criteria and they can get quite aggressive, they can be abusive, but fortunately we have never got to the point where we have had to cool the police but i know colleagues who have. and of course that then disrupts everything else we are doing because there are other people waiting for their vaccines looking
at this thinking, my god, what is going on? do i want to be here? do i feel comfortable? and from our point of view, what we want is to be in a really clear position that we are here to vaccinate people, we want them to feel confident in the vaccine, we want them to feel comfortable to be vaccinated, we want them to not feel worried about it. this creates tensions for those people. it. this creates tensions for those eo - le. ., it. this creates tensions for those --eole. ., .., . it. this creates tensions for those --eole. ., . ., it. this creates tensions for those n-eole. ., . . people. how concerned are you about the potential— people. how concerned are you about the potential shortfall— people. how concerned are you about the potential shortfall of _ people. how concerned are you about the potential shortfall of vaccine - the potential shortfall of vaccine next month? it the potential shortfall of vaccine next month?— the potential shortfall of vaccine next month? , . , , next month? it is a shame because it does ut next month? it is a shame because it does put us — next month? it is a shame because it does put us under _ next month? it is a shame because it does put us under more _ next month? it is a shame because it does put us under more pressure - next month? it is a shame because itj does put us under more pressure and we do have lots and lots of people that are still due to be vaccinated. i think people are worried and there are people out there who probably look at it and go, well, i'm thinking about maybe i want to go on holiday and if i don't have a vaccine soon i won't be able to get my second dose in time to be able to go away. and there are all sorts of things that are coming up along those type of lines. and we just have to be firm in what we do. but actually we also have to be sympathetic to people. sometimes it gets quite grey. i had a case where
i had someone who had come in under social care, wasn't entitled, and i said, we were going through various things, and he produced a letter from the hospital which said he had a heart problem. well actually, he was entitled to be vaccinated because actually there were other reasons but he hadn't realised. and then of course i turn around and say, yes, you can be. but we are almost acting as a police force in that sense of having to negotiate what is appropriate and what isn't appropriate. and actually, it would be much better if the booking system made it much clearer that people almost had to put their proof of id, or whatever reason they were being vaccinated, into that system and somebody there was almost acting in a way to make sure and ensure people are appropriate to be vaccinated. nonetheless, the numbers are truly impressive, ash soni, thanks very
much indeed. my impressive, ash soni, thanks very much indeed-_ over the last year, millions of people in england who were told they're clinically extremely vulnerable have been shielding at home to protect against coronavirus. that shielding will now end for nearly 4 million people on 1st april. 0ur north of england correspondent, judith moritz, has more details. this is my kitchen. over here is my dining room. it's also my study. there's not much chance to get away from work. for the last year, these four walls have been philip's whole world. he started shielding last march and has barely been outside since. it's really frustrating being stuck inside when it's such a nice day. philip has the blood disorder aplastic anaemia, which makes him extremely vulnerable to covid. he has chosen to shield even at times when the guidance has been relaxed. i live by myself, i've had very little human contact over the past year. given that, what's it felt like? have you had cabin fever?
ifelt really, you know, confined at the start of lockdown but i think it's something that i've gradually got used to. it's almost now, it's the anxiety of when i finally do go out into the real world, i think that's preying on my mind more than being isolated for so long. for so many people, meeting online has been the only way of socialising. what fairy tale character has really long hair? rapunzel. well done. the vibe group in liverpool is for adults with additional needs, some of whom are shielding. the weekly quiz and karaoke gives them some much—needed time together. i love meeting new people in vibe. some days it's good to meet up and see everyone. love you all, love you all. i like to come to vibe very much. bye, guys. bye. i'm escaping the house for five minutes to have a little walk round the garden.
the size of rachel's world has also shrunk, as her severe asthma put her on the shielding list. today we are going to continue to look at macbeth. rachel is a teacher. currently her pupils are at school and she's teaching them from home. on page 16 in your booklet. but over the last year, the advice to shield has changed several times, and she's had to change with it. i've ended up kind of jack—in—a—box shielding. it's difficult to get your head round how it's safe to be in the classroom one day, and then the next day it's not and you've got to shield, or like, currently, it's not safe for me to be in the classroom on 31st march but on 1st april, which is our last day of term, i can go into school, and the school will have done nothing different on either of those days. rachel can't wait to get back out into the world, and says despite it all she feels lucky. having lost friends to covid,
she is just grateful to be safe. judith moritz, bbc news. in australia, thousands of people in some of sydney's lower lying suburbs are being warned they may have to leave their homes, due to some of the worst flooding in decades. seven emergency shelters have opened across the state of new south wales. torrential rain and strong winds are forecast to continue, and floodwaters aren't expected to subside for several days. here's phil mercer. in new south wales, officials had warned sydney was potentially facing a rain bomb. torrential downpours have turned roads into rivers and fields into lakes. homes have been swamped, and emergency crews have responded to thousands of calls for help. for the first time in years, sydney's main reservoir is overflowing, putting suburbs at risk of flooding.
we worry about, do we escape or stay here? we don't know. this is the worst i've seen it. last year, just after christmas it was pretty bad as well, but not this bad. there's going to be a lot. of people that maybe don't get their houses flooded, l but they won't get to work, the roads will be wrecked as well. across new south wales, australia's most populous state, residents in many low lying areas have been told to leave. communities to the north of sydney have been badly affected. i just want to say to everybody in new south wales who is experiencing that fear and anxiety, that our thoughts are with you and we'll get assistance to you as soon as we can. my goodness. near the town of taree a house was washed away down a river by floodwaters. it's a day the owners will never forget. they were supposed to get married, but the bride and groom were kept apart by the floods. the wild weather has delayed the roll—out of covid—19 vaccinations.
more storms are expected in the next few days. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. spring here, though. then how the details. —— now it's time for a look at the weather with ben rich. hello there. most of us have seen at least some spring sunshine during this weekend, although cloud amounts have varied. so, this is the earlier satellite picture. you can say was a little bit cloudier across parts of south—west england earlier today. it did brighten up. north—east scotland, very similarly, brightened up through the day. now, as we go through the evening and tonight, where we do have clear skies, that's where temperatures are going to drop. parts of eastern scotland, northern england, the midlands, wales, particularly prone to a touch of frost. not as cold where we keep more cloud, perhaps towards the south—east of england, north—west of scotland and northern ireland. now, as we head into tomorrow, northern ireland and scotland can expect a lot of cloud feeding in on this south—westerly wind and the odd spot of drizzle possibly as well. eastern scotland down across england and wales will see
some spells of sunshine, large areas of cloud too, temperatures between 10 and 1a degrees. so, a fine start to the week ahead but it will turn wetter and windier from midweek onwards and then, briefly, quite a bit colder for the end of the week. hello, this is bbc news. it is 5:30pm and you're watching bbc news with me, tim wilcox. the headlines: the government criticises the president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen, for suggesting that exports of the astrazeneca covid vaccine outside the eu could be blocked. yesterday saw another record—breaking number of vaccinations in the uk — nearly 900,000 — but there's a warning that face masks and some social distancing could be with us for years. more questions over whether people can plan forforeign holidays, as some experts warn coronavirus restrictions could stay in place for years. a snapshot of life in england, wales and northern ireland — today's the deadline for millions of people to take part in a once in a decade census.