this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 10. the government announces new restrictions to be introduced next week in england — as 2 cases of omicron— a new variant of covid—19 — are discovered in the uk. this is the responsible course of action, to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximise our defences. people in england will now once again have to wear face masks on public transport and in shops. all contacts of suspected omicron cases must self—isolate for 10 days — regardless of their vaccination status. all travellers entering the uk from abroad will have to take a pcr test and self—isolate until they get a negative result. and the government also said it's
considering how it can expand the coronavirus booster campaign. the pm says these measures are �*precautionary and temporary�* — and will be reviewed in 3 weeks. we'll bring you all the latest. three people have died as storm arwen hits the uk, with winds, of up to 100 miles an hour. the family and friends of one of those who died in the channel when their small boat capsized, tells the bbc she was kind hearted, and humble. and we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers — the broadcaster, jo phillips — and nigel nelson — political editor of the sunday mirror and the people.
good evening and welcome to bbc news. borisjohnson has announced new temporary coronavirus controls to come into effect in england from next week — after 2 cases of the highly—transmissible 0micron variant were discovered in the uk. the cases, in nottingham and brentwood in essex, are linked to travel in southern africa and are from the same cluster. the prime minister said that, in response, some coronavirus restrictions would include, the mandatory wearing of face coverings in some indoor settings in england. people who've been in close contact with 0micron cases, will have to isolate themselves, even if they're fully vaccinated. four more african countries are being added to the travel red list — bringing the total to 10. scotland, wales and northern ireland said they intend to mirror the border restrictions.
the prime minister announced the new rules at a government news conference earlier this evening. so, yesterday we took steps to protect the uk against the variant coming here from southern african countries and earlier today, added four more countries to the red list. but we now need to go further and implement a proportionate testing regime for arrivals from across the whole world. so, we are not going to stop people travelling, i want to stress that, we are not going to stop people travelling, but we will require anyone who enters the uk to take a pcr test by the end of the second day after their arrival and to self isolate until they have a negative result. second, we need to slow down the spread of this variant here in the uk, because it measured at the border can only ever minimise and delay the arrival of the new variant,
rather than stop it altogether. so, in addition to the measures we are already taking to locate those who have been in countries of concern over the last ten days, we will require all contacts of those who test positive with a suspected case of 0micron to self isolate for ten days, regardless of your vaccination status. we will also go further in asking all of you to help contain the spread of this variant by tightening up the rules on face coverings in shops and on public transport and third, and most importantly, we need to bolster our protections against this new variant. we don't yet exactly know how effective our vaccinations will be against 0micron, but we have good reasons for believing they will provide at least some measure of protection and if you are boosted,
your response is likely to be stronger, so it is more vital than ever that people get theirjobs and we get those boosters into arms as quickly as possible. so, from today, we are going to boost the booster campaign. we are already planning to do 6,000,000 jabs in england alone over the next three weeks and now we are looking to go further. so, the health secretary has asked thejcvi, the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation, to consider giving boosters to as wide a group as possible, as well as reducing the gap between your second dose and your booster, but of course, we are speaking to our counterparts in the devolved administrations and will continue to co—ordinate with them. the measures that we are taking today, including on our borders and on face masks are temporary and precautionary and we will review them in three weeks.
at that point, we should have much greater information about the continuing effectiveness of our vaccinations. some breaking news from israel and the prime minister has said that the country would, for 1h days, be shutting its borders completely to any foreigners. the country has one case and seven suspected. israel completely shutting its borders to foreigners. england's chief medical officer, prof chris whitty says the spread of the new variant is likely to continue we know that cases have been seen out of four countries in southern africa, not just south africa and we know that they have been imported into several countries around the world, including hong kong, which reported one of the first cases, belgium and most recently a report suggesting germany and now in the uk.
we expect the numbers to continue to rise around the world over the next few days. that is our very strong expectation and the numbers of countries that will be reporting this will continue to rise, that is, i think, virtually inevitable. here in the uk, as the prime minister says, there are two cases that have been formally reported. the first in essex and the second in nottingham, both of those are linked together. so, they are part of the same cluster, they are not independent cases, they are part of the same cluster and they are helping all the public health authorities, they are self isolating and there is contact tracing going on by the uk health security agency around all of these. ijust wanted to say a little bit about how the virus, with the reason that we are concerned about this virus and essentially it is,
as the prime minister said, two different things. the first question is is the virus capable of spreading and this one is spreading rapidly in many areas, so for example, in the gauteng area of south africa, up to 90% of the cases that have been reported are, we are told, are of this new variant. so, the spread is clear and it is spreading around the world. it has achieved the first thing, it definitely can spread. the second question is, to what extent is that because it is able to escape immunity from prior infection or vaccination, we do not at this stage no, but what we do know is that there are quite extensive mutations on the spike protein which is an important part of the virus and the reason that is important is that is the bit which all the vaccinations are against and indeed what most natural immunity is against, so there is a reasonable chance that at least there will be some degree of vaccination escape with this variant.
now, an important thing that we said previously with other bits of immunity with viruses is that it is easier for the virus to achieve the ability to escape for infection than it is to achieve escape for the severe disease and then onto mortality. so, there is a reasonable chance, but i want to be clear, we need to wait until we have data before we can say this with any certainty, that even if there is some or significant escape from the ability to infect someone and therefore for them to be infectious, it may be that there is still vaccinations in particular, when they have had boosters, and natural infection boosted by vaccination, may be sufficient to go on and prevent people from going on to having severe disease and in some cases dying. dr chris smith is a virologist and he gave me his reaction to today's announcements
i don't think this is an unreasonable suite of measures and i don't think the timing is at all unreasonable, we only learned about this in about the past 48 hours. time is everything, it does matter, because at the moment we know virtually nothing about this new virus. we have got a suite of symptoms that people have documented from south africa that sound encouraging, doctors dare say it does not seem to produce severe disease and that is a tick in the right box. we have got a genetic code and what we have been able to do is line up the genetic code for the variant alongside the genetic code for other variants of coronavirus like delta which is why you are seeing the stories of this mutation and this change and we have seen this one before at this one we have not, but what has got people worried, if you look where the changes are, they localise in the genetic code with the piece that it uses to make the outer coat of the virus and specifically the spike on the outer coat of the virus and that
is what it uses to infect ourselves. it is also what we used to make the vaccinations that then make this immune to coronavirus and that is why people are concerned, because if the virus changes the shape of its bit of itself, it might affect the transmissibility and there is speculation this is more transmissible. it might make people sicker, but we do not think it is the case, but we do not know, but it might if it looks different to our immune system have the ability to sidestep the immunity we have all got by having vaccinations and boosters. let us hope not, but that is the worry. i boosters. let us hope not, but that is the worry-— is the worry. i have been reading that one is _ is the worry. i have been reading that one is the _ is the worry. i have been reading that one is the worry. _ is the worry. i have been reading that one is the worry. i _ is the worry. i have been reading that one is the worry. i have - is the worry. i have been reading | that one is the worry. i have been reading that once a virus coronavirus achieves genetic diversity, we really are in trouble. is that where we are at with more than 30 mutations? really, it is not the question of how many mutations, it takes many mutations to make something that is really very nasty, a flu pandemic can arise from just a couple of mutations. i don't think it isjust on
couple of mutations. i don't think it is just on the quantity, it is really the quality. the same can be said for our antibodies and this is the thing that will give people reassurance, which is that the vaccinations we have all had come at the level of antibodies we have all now got, thanks to those vaccinations and boosters, will probably give us protection against this new variant. it might not stop us catching it but it almost certainly will become —— stop us from becoming seriously unwell. i am reassured by the fact that we have found this, that the south africans scientist banned it properly and share the data very transparently with everyone. that is really important and we can move forward looking at this and discover whether this really does pose a big threat or like these other variants that have come along in the past, it is just a blind alley for the virus. we will then be in a much better position to know if the measures are proportionate or not and if they need to be maintained or we can scale them back because actually this is a bit of a damp squib and it will not go anywhere. 0nly this is a bit of a damp squib and it will not go anywhere. only time will
tell. after two cases of the 0micron variant of coronavirus are confirmed in the uk, borisjohnson announces new measures to slow its spread. at a hastily arranged news conference, he said returning travellers must take a pcr test, rules on masks will be tightened in england, and anyone in contact with a positive case of 0micron must self isolate. this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximise our defences. the new rules will be reviewed in three weeks, just before christmas.
also tonight... three people die as storm arwen hits the uk, with winds of up to 100mph. # 0k by me in america...# and tributes to a legend of muscial theatre. stephen sondheim has died at the age, of 91. good evening. borisjohnson has announced measures to halt the spread of the new 0micron variant of coronavirus. it follows the discovery of two cases in the uk, in essex and nottingham. all travellers entering britain will now have to take a pcr test within two days, and must self isolate until they test negative. all those who've been in contact with someone who has
the 0micron variant will also have to self—isolate, regardless of whether they've been vaccinated. face coverings will once again become compulsory in shops and on public transport in england from next week. in scotland, wales and northern ireland they're already mandatory on public transport and in many indoor areas. the prime minister says the new variant might "in part reduce the effectiveness of vaccines over time," but that scientists were learning more about 0micron "hour by hour," but he said it's now more vital than ever that people getjabbed and receive boosters. 0ur political correspondent, iain watson, has the latest. it sounds like the title of a science—fiction novel — the 0micron variant. but this latest version of covid, complete with many more mutations, is all too real. two cases have been identified here in the uk. the scientists say they need to learn more about it, but here's the reason the government's reacting swiftly to its presence... it does appear that 0micron spreads very rapidly and can be
spread between people who are double vaccinated. so, for the first time since the summer, there will be new restrictions in england. from next week, wearing masks in shops and on public transport will be mandatory, as it is now in scotland, wales and northern ireland, and if you're returning from abroad, compulsory pcr tests are being reintroduced. and that's not all... we will require all contacts of those who test positive with a suspected case of 0micron to self—isolate for ten days, regardless of your vaccination status. and here's one reason why... there are quite extensive mutations on the spike protein, which is an important part of the virus, and the reason that is important is that is the bit which all the vaccines are against, so there is a reasonable chance that at least there will be some degree of vaccine escape with this variant. and the new measures will be reviewed just before christmas.
how likely is it that those restrictions could be ratcheted up in three weeks' time, rather than wound down, and can you say with any confidence at the moment that people can keep their christmas plans? i'm pretty confident, or absolutely confident, this christmas will be considerably better than last christmas. but the new measures aren't the entirety of the government's plan b. advice to work from home and vaccine passports in england are still in the back pocket. i was told that boosting the vaccination programme was more important because even if it turns out vaccines are less good at stopping infection from the new variant, they could still offer protection against serious illness. we must boost the defences we have, which is why booster vaccines are so important, and go really hard and quick to get those booster vaccines across as many people as possible. the prime minister was criticised for not acting swiftly enough in the face of the delta variant. this time he is acting quickly, but the opposition say that
in england he should be going further than the restrictions that he's willing to introduce. the government's plan b has always been our plan a. we think that mask wearing should be commonplace in public spaces, especially indoors, we think that people should be able to work from home where that is possible. i think we should have been doing all those things already, so of course we want them to be doing that now. the government say the new measures are targeted at slowing the spread of the 0micron variant, buying time for vaccines to be modified if necessary. butjust as the beginning of the end of the pandemic was being predicted, we are now facing a period of uncertainty. iain watson, bbc news, westminster. our health editor hugh pym is here. no plan b but some restrictions so what is the overall strategy? it is to ramp up _ what is the overall strategy? it is to ramp up the — what is the overall strategy? it 3 to ramp up the booster campaign to get as many of those eligible to have those jabs over the next few weeks, and while they are looking at
the new variant to see how rapidly it spreads and how effectively the vaccines operate, and it was stressed by officials that they do think vaccines will offer a degree of protection against people getting seriously ill and also ministers and officials want the expert committee to look at cutting the age at which you can get a booster and reducing the gap between the second dose and a boost itself, so they have bought themselves three weeks in effect by bringing in some restrictions. the uk has acted as fast as any other government in the world, the work is, to limit travellers coming into the uk from the affected areas, and also these tests that will have to be carried out on people arriving, but it is not the full term on and it doesn't involve advice about working from home and people in three weeks' time if it gets worse than expected, they may look back and wonder why more was not done today? and wonder why more was not done toda ? a , and wonder why more was not done toda ? . let's talk to our business correspondent, caroline davies, at london's st pancras international train station
for us tonight. the travel industry thought things were getting better for the sector, but now this... were getting better for the sector, but now this. . ._ were getting better for the sector, but now this. .. they had indeed and thins but now this. .. they had indeed and things were — but now this. .. they had indeed and things were turning _ but now this. .. they had indeed and things were turning in _ but now this. .. they had indeed and things were turning in a _ but now this. .. they had indeed and things were turning in a different. things were turning in a different direction but now any international arrivals, where ever they come from, — however they have come, they will have to have a pcr test and self isolate until they get a negative result, and we know this will be from sometime next week. it is worth bearing in mind that pcr tests were only swapped to the cheaper lateral flow tests at the end of last month and lateral photos can't be used to identify new variants and of course there are new countries being added to the red list and the concern that the travel industry has is that new countries could be added in the future, but at the moment that is not on the cards but we are learning more about this variant and where it is spreading. more about this variant and where it is spreading-— is spreading. caroline davies, thanks for— is spreading. caroline davies, thanks forjoining _ is spreading. caroline davies, thanks forjoining us. -
the government's latest coronavirus figures show there were 39,567 new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. on average, there were nearly 44,000 new cases reported per day in the last week. 131 deaths were recorded, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test, which means on average in the past week, 123 covid—related deaths were recorded every day. 0n vaccinations, more than 17 million people have now had a boosterjab. and the health secretary, sajid javid, will be one of the guests on the the andrew marr show, that's tomorrow morning, at 9am, here on bbc one. three people have died as storm arwen hit parts of the uk, bringing high winds, rain and snow. there's been damage across scotland, northern england, the midlands and wales, leading to road closures and severe train delays. at one point, more than 100,000 homes were without power. here's andy gill. storm arwen has left much of the country facing
disruption and damage. there have been some near misses, road and rail travel has been badly affected and tens of thousands of homes left without power. the storm brought picture postcard scenery to the north yorkshire village of low row, but it's also disrupting life, especially for the vulnerable. patricia is 86. she lives alone and has difficulty walking. her power�*s been off since half past ten last night. it's cold, very cold. now, i've got some... somebody brought me a hot water bottle to put on my knees. and i've got two jumpers on. winds of more than 90mph battered the north—east coast of scotland and trains were cancelled across the uk. it's a fluid situation. we're going to try and keep people moving wherever we can. but in many parts of the country we are encouraging people not to travel at all and certainly to check on the websites, on the apps, and for live
information before they do set off. on one train in the north of scotland, passengers were stranded overnight. well, i got on the train at elgin just at the back of 3pm yesterday afternoon and about five o'clock, we hit huntley and stayed there for about 17 hours. on a farm near st asaph in north wales, a shed roof blew off, damaging cars. the met office has issued a yellow warning for icy conditions on sunday across much of scotland, northern england and the midlands. andy gill, bbc news, north yorkshire. the bbc has been hearing from the family and friends of one of the victims who died in the channel this week, when their small boat capsized. 24—year—old maryam nuri mohamed amin from northern iraq was trying to reach the uk to be with her partner. lucy williamson has more. she left to start a new life with her fiance.
a video from her engagement party less than a year ago, still stored on her relatives' phones. maryam nuri mohamed amin tried several times to get a visa tojoin her partner in the uk, before deciding to surprise him by trying to get there another way. she was messaging him when the boat began to lose air. in erbil, in northern iraq, the family's anger showed through their grief. her mother and sister inconsolable. translation: going to britain is very difficult. l she tried to get to britain legally twice. she went to the british embassy, but the process was delayed. she was forced to go the way she did. her friend iman left to absorb the news of her death. her humanity was so good, always advising me. and she was like someone i look... ..look up to for advice. so no one should try this.
no — no one deserves to die this way. but this disaster has changed little in the minds of people living in migrant camps here. they're just waiting for the right weather conditions to make the same journey, take the same risks. there's been a lot of finger—pointing across the channel over who's to blame for the growing crisis. european interior ministers are due to meet here tomorrow to discuss the problem. but the british home secretary has been disinvited in the middle of a diplomatic feud between the prime minister, borisjohnson, and the french president, emmanuel macron. investigations have begun to identify the other victims, but questions are also being asked about why help never arrived and more broadly, ahead of tomorrow's meeting, why, after all the diplomacy, all the deterrents, lives are still being risked and lost in a narrow stretch of sea. lucy williamson, bbc news, calais.
one of musical theatre's most revered composers and lyricists, stephen sondheim, has died at the age of 91. he created some of broadway's best known musicals and wrote the lyrics for west side story. he also had a hit with the song "send in the clowns," from the musical a little night music. daniela relph looks back at his career. # send in the clowns... it was stephen sondheim's only hit song, remarkably, because this was a man who revolutionised the american musical. as a young man, he learnt his trade from 0scar hammerstein, the lyricist who wrote shows like oklahoma and the sound of music. sondheim, too, started by doing the words, notably for leonard bernstein's music in west side story. # i like to be in america # 0k by me in america... soon, he was writing his own music as well. most of the shows that followed were hits and then in 1970 he came up with a new idea.
a musical that didn't follow an obvious plot. "company" was a series of vignettes featuring a dozen central characters. no two sondheim musicals were the same. when you hit a chord that you have | hit before or you have a technique| of doing a song that you have done before, when i do it, _ i get very nervous and i think, "i have written that, - i must not do that again." somebody will catch me up on it, so to speak, i it's as if somebody is saying, "wait a minute, you did - that in that show!" into the woods was based on fairy stories, like jack and the beanstalk. sondheim's music was rhythmically complicated and harmonically sophisticated. # son, we have no time to sit and dither # while her wither's wither wither. .. for his admirers, stephen sondheim produced some of the most sophisticated and thoughtful musicals ever written. # but where are the clowns? # quick, send in the clowns
# don't bother, they're here... stephen sondheim, who's died at the age of 91. england's women footballers maintained their winning run in qualification for the 2023 world cup. they beat austria 1—0, with ellen white scoring the only goal on her 100th international appearance. here's joe lynskey. the next women's world cup is in australia and new zealand. to get there, england go through sunderland in a storm. so torrential was the weather, the local trains said not to travel, but sarina wiegman's england look on their way to something good. they dominated austria through the first half. and, on 39 minutes, found a way through the wall. this was ellen white's100th cap, and she'd marked it with a goal. she's on course to soon be england women's record scorer. that was england's 33rd goal in five
qualifying games, but they knew this was their biggest test. they kept their 100% record thanks to mary earps' stunning save. but that was the closest austria came. and england should have had more. this win keeps them top and on course for the finals, where, down under, they'll hope for even brighter days on the pitch and with the weather. joe lynskey, bbc news. that's it. have a very good night. hello. storm arwen brought wind gusts close to 100mph the storm may be moving away, but travel disruption continuing and
damage and destruction from wind which gusted near 100 mph in northumberland. it has turned much colder, we saw some significant snow and some of the higher hills, adding to the problems of saturday. what is left of arwen, much less potent system moving into the continent. in between weather systems for sunday. we still have a disturbance from scotland, rain, sleet and snow and a frosty and icy start in places as across scotland and just clipping northern ireland, will move into the north of england and into the midlands and wales by the end of the afternoon. 0n either side of this there will be some good spells of sunshine but further wintry showers just clipping the east coast and more cloud pushing into northern ireland, but we will see some late afternoon sunshine here. by comparison to saturday, the winds will be much lighter but still fairly gusty down these eastern coasts for a large part of the day and in that way and it is going to continue to feel cold. temperatures for some struggling to get much above two or 3 c and we could see seven or 8 c for some western coast. the area of rain, sleet and snow starting to move its way south through sunday evening, clear skies behind it, another cold and frosty night and more cloud and outbreaks of rain, a little bit of higher levels no pushing into north—west