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tv   Coronavirus Update  BBC News  December 8, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm GMT

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today at six... today at six. .. the fallout continues, after today at six... the fallout continues, after that downing street video appearing to make fun of a party during lockdown. the video, dating from a year ago, has brought calls for borisjohnson�*s resignation, but he still claims the party didn't happen. iapologise... i apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country, and i apologise for the impression that it gives. millions of people now i think the prime minister was taking them for fools, |
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and that they were lied to. we're expecting a news conference in downing street on extra covid measures for england. we'lljoin that as and when it happens. also tonight on this extended edition of the bbc news at six... pfizer—biontech announce that three doses of their vaccine can neutralise the new omicron variant of the virus. and a terrible start for england on the first day of the first ashes test in brisbane. welcome to the bbc news at six, which comes today from salford in greater manchester. borisjohnson has faced more calls
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for his resignation today, following the emergence of a video which has caused shockwaves at westminster and much further afield. the video showed his staff joking about a christmas party last december, during the strict lockdown, when many families were unable to visit loved ones. allegra stratton, the aide seen laughing on the video, has resigned this afternoon. boris johnson apologised for the video but repeated his claim that no party had taken place. labour's sir keir starmer said he was treating the public like fools. ina in a moment, we expect the prime minister to give that news conference. let's stay with this for a moment. let's talk to our deputy political editor, vicki young, at westminster. this news conference has been hastily arranged, as we understand. what are we expecting? i understand. what are we expecting? i think we expect the prime minister not to want to talk about parties in
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downing street, that's for sure. he wants to concentrate on covid. we have heard from him over the last few weeks, urging everyone to get their boosterjabs. the question is, is he going to go further for england when it comes to covid restrictions? the cabinet met this afternoon, discussing among other things what is known as plan b for top downing street has been very reluctant to move to this, they say they want to wait until they have more scientific data about that new variant, but it appears this evening that they are going to act. if they were to follow plan b, as it will set out previously by the health secretary, it would mean not only more masks being worn, it would also mean more covid certification. that means people having to prove their covid status before entering venues like nightclubs, for example, and in the plan as it was laid out, and we don't know if that is what has been agreed, but it would mean that
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showing a negative test would not be enough, you would have to show that you were vaccinated. there would also be more calls for people to work from home, if possible, bringing england in line with other parts of the uk. i can tell you that, talking to lots of conservative mps, they are pretty angry about all of this. one of the reasons suggested that even suggested it would be a diversionary tactic to try and deflect attention away from a party which took place in downing street last year. we will have to say what the prime minister has to say and what evidence he is using to bring in any further changes. as i say, downing street has with said they needed more scientific evidence about the new variant and they would only once they got that. the big question is, have they got it, and what will the reaction before if they are told now is the time to bring in more restrictions?— is the time to bring in more restrictions? let's look inside downina restrictions? let's look inside downing street _ restrictions? let's look inside downing street to _ restrictions? let's look inside downing street to see - restrictions? let's look inside downing street to see what l restrictions? let's look inside l downing street to see what the restrictions? let's look inside - downing street to see what the state of readiness is. no appearance yet from the prime minister and the two
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experts who will be with him to describe what measures they might indeed be unveiling. it could turn out to be a very, very significant statement, withjust a out to be a very, very significant statement, with just a few weeks to go until christmas.— go until christmas. that's right, and i think— go until christmas. that's right, and i think everybody _ go until christmas. that's right, and i think everybody watching l go until christmas. that's right, i and i think everybody watching this will be remembering last year. for a long time, borisjohnson said christmas would be normal, that people would be able to gather, and there we all remember so clearly what happened, a new variant emerged, it spread quickly, and it prompted him to bring in those restrictions which forced so many to spend christmas apart from their loved ones. i think that they are among lots of people are we about to see a repeat? from every player has spoken to, it doesn't feel as though we are heading for those kind of draconian restrictions again, that there will be further steps, but not going that far. certainly, some of the opposition parties have been saying for some time that more needs to be done. the prime minister over
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this pandemic has been accused time and time again of acting too late, of waiting until it feels that the covid cases are rising rapidly before taking action. he's obviously very reluctant to bring in further restrictions on people, but as ever protecting the nhs has been what this government has been trying to do. they don't want the nhs to be overwhelmed. they do feel that vaccinations have made a huge difference. if you look at the number of cases compared to last year, yes, they are still pretty high across the uk, but the number of hospitalisations and deaths is nowhere near what it was. i think the big unknown with the new variant is whether the vaccinations will work. , ., ., is whether the vaccinations will work. ,., ., ., ., ., ., is whether the vaccinations will work. ., ., ., ~ work. good afternoon and thank you for “oininu work. good afternoon and thank you forjoining us- _ work. good afternoon and thank you forjoining us. as _ work. good afternoon and thank you forjoining us. as soon _ work. good afternoon and thank you forjoining us. as soon as _ work. good afternoon and thank you forjoining us. as soon as we - forjoining us. as soon as we learned _ forjoining us. as soon as we learned of— forjoining us. as soon as we learned of the new omicron variant, this government acted, introducing targeted _ this government acted, introducing targeted and proportioned measures as a precaution, while our scientists— as a precaution, while our scientists discovered more, and we are learning — scientists discovered more, and we are learning more every day. we
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don't _ are learning more every day. we don't yet — are learning more every day. we don't yet know omicron's severity, its exact _ don't yet know omicron's severity, its exact rate of transmission, nor indeed _ its exact rate of transmission, nor indeed the — its exact rate of transmission, nor indeed the full effectiveness of our vaccines— indeed the full effectiveness of our vaccines against it. since i last spoke — vaccines against it. since i last spoke to— vaccines against it. since i last spoke to you, it's become increasingly clear that omicron is growing — increasingly clear that omicron is growing much faster than the previous— growing much faster than the previous delta variant, and it is spreading — previous delta variant, and it is spreading rapidly all around the world — spreading rapidly all around the world. 568 cases have been confirmed through— world. 568 cases have been confirmed through genomic sequencing across every— through genomic sequencing across every region of the uk, and the true number— every region of the uk, and the true number is _ every region of the uk, and the true number is certain to be much higher. most— number is certain to be much higher. most worryingly, there is evidence that the _ most worryingly, there is evidence that the doubling time of omicron in the uk _ that the doubling time of omicron in the uk could currently be between two and _ the uk could currently be between two and three days and, while there are some _ two and three days and, while there are some limits on what we can learn from south _ are some limits on what we can learn from south africa, because of the different — from south africa, because of the different rates of vaccination and previous — different rates of vaccination and previous infection, we are seeing growth _ previous infection, we are seeing growth in — previous infection, we are seeing growth in cases here in the uk that now mirrors — growth in cases here in the uk that now mirrors the rapid increases previously— now mirrors the rapid increases previously seen in south africa. and
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south _ previously seen in south africa. and south africa — previously seen in south africa. and south africa is also seeing hospitalisations roughly doubling in a week _ hospitalisations roughly doubling in a week. meaning that we can't yet assume _ a week. meaning that we can't yet assume that omicron is less severe than previous variants, so while the picture _ than previous variants, so while the picture may— than previous variants, so while the picture may get better, and i sincerely— picture may get better, and i sincerely hope that it will, we know that the _ sincerely hope that it will, we know that the remorseless logic of exponential growth could lead to a hu-e exponential growth could lead to a huge rise — exponential growth could lead to a huge rise in hospitalisations and therefore — huge rise in hospitalisations and therefore sadly in deaths. that is why it _ therefore sadly in deaths. that is why it is — therefore sadly in deaths. that is why it is now the proportionate and responsible thing to move to plan b in england. — responsible thing to move to plan b in england, while continuing to work closely— in england, while continuing to work closely with our colleagues in the devolved — closely with our colleagues in the devolved administrations, so we slow the spread _ devolved administrations, so we slow the spread of the virus, we buy ourselves— the spread of the virus, we buy ourselves the time to get yet more boosters _ ourselves the time to get yet more boosters into arms, and especially in the _ boosters into arms, and especially in the older— boosters into arms, and especially in the olderand boosters into arms, and especially in the older and more vulnerable people. — in the older and more vulnerable people, and understand the answers to the _ people, and understand the answers to the key— people, and understand the answers to the key outstanding questions about— to the key outstanding questions about omicron. so, first, we will
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reintroduce — about omicron. so, first, we will reintroduce the guidance to work from _ reintroduce the guidance to work from home. employers should use the rest of— from home. employers should use the rest of the _ from home. employers should use the rest of the week to discuss working arrangements with their employees but, arrangements with their employees but. from _ arrangements with their employees but, from monday, you should work from _ but, from monday, you should work from home — but, from monday, you should work from home if you can. go to work if you n1ust— from home if you can. go to work if you must lrut— from home if you can. go to work if you must but work from home if you can. you must but work from home if you can i_ you must but work from home if you can i know— you must but work from home if you can. i know this will be hard for many— can. i know this will be hard for many people but, by reducing your contacts _ many people but, by reducing your contacts in— many people but, by reducing your contacts in the workplace, you will help slow — contacts in the workplace, you will help slow transmission. second from this friday. _ help slow transmission. second from this friday, we will further extend the legal— this friday, we will further extend the legal requirement to wear a face mask— the legal requirement to wear a face mask to _ the legal requirement to wear a face mask to most public indoor venues, including _ mask to most public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas. there _ including theatres and cinemas. there will— including theatres and cinemas. there will be exemptions where it is not practical, such as when eating, drinking, _ not practical, such as when eating, drinking, exercising or singing. third. — drinking, exercising or singing. third. we — drinking, exercising or singing. third, we will also make the nhs covert— third, we will also make the nhs covert pass mandatory for entry to night _ covert pass mandatory for entry to night clubs — covert pass mandatory for entry to night clubs and venues where large crowds _ night clubs and venues where large crowds gather, including unseated indoor— crowds gather, including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people. _ indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with
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more than _ people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4000 people and any venue with more _ more than 4000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people. the nhs covid _ with more than 10,000 people. the nhs covid pass can still be obtained with two— nhs covid pass can still be obtained with two doses but we will keep this under— with two doses but we will keep this under review as the boosters roll out. having taken clinical advice since _ out. having taken clinical advice since the — out. having taken clinical advice since the emergence of omicron, a negative _ since the emergence of omicron, a negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient. as we set out in plan b, be sufficient. as we set out in plan b. we _ be sufficient. as we set out in plan b. we will— be sufficient. as we set out in plan b, we will give businesses a week's notice, _ b, we will give businesses a week's notice. so _ b, we will give businesses a week's notice, so this will come into force in a week's— notice, so this will come into force in a week's time, helping to keep these _ in a week's time, helping to keep these events and venues open at full capacity— these events and venues open at full capacity while giving everyone who attends _ capacity while giving everyone who attends them confidence that those around _ attends them confidence that those around them have done the responsible thing to minimise risk to others — responsible thing to minimise risk to others. as omicron spreads in the community, — to others. as omicron spreads in the community, we will also introduce daily community, we will also introduce dailv tests — community, we will also introduce daily tests for contacts, instead of isolation, — daily tests for contacts, instead of isolation, so we keep people safe while _ isolation, so we keep people safe while minimising the disruption to
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daily life — while minimising the disruption to daily life. of course, we will take every _ daily life. of course, we will take every step — daily life. of course, we will take every step to ensure our nhs is ready— every step to ensure our nhs is ready for— every step to ensure our nhs is ready for the challenges ahead. but the single _ ready for the challenges ahead. but the single biggest thing that everyone of us can do is to get our 'abs everyone of us can do is to get our jabs and. — everyone of us can do is to get our jabs and, crucially, to get that lrooster— jabs and, crucially, to get that booster as _ jabs and, crucially, to get that booster as soon as our turn arrives. one year— booster as soon as our turn arrives. one year to — booster as soon as our turn arrives. one year to the day since the uk became — one year to the day since the uk became the first country in the world — became the first country in the world to — became the first country in the world to administer a covid vaccine into the _ world to administer a covid vaccine into the arms of our margaret keenan, _ into the arms of our margaret keenan, have opened up the vaccine lrooster— keenan, have opened up the vaccine booster to _ keenan, have opened up the vaccine booster to all those over 40 and we are reducing the gap between second dose and _ are reducing the gap between second dose and booster to a minimum of 'ust dose and booster to a minimum of just three — dose and booster to a minimum of just three months. our heroic nhs staff and _ just three months. our heroic nhs staff and volunteers have already done _ staff and volunteers have already done almost 21 million boosters, including — done almost 21 million boosters, including reaching 84% of all the eligible — including reaching 84% of all the eligible over 805. but we need to go further— eligible over 805. but we need to go further and _ eligible over 805. but we need to go further and faster 5till. our 5cienti5t5 further and faster 5till. our scientists are absolutely confident that your — scientists are absolutely confident that your immune response will be that your immune re5pon5e will be stronger— that your immune response will be stronger if— that your immune response will be stronger if you have been boosted 5tronger if you have been boosted
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and, _ 5tronger if you have been boosted and. while — 5tronger if you have been boosted and, while you are at it, please get your flu _ and, while you are at it, please get your flu jab. — and, while you are at it, please get your flu jab, too. and, while you are at it, please get yourflu jab, too. let'5 and, while you are at it, please get your flu jab, too. let's do everything we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones this our5elve5 and our loved ones this winter— ourselves and our loved ones this winter and — ourselves and our loved ones this winter and to reduce the pressures on our— winter and to reduce the pressures on our nhs — winter and to reduce the pressures on our nhs. a5 we learn more, so we will be _ on our nhs. a5 we learn more, so we will be guided by the hard medical data around four key criteria, the efficacy— data around four key criteria, the efficacy of— data around four key criteria, the efficacy of our vaccines and our boosters. — efficacy of our vaccines and our boosters, the severity of omicron, the speed — boosters, the severity of omicron, the speed of its spread and the rate of hospitalisations. we will constantly monitor the data and keep it under— constantly monitor the data and keep it under review. of course, we must be humbled — it under review. of course, we must be humbled in the face of this virus — be humbled in the face of this virus but, _ be humbled in the face of this virus. but, ifand be humbled in the face of this virus. but, if and as soon as it becomes— virus. but, if and as soon as it becomes clear that the boosters are capable _ becomes clear that the boosters are capable of— becomes clear that the boosters are capable of holding this omicron variant, — capable of holding this omicron variant, and we have boosted enough people _ variant, and we have boosted enough people to _ variant, and we have boosted enough people to do that job of keeping 0micron — people to do that job of keeping omicron in equilibria, then we will
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be able _ omicron in equilibria, then we will be able to— omicron in equilibria, then we will be able to move forward as before. so please, — be able to move forward as before. so please, everybody, play your part and get _ so please, everybody, play your part and get boosted. i am now going to hand over— and get boosted. i am now going to hand over to chris to do the slides. thank— hand over to chris to do the slides. thank you. — hand over to chris to do the slides. thank you, prime minister. i wanted to situate this initially on where we are with delta, because what is happening is omicron is coming on the back of a still high rate of delta transmission and hospitalisation. in the first light, what we have is the number of people testing positive for covid in the uk, and that has been drifting upwards, to very rapid rate, but it has been drifting upwards. the omicron data are not really going to be visible in this for a few days, but they will become visible over time. next slide, please. the number of people in hospital with covid in the uk has, because of the booster vaccination programme in particular, been drifting down until this point in time, with the numbers going into
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hospital reducing, although that has now stabilised slightly. that is because the boosters optically going to protect and protecting people who in the highest risk categories, as the prime minister has said. next slide, please. the number of people in the uk who are dying has again gradually been decreasing over time, but is still a daily average of 121 deaths from covid. we still have a significant issue with covid and i think anybody who speaks to anyone working in the nhs would say that is on top of an incredibly busy system. next slide, please. in terms of our major countermeasures, of course, the biggest one is boosting. this is steadily increasing, so we now have over a third of those who are eligible have already had a booster, and they are by and large the most vulnerable third, but there are still people who are in a high—risk
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group who have not been boosted and, of course, we have to move down those groups, and that will become absolutely critical, we think, as we move into a period where omicron become significant and probably then becomes dominant. next slide, please. this is a set of data just to show quite how effective with the variants we have had to date vaccination can be. what it compares is, with the dark lines, the hospitalisation rate in the black bars in those who are unvaccinated and in the orange bars those are vaccinated with two doses. this is largely protecting against delta. as you can see, at every age, a really substantial improvement in your protection. now we move on to the
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data on omicron and these are data people have probably seen versions of in media in the last few days but i think the need flashing out a bit. these are the number of people testing positive for covid—19 in south africa. at this point in time, the big increase in covid in south africa is almost all the omicron variant and this has now spread all around south africa and you can see it is an incredibly steep increase in rates and we are now seeing this translating into increasing hospitalisations. i was talking to some of my colleagues from there this afternoon and they were saying that informal data, still to be added to, there was around about a 300% increase on hospitalisations over the last week. some of those will have come in with omicron and some as a result omicron but the
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fact is that the numbers are going up fact is that the numbers are going up very sharply. next slide, please. what is happening in the uk? i'm afraid that the data here are now clear. what you can see here is the number on the left and on the right, the percentage of cases with what is called s gene target failure which is a markerfor omicron. virtually all the cases now have this market have omicron, a small number will not add as you can see, whether you look at the absolute account or the percentage, this is going up incredibly fast now and as the prime minister has said, it is doubling at this point in time go it might slow down and the aim of the measures announced is to slow things down but it is doubling currently between two and three, every two and three days which is an extraordinarily fast rate and you therefore can get, with
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very small numbers, to very large numbers, really quite quickly. the question people reasonably want to ask is if this will feed through to people in hospital and how quickly. i think i would just like to point out two realities. firstly, the first is a good one, at the moment the spread is in younger people who you would not expect to go into hospital and it is when it starts moving up the edges into vulnerable groups you will start to see that so they will be a lag as it moves into a more vulnerable groups. and we know from previous waves, and this is not bitterly surprising, that there is a delay between people becoming infected and ending up with symptoms and then hospitalisation so there is normally about a two week delay so therefore we would not expect that these cases, the case rates in hospital, will start to go up rates in hospital, will start to go up for a rates in hospital, will start to go upfora number of rates in hospital, will start to go up for a number of probably two or three weeks and in that period, if you are doubling at the speed we are talking about, we move from a very small numbers to really substantial
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numbers and it will keep on doubling and that really is the reason why these measures have been announced by the prime minister, as agreed by ministers today. thank you. thank ou, ministers today. thank you. thank you. chris — ministers today. thank you. thank you, chris pandit _ ministers today. thank you. thank you, chris pandit patrick, - ministers today. thank you. thank you, chris pandit patrick, anything to add? _ you, chris pandit patrick, anything to add? good. let's go to members of the public, _ to add? good. let's go to members of the public, dave from chester. our mandatory — the public, dave from chester. our mandatory vaccination i5 the public, dave from chester. our mandatory vaccination is being considered _ mandatory vaccination is being considered like _ mandatory vaccination is being considered like they— mandatory vaccination is being considered like they are - mandatory vaccination is being considered like they are in - mandatory vaccination is being considered like they are in the | mandatory vaccination is being i considered like they are in the eu and other— considered like they are in the eu and other nations _ considered like they are in the eu and other nations and _ considered like they are in the eu and other nations and if- considered like they are in the eu and other nations and if not, - considered like they are in the eul and other nations and if not, why? why is— and other nations and if not, why? why is it _ and other nations and if not, why? why is it acceptable _ and other nations and if not, why? why is it acceptable to _ and other nations and if not, why? why is it acceptable to put - and other nations and if not, why? . why is it acceptable to put measures on our— why is it acceptable to put measures on our freedoms _ why is it acceptable to put measures on our freedoms but _ why is it acceptable to put measures on our freedoms but not _ why is it acceptable to put measures on our freedoms but not that - why is it acceptable to put measures on our freedoms but not that on - why is it acceptable to put measures on our freedoms but not that on ouri on our freedoms but not that on our vaccination — on our freedoms but not that on our vaccination status— on our freedoms but not that on our vaccination status is? _ on our freedoms but not that on our vaccination status is?— vaccination status is? thank you, i said at the — vaccination status is? thank you, i said at the beginning _ vaccination status is? thank you, i said at the beginning of _ vaccination status is? thank you, i said at the beginning of this - said at the beginning of this pandemic, oras said at the beginning of this pandemic, or as soon as we were talking _ pandemic, or as soon as we were talking about vaccination seriously, that i_ talking about vaccination seriously, that i did _ talking about vaccination seriously, that i did not want us to have a society— that i did not want us to have a society and _ that i did not want us to have a society and a culture where we forced — society and a culture where we forced people to get vaccinated, i don't _ forced people to get vaccinated, i don't think that has ever been the way we _ don't think that has ever been the way we do — don't think that has ever been the way we do things in this country. and actually, dave, we have been able to— and actually, dave, we have been able to achieve, through the
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voluntarism of the british people, that incredible public spirit, they're _ that incredible public spirit, they're willing this to roll up their— they're willing this to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated, huge _ their sleeves and get vaccinated, huge proportions of the population have done — huge proportions of the population have done so. i think there will come _ have done so. i think there will come a — have done so. i think there will come a point if we can show the vaccines— come a point if we can show the vaccines are capable of holding omicron, — vaccines are capable of holding omicron, that is the key thing i think— omicron, that is the key thing i think we — omicron, that is the key thing i think we need to test, i think we will have — think we need to test, i think we will have to _ think we need to test, i think we will have to have a conversation about _ will have to have a conversation about ways in which we deal with this pandemic because i want to be absolutely— this pandemic because i want to be absolutely clear with you, i don't believe _ absolutely clear with you, i don't believe we — absolutely clear with you, i don't believe we can keep going indefinitely with non—pharmaceutical interventions, i mean restrictions on people's— interventions, i mean restrictions on people's way of life just because a substantial proportion of the population still sadly has not got vaccinated. i think we will need to have _ vaccinated. i think we will need to have a _ vaccinated. i think we will need to have a national conversation about the way _ have a national conversation about the way forward. and the other
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things— the way forward. and the other things we — the way forward. and the other things we can do to protect those who are _ things we can do to protect those who are hard to reach, who have not -ot who are hard to reach, who have not got vaccinated for one reason or another, — got vaccinated for one reason or another, maybe medical reasons why they cannot _ another, maybe medical reasons why they cannot do so, other ways of protecting — they cannot do so, other ways of protecting them. but that is a state ithink— protecting them. but that is a state i think we _ protecting them. but that is a state i think we will come to if and when we establish, as i hope that we will, _ we establish, as i hope that we will, that— we establish, as i hope that we will, that the booster i5 we establish, as i hope that we will, that the booster is effective against _ will, that the booster is effective against omicron and the booster i5 against omicron and the booster is capable _ against omicron and the booster is capable of— against omicron and the booster is capable of holding omicron getting us back— capable of holding omicron getting us back into that equilibrium that the double jabs got us into with delta. — the double jabs got us into with delta. if— the double jabs got us into with delta, if you follow me. it is at that _ delta, if you follow me. it is at that moment i think we will have to talk seriously about moving on from the way, _ talk seriously about moving on from the way, from thinking about further ways to _ the way, from thinking about further ways to protect people. rachel from essex _
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ways to protect people. rachel from essex she — ways to protect people. rachel from essex. she asked, why can't bully vaccinated — essex. she asked, why can't bully vaccinated british travellers are stuck _ vaccinated british travellers are stuck in — vaccinated british travellers are stuck in red this country is itself isolated — 5tuck in red this country is itself isolated at— stuck in red this country is itself isolated at home when they return instead _ isolated at home when they return instead of— isolated at home when they return instead of a hotel? rachel, i think that is a very fair challenge, — rachel, i think that is a very fair challenge, i think given the way 0micron — challenge, i think given the way 0micron is _ challenge, i think given the way omicron is now ceded around the world, _ omicron is now ceded around the world, not— omicron is now ceded around the world, notjust in medallist countries, i think we will be looking _ countries, i think we will be looking at the red list and the way we do _ looking at the red list and the way we do it— looking at the red list and the way we do it but it has been very important _ we do it but it has been very important in the immediate period, the immediate response to omicron, to have _ the immediate response to omicron, to have a _ the immediate response to omicron, to have a very tough border measures to have a very tough border measures to slow— to have a very tough border measures to slow the _ to have a very tough border measures to slow the arrival of the variant in this— to slow the arrival of the variant in this country, and that was the objective — in this country, and that was the objective of those measures and continues— objective of those measures and continues to be the objective and i don't _ continues to be the objective and i don't know— continues to be the objective and i don't know if you have anything to add to— don't know if you have anything to add to that? ok, straight to laura kuenssberg at bbc news. add to that? 0k, straight to laura kuenssberg at bbc news.- add to that? 0k, straight to laura kuenssberg at bbc news. thank you, prime minister. _ kuenssberg at bbc news. thank you, prime minister. you _ kuenssberg at bbc news. thank you, prime minister. you are _ kuenssberg at bbc news. thank you, prime minister. you are tightening i prime minister. you are tightening the rules— prime minister. you are tightening the rules again _ prime minister. you are tightening the rules again for _ prime minister. you are tightening the rules again for millions - prime minister. you are tightening the rules again for millions of- the rules again for millions of people —
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the rules again for millions of people tonight~ _ the rules again for millions of people tonight. how- the rules again for millions of people tonight. how can - the rules again for millions of people tonight. how can youl the rules again for millions of- people tonight. how can you stand at that elect— people tonight. how can you stand at that elect and — people tonight. how can you stand at that elect and exactly— people tonight. how can you stand at that elect and exactly where - people tonight. how can you stand at that elect and exactly where some i people tonight. how can you stand at that elect and exactly where some of| that elect and exactly where some of your team _ that elect and exactly where some of your team laughed _ that elect and exactly where some of your team laughed and _ that elect and exactly where some of your team laughed and joked - that elect and exactly where some of your team laughed and joked about i your team laughed and joked about covid _ your team laughed and joked about covid rules— your team laughed and joked about covid rules and _ your team laughed and joked about covid rules and tell _ your team laughed and joked about covid rules and tell people - your team laughed and joked about covid rules and tell people they - covid rules and tell people they must _ covid rules and tell people they must now— covid rules and tell people they must now follow _ covid rules and tell people they must now follow your _ covid rules and tell people they must now follow your new - must now follow your new instructions? _ must now follow your new instructions? and - must now follow your new instructions? and are - must now follow your new instructions? and are you| must now follow your new - instructions? and are you really asking — instructions? and are you really asking the — instructions? and are you really asking the public _ instructions? and are you really asking the public to _ instructions? and are you really asking the public to believe - instructions? and are you really asking the public to believe you j instructions? and are you really- asking the public to believe you had no idea _ asking the public to believe you had no idea what— asking the public to believe you had no idea what was _ asking the public to believe you had no idea what was going _ asking the public to believe you had no idea what was going on - asking the public to believe you had no idea what was going on under. asking the public to believe you had i no idea what was going on under your own roof? _ no idea what was going on under your own roof? the — no idea what was going on under your own roof? , ., ., own roof? the first thing i want to sa , own roof? the first thing i want to say. thank — own roof? the first thing i want to say. thank you. — own roof? the first thing i want to say, thank you, laura, _ own roof? the first thing i want to say, thank you, laura, is - own roof? the first thing i want to say, thank you, laura, is that - own roof? the first thing i want to say, thank you, laura, is that i . 5ay, thank you, laura, is that i know— say, thank you, laura, is that i know that _ say, thank you, laura, is that i know that today allegra stratton has resigned _ know that today allegra stratton has resigned and i wanted to pay tribute to her— resigned and i wanted to pay tribute to her because she has been, in spite _ to her because she has been, in spite of— to her because she has been, in spite of what everybody has seen, and again. — spite of what everybody has seen, and again. i— spite of what everybody has seen, and again, i make no excuses for the frivolity _ and again, i make no excuses for the frivolity with — and again, i make no excuses for the frivolity with which the subject was hell to _ frivolity with which the subject was hell to -- — frivolity with which the subject was hell to —— handled in that rehearsal that people — hell to —— handled in that rehearsal that people saw in the clip, there can be _ that people 5aw in the clip, there can be no— that people saw in the clip, there can be no excuse for it and i can totally _ can be no excuse for it and i can totally understand how infuriating it was, _ totally understand how infuriating it was, but i want to say that allegra — it was, but i want to say that allegra has been a fine colleague
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and achieved a great deal in her time _ and achieved a great deal in her time in — and achieved a great deal in her time in government and was a particularly effective spokesman for c0p26, _ particularly effective spokesman for cop26, coining the coal, cars, cash, trees— cop26, coining the coal, cars, cash, trees agenda — cop26, coining the coal, cars, cash, trees agenda and help to marshal and rally the _ trees agenda and help to marshal and rally the world behind the agreement in c0p26~ _ rally the world behind the agreement in cop26. and if you forgive me, i wanted _ in cop26. and if you forgive me, i wanted to— in cop26. and if you forgive me, i wanted to say that because i think it has— wanted to say that because i think it has been— wanted to say that because i think it has been a sad day for her as well— it has been a sad day for her as well as— it has been a sad day for her as well as an _ it has been a sad day for her as well as an infuriating event for many— well as an infuriating event for many people around the country. and on that— many people around the country. and on that point, i want to repeat the fundamental point, that i think the british— fundamental point, that i think the british public, notwithstanding the point you — british public, notwithstanding the point you make, can see the vital importance — point you make, can see the vital importance of the medical information that we are giving, and they can _ information that we are giving, and they can see the need to take it to heart _ they can see the need to take it to heart and — they can see the need to take it to heart and to act upon it. and that point _ heart and to act upon it. and that point has — heart and to act upon it. and that point has been proved time and time
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again— point has been proved time and time again and _ point has been proved time and time again and it — point has been proved time and time again and it has never been more conspicuous in the way that the public— conspicuous in the way that the public has — conspicuous in the way that the public has responded to the vaccine roll-out _ public has responded to the vaccine roll—out and the way they have done the responsible thing. i take roll—out and the way they have done the responsible thing. itake my encouragement from the way the public— encouragement from the way the public have dealt with it themselves. anushka asthana of itv. prime _ themselves. anushka asthana of itv. prime minister, you have only really agreed _ prime minister, you have only really agreed to— prime minister, you have only really agreed to an — prime minister, you have only really agreed to an investigation _ prime minister, you have only really agreed to an investigation into- prime minister, you have only really agreed to an investigation into what| agreed to an investigation into what happened _ agreed to an investigation into what happened on— agreed to an investigation into what happened on december— agreed to an investigation into what happened on december 18- agreed to an investigation into what happened on december 18 last - agreed to an investigation into what happened on december 18 last year| happened on december 18 last year because _ happened on december 18 last year because of— happened on december 18 last year because of the _ happened on december 18 last year because of the video _ happened on december 18 last year because of the video that _ happened on december 18 last year because of the video that emerged | because of the video that emerged from this— because of the video that emerged from this room, _ because of the video that emerged from this room, and _ because of the video that emerged from this room, and allegra - from this room, and allegra stratton's_ from this room, and allegra stratton's resignation- from this room, and allegral stratton's resignation seems from this room, and allegra . stratton's resignation seems to further— stratton's resignation seems to further suggest _ stratton's resignation seems to further suggest a _ stratton's resignation seems to further suggest a party - stratton's resignation seems to further suggest a party took - stratton's resignation seems to i further suggest a party took place despite _ further suggest a party took place despite the — further suggest a party took place despite the denials _ further suggest a party took place despite the denials but— further suggest a party took place despite the denials but we - further suggest a party took place despite the denials but we have . further suggest a party took place . despite the denials but we have also had serious — despite the denials but we have also had serious allegations _ despite the denials but we have also had serious allegations about - had serious allegations about parties — had serious allegations about parties on _ had serious allegations about parties on three _ had serious allegations about parties on three other- had serious allegations about i parties on three other occasions had serious allegations about - parties on three other occasions so i parties on three other occasions so i want _ parties on three other occasions so i want to— parties on three other occasions so i want to ask— parties on three other occasions so i want to ask you _ parties on three other occasions so i want to ask you why _ parties on three other occasions so i want to ask you why they- parties on three other occasions so i want to ask you why they are - parties on three other occasions so i want to ask you why they are not i i want to ask you why they are not being _ i want to ask you why they are not being investigated. _ i want to ask you why they are not being investigated. i5 _ i want to ask you why they are not being investigated. is it— i want to ask you why they are not being investigated. is it because l being investigated. is it because you have — being investigated. is it because you have not _ being investigated. is it because you have not been _ being investigated. is it because you have not been caught- being investigated. is it because you have not been caught out i being investigated. is it because you have not been caught out in| you have not been caught out in those _ you have not been caught out in those cases— you have not been caught out in those cases or— you have not been caught out in those cases or because - you have not been caught out in those cases or because reportsl you have not been caught out in. those cases or because reports are true, _ those cases or because reports are true, that— those cases or because reports are true, that you _ those cases or because reports are true, that you attended _ those cases or because reports are true, that you attended some - those cases or because reports are true, that you attended some of. true, that you attended some of them? _ true, that you attended some of them? and _ true, that you attended some of them? and to _ true, that you attended some of them? and to the _ true, that you attended some of them? and to the rest - true, that you attended some of them? and to the rest of- true, that you attended some of them? and to the rest of you i true, that you attended some of. them? and to the rest of you here, can i_ them? and to the rest of you here, can i ask— them? and to the rest of you here, can i ask how— them? and to the rest of you here, can i ask how worried _ them? and to the rest of you here, can i ask how worried you - them? and to the rest of you here, can i ask how worried you are - them? and to the rest of you here, | can i ask how worried you are about whether— can i ask how worried you are about whether this — can i ask how worried you are about whether this undermines _
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can i ask how worried you are about whether this undermines public- whether this undermines public trust? — whether this undermines public trust? the _ whether this undermines public trust? the polling _ whether this undermines public trust? the polling suggests - whether this undermines public trust? the polling suggests it. whether this undermines public. trust? the polling suggests it does do, conservative _ trust? the polling suggests it does do, conservative mp5 _ trust? the polling suggests it does do, conservative mp5 are - trust? the polling suggests it does do, conservative mp5 are openly. do, conservative mp5 are openly saying _ do, conservative mp5 are openly saying it — do, conservative mp5 are openly saying it is — do, conservative mp5 are openly saying it is very— do, conservative mp5 are openly saying it is very hard _ do, conservative mp5 are openly saying it is very hard to - do, conservative mp5 are openly saying it is very hard to mandatej saying it is very hard to mandate the public— 5aying it is very hard to mandate the public to— saying it is very hard to mandate the public to act. _ saying it is very hard to mandate the public to act.— the public to act. thank you. i re eat the public to act. thank you. i repeat what — the public to act. thank you. i repeat what i _ the public to act. thank you. i repeat what i said _ the public to act. thank you. i repeat what i said in - the public to act. thank you. i repeat what i said in the - the public to act. thank you. i | repeat what i said in the house the public to act. thank you. i - repeat what i said in the house and earlier— repeat what i said in the house and earlier today, the cabinet secretary will conduct an enquiry into what took— will conduct an enquiry into what took place — will conduct an enquiry into what took place on december 18. a5 for other— took place on december 18. a5 for other events, other dates you mentioned, as far as i'm aware, to the best— mentioned, as far as i'm aware, to the best of— mentioned, as far as i'm aware, to the best of my knowledge, we have followed _ the best of my knowledge, we have followed the rules throughout. that is what _ followed the rules throughout. that is what you would expect and indeed we followed the rules, as far as i'm aware, _ we followed the rules, as far as i'm aware. they— we followed the rules, as far as i'm aware, they were followed on december 18 as well. and ijust repeat— december 18 as well. and ijust repeat that point. but it is clearly important — repeat that point. but it is clearly important at the cabinet secretary is able _ important at the cabinet secretary is able to— important at the cabinet secretary is able to get to the bottom of it but in _ is able to get to the bottom of it but in the — is able to get to the bottom of it but in the meantime, on your global, your big _ but in the meantime, on your global, your big point again which is really
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the same — your big point again which is really the same as laura's, i think overwhelmingly the public see the importance of the messages that they are getting by this medium. it is imperfect, — are getting by this medium. it is imperfect, we do what we can to explain — imperfect, we do what we can to explain what we think is necessary. i explain what we think is necessary. i know— explain what we think is necessary. i know it _ explain what we think is necessary. i know it is — explain what we think is necessary. i know it is contentious, i know it's difficult, and i note that sometimes the messages are confusing. we do our absolute best to make _ confusing. we do our absolute best to make it— confusing. we do our absolute best to make it as clear as possible and we do _ to make it as clear as possible and we do everything we can to protect public— we do everything we can to protect public health, that is what we are driven— public health, that is what we are driven by — public health, that is what we are driven by. chris and patrick. the measures _ driven by. chris and patrick. the measures work _ driven by. chris and patrick. the measures work because people follow them and _ measures work because people follow them and that — measures work because people follow them and that has— measures work because people follow them and that has been— measures work because people follow them and that has been shown - measures work because people follow them and that has been shown time l them and that has been shown time and time _ them and that has been shown time and time again— them and that has been shown time and time again during _ them and that has been shown time and time again during this— them and that has been shown time and time again during this so- them and that has been shown time and time again during this so it - them and that has been shown time and time again during this so it is i and time again during this so it is incredibly— and time again during this so it is incredibly important— and time again during this so it is incredibly important everybody. incredibly important everybody followed — incredibly important everybody followed it. _ incredibly important everybody followed it, everybody, - incredibly important everybody followed it, everybody, it - incredibly important everybody followed it, everybody, it is i followed it, everybody, it is incredibly— followed it, everybody, it is incredibly important - followed it, everybody, it is - incredibly important throughout and will be _ incredibly important throughout and will be incredibly— incredibly important throughout and will be incredibly important - incredibly important throughout and will be incredibly important going i will be incredibly important going forward — will be incredibly important going forward it— will be incredibly important going forward. it only _ will be incredibly important going forward. it only works _ will be incredibly important going forward. it only works if- will be incredibly important going forward. it only works if we - will be incredibly important going forward. it only works if we all. will be incredibly important going forward. it only works if we all do it. forward. it only works if we all do it we _ forward. it only works if we all do it we are — forward. it only works if we all do it we are now— forward. it only works if we all do it. we are now facing _ forward. it only works if we all do it. we are now facing a _ forward. it only works if we all do it. we are now facing a viral- it. we are now facing a viral variant— it. we are now facing a viral variant that _ it. we are now facing a viral variant that is _ it. we are now facing a viral
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variant that is rapidly - it. we are now facing a viral- variant that is rapidly progressing, it has— variant that is rapidly progressing, it has got— variant that is rapidly progressing, it has got a — variant that is rapidly progressing, it has got a doubling _ variant that is rapidly progressing, it has got a doubling time - variant that is rapidly progressing, | it has got a doubling time between two and _ it has got a doubling time between two and three _ it has got a doubling time between two and three days _ it has got a doubling time between two and three days and _ it has got a doubling time between two and three days and measures. it has got a doubling time between - two and three days and measures need to be taken— two and three days and measures need to be taken to— two and three days and measures need to be taken to try— two and three days and measures need to be taken to try to _ two and three days and measures need to be taken to try to slow— two and three days and measures need to be taken to try to slow the _ to be taken to try to slow the spread — to be taken to try to slow the spread of— to be taken to try to slow the spread of that _ to be taken to try to slow the spread of that variant - to be taken to try to slow the spread of that variant as - to be taken to try to slow the spread of that variant as wellj to be taken to try to slow the - spread of that variant as well as, and i_ spread of that variant as well as, and i think— spread of that variant as well as, and i think this _ spread of that variant as well as, and i think this is _ spread of that variant as well as, and i think this is important, - spread of that variant as well as, and i think this is important, usi and i think this is important, us all boosting _ and i think this is important, us all boosting our— and i think this is important, us all boosting our own _ and i think this is important, us all boosting our own defences l and i think this is important, usi all boosting our own defences by getting _ all boosting our own defences by getting a — all boosting our own defences by getting a booster _ all boosting our own defences by getting a boosterjab. _ all boosting our own defences by getting a boosterjab. i- all boosting our own defences by getting a boosterjab. i think- all boosting our own defences by getting a boosterjab. i think the j getting a boosterjab. i think the rules— getting a boosterjab. i think the rules are — getting a boosterjab. i think the rules are there, _ getting a boosterjab. i think the rules are there, quite _ getting a boosterjab. i think the rules are there, quite carefully. rules are there, quite carefully thought— rules are there, quite carefully thought through _ rules are there, quite carefully thought through and _ rules are there, quite carefully thought through and given - rules are there, quite carefully- thought through and given scientific evidence _ thought through and given scientific evidence and — thought through and given scientific evidence and they _ thought through and given scientific evidence and they are _ thought through and given scientific evidence and they are there - thought through and given scientificl evidence and they are there because they are _ evidence and they are there because they are important _ evidence and they are there because they are important and _ evidence and they are there because they are important and they- evidence and they are there because they are important and they are - they are important and they are there _ they are important and they are there for— they are important and they are there for everybody— they are important and they are there for everybody to - they are important and they are there for everybody to stick - they are important and they are there for everybody to stick to. | there for everybody to stick to. just to— there for everybody to stick to. just to add _ there for everybody to stick to. just to add to _ there for everybody to stick to. just to add to that, _ there for everybody to stick to. just to add to that, we - there for everybody to stick to. just to add to that, we all- there for everybody to stick to. | just to add to that, we all know that people get very angry, including colleagues and friends, when they feel that it is unfair. the prime minister said that in the house of commons and has said it today. that is quite different from people, i think, today. that is quite different from people, ithink, wanting today. that is quite different from people, i think, wanting to actually know what is going on and then make decisions. i think those two need to be separated. the point about what we are trying to do is to say, here are the reasons, this is moving very fast, doubling every two or three days. it's too early for us to be
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confident about hospitalisations but we have seen how things have gone before and it is probably the way to bet and if we are pleasantly surprised no one would be happier than patrick and i and the prime minister would be. we know that. it looks like it would be able to evade vaccination and now clinically we know it can in terms of infection so we know that is an issue and therefore the boosters have become significantly more important, and we know we are going early so as to try to slow this down at an early stage in events. i think if it is laid out to people in a way that is reasonable, irrespective of other things, people want to know the logic as to why they are doing it and hopefully we lay out the logic of trying to do that. that is not in any way to try to move away from the earlier point but i think those two should be kept separate in peoples minds. the should be kept separate in peoples minds. , ' , , minds. the time is 29 minute spa six on bbc one. — minds. the time is 29 minute spa six on bbc one. let _ minds. the time is 29 minute spa six on bbc one, let me _ minds. the time is 29 minute spa six on bbc one, let me explain - minds. the time is 29 minute spa six on bbc one, let me explain what - minds. the time is 29 minute spa six on bbc one, let me explain what is l on bbc one, let me explain what is going on, this news conference in downing street with the prime minister and two of his senior
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advisers, we will leave this now on bbc one but you can keep following it on the bbc news channel and of course a lot of you are waiting patiently for the news where you are, in the regions of england and in wales and scotland and northern ireland and to the scientists, people are going to feel pretty flat today listening to this press conference. they were told to get theirjabs, to get their boosters, that they would have an irreversible path out of lockdown, that life would continue, winter comes and we are now being told we have to live with restriction again. is this just the reality of living with covid, so this is notjust another year this is happening, but this is our lives now for years to come? i think people will be worried about that. yes, on yourfirst people will be worried about that. yes, on your first point, people will be worried about that. yes, on yourfirst point, i repeat what i said to laura. i think that allegra has been an outstanding
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spokesperson for the government, for cop, she did an extraordinaryjob and i'm sorry to lose her. and on your point about responsibility, i take responsibility for things that happen in this building, everything that happens in this government, and i made that clear throughout the pandemic. this virus has mutated a lot, quickly, _ this virus has mutated a lot, quickly, and that is sort of what you would — quickly, and that is sort of what you would expect this stage, that you would expect this stage, that you start — you would expect this stage, that you start to see more mutations. this one _ you start to see more mutations. this one has — you start to see more mutations. this one has got a lot more than anyone — this one has got a lot more than anyone thought would arrive that quickly, — anyone thought would arrive that quickly, and that is what has caused so many— quickly, and that is what has caused so many concerns about it, it is spreading — so many concerns about it, it is spreading very fast. the good news is that— spreading very fast. the good news is that so— spreading very fast. the good news is that so far, it looks as though when _ is that so far, it looks as though when you — is that so far, it looks as though when you get very high antibody levels _ when you get very high antibody levels with the booster vaccine, it is definitely having some effect against — is definitely having some effect against it in laboratory studies, we need _ against it in laboratory studies, we need to— against it in laboratory studies, we need to watch and see what happens
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over the _ need to watch and see what happens over the next few weeks as we get more _ over the next few weeks as we get more data — over the next few weeks as we get more data on that. so, the boosters remain— more data on that. so, the boosters remain incredibly important as a way of increasing immunity. what we are on is _ of increasing immunity. what we are on is a _ of increasing immunity. what we are on is a road — of increasing immunity. what we are on is a road from pandemic to endemic, _ on is a road from pandemic to endemic, where this becomes a more sort of— endemic, where this becomes a more sort of regular infection, like flu or something, overtime, but we sort of regular infection, like flu or something, over time, but we are in a sort _ or something, over time, but we are in a sort of— or something, over time, but we are in a sort of bumpy transition for that, _ in a sort of bumpy transition for that, and — in a sort of bumpy transition for that, and that is going to be difficult, _ that, and that is going to be difficult, and it is difficult now, and there — difficult, and it is difficult now, and there are special measures that need to— and there are special measures that need to happen now to try and reduce the spread _ need to happen now to try and reduce the spread. it doesn't mean this is what _ the spread. it doesn't mean this is what happens in perpetuity. you would _ what happens in perpetuity. you would expect that over time, this becomes— would expect that over time, this becomes a — would expect that over time, this becomes a virus which then has peaks every— becomes a virus which then has peaks every year. _ becomes a virus which then has peaks every year, just in the way that flu does, _ every year, just in the way that flu does, perhaps, but it wouldn't be endlessly— does, perhaps, but it wouldn't be endlessly having new variants always escape _ endlessly having new variants always escape vaccines, to some extent. you would _ escape vaccines, to some extent. you would also — escape vaccines, to some extent. you would also expect that the vaccine will need — would also expect that the vaccine will need to change over time, just as the _ will need to change over time, just as the flu _ will need to change over time, just as the flu vaccine changes year—on—year, and you get a slightly different— year—on—year, and you get a slightly different one because it continues to evolve — different one because it continues to evolve a — different one because it continues to evolve a bit. so, this is a
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surprise _ to evolve a bit. so, this is a surprise change that has happened, it is a _ surprise change that has happened, it is a big _ surprise change that has happened, it is a big one, and it is going to make _ it is a big one, and it is going to make everyone feel a bit deflated about _ make everyone feel a bit deflated about it. — make everyone feel a bit deflated about it, yes, but there are things that can _ about it, yes, but there are things that can be — about it, yes, but there are things that can be done. i think the vaccines— that can be done. i think the vaccines are going to hold up to some _ vaccines are going to hold up to some extent here and i think boosters _ some extent here and i think boosters will really push back to a level— boosters will really push back to a level which is going to be important, we need to attest that and find _ important, we need to attest that and find out, and i don't think it is a harbinger of what happens hereafter. you will see new variants and hereafter. you will 5ee new variants and they— hereafter. you will see new variants and they will always because of some sort of— and they will always because of some sort of challenge, but that challenge is the same sort of challenge is the same sort of challenge that you can see year—on—year with other things as well, _ year—on—year with other things as well, over— year—on—year with other things as well, overtime. can year-on-year with other things as well, over time.— well, over time. can i 'ust add to that, well, over time. can i 'ust add to that. because h well, over time. can i 'ust add to that, because i h well, over time. can ijust add to that, because i obviously - well, over time. can i just add to - that, because i obviously completely agree. we are in a transition period from a point when the pandemic first hit, in 2020, where we had to rely entirely on social measures and had no medical countermeasures. we will get to a stage where we have multiple countermeasures, probably lots of vaccines, antivirals, which is the way we have dealt now with very many infectious diseases. we are in that midpoint. we are immeasurably better off now than we
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were, with the vaccines we got, with drugs, with hospital treatment, there is a whole bunch of things that are so much better than they were. it will be much quicker getting over this than it would have been if it had been the same situation as it had been a year ago. but at no point had we said that there would not be new variants, significant ones, potentially, that has been said byjust about every media outlet which has been represented here, and for good reason, that is the biological inevitability. when it comes to this particular, in the long run i think the outlook is good, but i think we have to accept that it is still a difficult period and in terms of this particular variant, the question i think is really going to be, is this held by the current vaccines, with boosters, or are we actually going to have to do a reformulation of the vaccine, at least four more vulnerable people, and that that is what we will need to do overtime? it may be that
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actually what we have is a transition period where the booster holds it for a bit which buys us to then we can actually get a specific, polyvalent vaccine, which will allow us then, from later on in this year, to be able to respond to it directly. in a sense i can see why people feel deflated, but this is a kind of setback, this is not a situation where we are back to square one, we are having to just deal with it as we always thought we might have to. you deal with it as we always thought we might have to— might have to. you said that you are furious about — might have to. you said that you are furious about the _ might have to. you said that you are furious about the video _ might have to. you said that you are furious about the video that - might have to. you said that you are furious about the video that you - might have to. you said that you are furious about the video that you sawj furious about the video that you saw about— furious about the video that you saw about the _ furious about the video that you saw about the mock— furious about the video that you saw about the mock press _ furious about the video that you saw about the mock press conference, . furious about the video that you saw i about the mock press conference, how did you _ about the mock press conference, how did you feel— about the mock press conference, how did you feel when _ about the mock press conference, how did you feel when you _ about the mock press conference, how did you feel when you saw _ about the mock press conference, how did you feel when you saw allegra - did you feel when you saw allegra stratton? — did you feel when you saw allegra stratton? , �* ,., , did you feel when you saw allegra stratton? , �* , , ., stratton? yes, i'm sorry, because of the hue stratton? yes, i'm sorry, because of the huge press _ stratton? yes, i'm sorry, because of the huge press meetings _ stratton? yes, i'm sorry, because of the huge press meetings so - stratton? yes, i'm sorry, because of the huge press meetings so far- the huge press meetings so far today, i have not been able to see that, i am of course aware of what allegra has said and ijust repeat what i said i am very grateful to herfor what i said i am very grateful to her for everything that she has done, and i wish her all the very
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best, and we will certainly miss her here in government. but ijust want to add to what chris has said on this crucial period, because i think that there is at least a strong possibility that we will discover in the course of the next few days and weeks that indeed, the combination of two jabs and a booster is capable of two jabs and a booster is capable of holding omicron in equilibria, in the way that we want, and then, as i said, we will be able to move forward. it is worth bearing in mind that what we are doing today with plan b is something that we set out backin plan b is something that we set out back in september, so this is not a deviation from the position that we thought we might find ourselves in as winter set in, we always reckoned that we would see a spike in disease
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and infection actually, delta has been remarkably stable, the problem has been the sudden emergence of omicron and the real despite that it is producing, and given the potential numbers that omicron could produce, wejust potential numbers that omicron could produce, we just have to respond today in the way that we are. pippa crerar from — today in the way that we are. pippa crerar from the _ today in the way that we are. pippa crerar from the mirror. _ today in the way that we are. pippa crerar from the mirror. thank - crerar from the mirror. thank you, the prime — crerar from the mirror. thank you, the prime minister. i have got another— the prime minister. i have got another question which i don't think you quite _ another question which i don't think you quite answered. can i ask why you quite answered. can i ask why you have — you quite answered. can i ask why you have task simon case with investigating a party on 18th december last year that you weren't at, december last year that you weren't at. rather— december last year that you weren't at, ratherthan december last year that you weren't at, rather than one on seventh november, where you gave a speech, that you _ november, where you gave a speech, that you were at, in breach of the rules, _ that you were at, in breach of the rules, by— that you were at, in breach of the rules, by any reasonable legal analysis, _ rules, by any reasonable legal analysis, and further to that, will you extend — analysis, and further to that, will you extend the inquiry to include any other— you extend the inquiry to include any other gatherings, events, parties. — any other gatherings, events, parties, use the term that you choose, — parties, use the term that you choose, that took place in no 10 or
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indeed _ choose, that took place in no 10 or indeed in _ choose, that took place in no 10 or indeed in your flat, choose, that took place in no 10 or indeed in yourflat, if choose, that took place in no 10 or indeed in your flat, if there is evidence _ indeed in your flat, if there is evidence of them? so, indeed in your flat, if there is evidence of them?— indeed in your flat, if there is evidence of them? so, first of all, pi a, evidence of them? so, first of all, pippa. this — evidence of them? so, first of all, pippa. this is _ evidence of them? so, first of all, pippa. this is a — evidence of them? so, first of all, pippa, this is a huge... _ evidence of them? so, first of all, pippa, this is a huge... as - evidence of them? so, first of all, pippa, this is a huge... as people | pippa, this is a huge... as people know, this is a massive department of state and there are people working flat out the whole time, working flat out the whole time, working on all sorts of issues, and they work extremely hard. and according to very, very well respected civil servants and advisers, special advisers, that i have talked to about what happened in the events that describe, no rules were broken. i have asked simon case, the cabinet secretary, to look at the 18th december event, i am sure he will be considering all sorts of things but as far as i'm concerned, all the evidence i can see is that people in this building have stayed within the rules. if
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that turns out not to be the case, and people wish to bring allegations to my attention or to the police or whoever, then of course, there will be proper sanctions. but in the meantime i think what we should do is let simon get on with his job, and i am sure he will be making his findings public as soon as possible. are you restricting him to looking at 18th _ are you restricting him to looking at 18th december, that is the question? at18th december, that is the question?— at 18th december, that is the cuestion? ., ., . , ., question? for guidance has been, and the rules have — question? for guidance has been, and the rules have been _ question? for guidance has been, and the rules have been observed, - question? for guidance has been, and the rules have been observed, at - question? for guidance has been, and the rules have been observed, at all. the rules have been observed, at all times, and he's looking at the issue of 18th december, he may wish to look at other things, that is a matter friendly for look at other things, that is a matterfriendly for him. look at other things, that is a matter friendly for him. ben look at other things, that is a matterfriendly for him. ben riley, the telegraph. matter friendly for him. ben riley, the telegraph-— the telegraph. thank you, prime minister. three _ the telegraph. thank you, prime minister. three quick _ the telegraph. thank you, prime minister. three quick ones. - the telegraph. thank you, prime minister. three quick ones. tory| the telegraph. thank you, prime - minister. three quick ones. tory mps minister. three quick ones. tory mp5 have suggested — minister. three quick ones. tory mp5 have suggested you _ minister. three quick ones. tory mp5 have suggested you called _ minister. three quick ones. tory mp5 have suggested you called this - have suggested you called this announcement _ have suggested you called this announcement forward - have suggested you called this announcement forward to - have suggested you called this i announcement forward to bounce headlines — announcement forward to bounce headlines about _ announcement forward to bounce headlines about the _ announcement forward to bounce headlines about the christmas i announcement forward to bounce - headlines about the christmas party, is that—
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headlines about the christmas party, is that true? — headlines about the christmas party, is that true? 0n— headlines about the christmas party, is that true? on christmas _ headlines about the christmas party, is that true? on christmas parties i is that true? on christmas parties and nativity— is that true? on christmas parties and nativity plays, _ is that true? on christmas parties and nativity plays, what _ is that true? on christmas parties and nativity plays, what is - is that true? on christmas parties and nativity plays, what is your. and nativity plays, what is your message — and nativity plays, what is your message to _ and nativity plays, what is your message to the _ and nativity plays, what is your message to the country, - and nativity plays, what is your message to the country, is - and nativity plays, what is your message to the country, is it. and nativity plays, what is your. message to the country, is it that they should — message to the country, is it that they should be _ message to the country, is it that they should be cancelled? - message to the country, is it that they should be cancelled? and i message to the country, is it that. they should be cancelled? and there is no time _ they should be cancelled? and there is no time limit _ they should be cancelled? and there is no time limit at _ they should be cancelled? and there is no time limit at all _ they should be cancelled? and there is no time limit at all for _ they should be cancelled? and there is no time limit at all for these - is no time limit at all for these new— is no time limit at all for these new restrictions, _ is no time limit at all for these new restrictions, when - is no time limit at all for these new restrictions, when do - is no time limit at all for these new restrictions, when do you| is no time limit at all for these - new restrictions, when do you think the earliest — new restrictions, when do you think the earliest point _ new restrictions, when do you think the earliest point might— new restrictions, when do you think the earliest point might be, - the earliest point might be, mid-january, _ the earliest point might be, mid—january, february, - the earliest point might be, mid—january, february, or. the earliest point might be, - mid—january, february, or spring? and a _ mid—january, february, or spring? and a quick— mid—january, february, or spring? and a quick one _ mid—january, february, or spring? and a quick one for— mid—january, february, or spring? and a quick one for professor- and a quick one for professor whitty, — and a quick one for professor whitty, on _ and a quick one for professor whitty. on your— and a quick one for professor whitty, on your point - and a quick one for professor whitty, on your point about l whitty, on your point about reformulating _ whitty, on your point about reformulating the _ whitty, on your point about reformulating the vaccines, whitty, on your point about. reformulating the vaccines, do whitty, on your point about - reformulating the vaccines, do you think— reformulating the vaccines, do you think there — reformulating the vaccines, do you think there is — reformulating the vaccines, do you think there is a _ reformulating the vaccines, do you think there is a real— reformulating the vaccines, do you think there is a real possibility - think there is a real possibility that a — think there is a real possibility that a lot _ think there is a real possibility that a lot of— think there is a real possibility that a lot of people _ think there is a real possibility that a lot of people might - think there is a real possibilityl that a lot of people might need think there is a real possibility i that a lot of people might need a fourth _ that a lot of people might need a fourth vaccine _ that a lot of people might need a fourth vaccine before _ that a lot of people might need a fourth vaccine before next - that a lot of people might need a i fourth vaccine before next autumn that a lot of people might need a - fourth vaccine before next autumn to counter _ fourth vaccine before next autumn to counter 0micron? _ fourth vaccine before next autumn to counter omicron?— fourth vaccine before next autumn to counter omicron? thanks very much, ben. on counter omicron? thanks very much, ben- on the — counter omicron? thanks very much, ben. on the first _ counter omicron? thanks very much, ben. on the first point, _ counter omicron? thanks very much, ben. on the first point, just - ben. on the first point, just imagine, colleagues say, people say, that we are somehow making this announcement to coincide with events in politics. well, actually, imagine if this step were to have been delayed because of logical events of one kind or another. what would people say then? you've got to act to protect public health when you've
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got the clear evidence, and i think i'm right in saying that sage only met yesterday to discuss this, the evidence about the transmissibility of the virus, as we've been watching it for days, but it has become, unafraid, unmissable, notjust in south africa but in this country as well. and if you delay, as everybody knows, with a doubling time of 2.5 to three days, you see more doublings and your position becomes predictably, inevitably worse, and more difficult to recover from. predictably, inevitably worse, and more difficult to recoverfrom. on christmas, the best way to ensure we all have christmas as close to normal as possible is to get on with plan b, irritating though it may be, it is not a lockdown, it is plan b, it is not a lockdown, it is plan b, it is not a lockdown, it is plan b, it is what we set out a while back,
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and to get your boosters and get yourjabs. that's the best way forward, and as for when we will review the measures, which i think what your third point, ben, as i say, no later than early january, and possibly before, if we start to get some of that really granular information. but we need to see the data and work on it really hard. christmas parties and nativity is... christmas parties and nativity i5... sorry. _ christmas parties and nativity i5... sorry. no, — christmas parties and nativity i5... sorry. no, they— christmas parties and nativity i5... sorry, no, they should _ christmas parties and nativity i5... sorry, no, they should not, - christmas parties and nativity i5... sorry, no, they should not, no. in| sorry, no, they should not, no. in my view, they should not be... they should follow the guidance, of course, but we are not saying, we don't want kids to be taken out of school before the end of term, not that there is very long to go now, we don't want nativity plays to be cancelled, we think that it is ok, currently, on what we can see, to keep going with christmas parties, but obviously, everybody should
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exercise due caution, have ventilation, wash your hands, get a test before you go, a sensible thing to do, give yourself, or give everybody else at the party the confidence that they are going to be meeting someone who is not contagious. those are simple things that people can do, but that is what we are saying. the that people can do, but that is what we are saying-— that people can do, but that is what we are saying. the question you ask me, i think — we are saying. the question you ask me, i think it— we are saying. the question you ask me, i think it is— we are saying. the question you ask me, i think it is far _ we are saying. the question you ask me, i think it is far too _ we are saying. the question you ask me, i think it is far too early - we are saying. the question you ask me, i think it is far too early to - me, i think it is far too early to be sure — me, i think it is far too early to be sure on— me, i think it is far too early to be sure on this, a lot of scientists are doing — be sure on this, a lot of scientists are doing a — be sure on this, a lot of scientists are doing a lot of work at the moment— are doing a lot of work at the momentjust to work are doing a lot of work at the moment just to work out what the current— moment just to work out what the current two— moment just to work out what the current two doses and different, nations— current two doses and different, nations of— current two doses and different, nations of those, and the booster, will do _ nations of those, and the booster, will do with— nations of those, and the booster, will do with the omicron variant. and that — will do with the omicron variant. and that will help with information, until then _ and that will help with information, until then it is probably not helpful— until then it is probably not helpful to speculation. the exception to that is that there is a very small— exception to that is that there is a very small but very important group of people _ very small but very important group of people who have got sick immunosuppression, who we are giving three doses _ immunosuppression, who we are giving three doses to, as their primary
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course~ — three doses to, as their primary course. they will then get a fourth dose, _ course. they will then get a fourth dose. which — course. they will then get a fourth dose, which is essentially their booster— dose, which is essentially their booster dose. so, in that group, the answer— booster dose. so, in that group, the answer is _ booster dose. so, in that group, the answer is yes, in the great majority of people _ answer is yes, in the great majority of people at— answer is yes, in the great majority of people at this point i think the answer— of people at this point i think the answer is, — of people at this point i think the answer is, we will have to wait and see what— answer is, we will have to wait and see what the data shows. just answer is, we will have to wait and see what the data shows.— see what the data shows. just on that, see what the data shows. just on that. we've _ see what the data shows. just on that, we've now— see what the data shows. just on that, we've now got _ see what the data shows. just on that, we've now got vaccine - see what the data shows. just on i that, we've now got vaccine design that, we've now got vaccine design that allows — that, we've now got vaccine design that allows you _ that, we've now got vaccine design that allows you to _ that, we've now got vaccine design that allows you to alter— that, we've now got vaccine design that allows you to alter them - that, we've now got vaccine design that allows you to alter them quitej that allows you to alter them quite easily, _ that allows you to alter them quite easily, and — that allows you to alter them quite easily, and to— that allows you to alter them quite easily, and to make, _ that allows you to alter them quite easily, and to make, as— that allows you to alter them quite easily, and to make, as chris - that allows you to alter them quite easily, and to make, as chris said, multi-valence. _ easily, and to make, as chris said, multi—valence, or— easily, and to make, as chris said, multi—valence, or polyvalent, - multi—valence, or polyvalent, vaccines— multi—valence, or polyvalent, vaccines against— multi—valence, or polyvalent, vaccines against different - multi—valence, or polyvalent, - vaccines against different variants, in one _ vaccines against different variants, in one go — vaccines against different variants, in one go those _ vaccines against different variants, in one go. those are _ vaccines against different variants, in one go. those are going - vaccines against different variants, in one go. those are going to- in one go. those are going to provide — in one go. those are going to provide breath— in one go. those are going to provide breath of— in one go. those are going to provide breath of coverage i in one go. those are going to provide breath of coverage inj in one go. those are going to- provide breath of coverage in the future, _ provide breath of coverage in the future, when _ provide breath of coverage in the future, when they— provide breath of coverage in the future, when they will— provide breath of coverage in the future, when they will be - provide breath of coverage in the l future, when they will be needed, we don't know _ future, when they will be needed, we don't know. we've _ future, when they will be needed, we don't know. we've also _ future, when they will be needed, we don't know. we've also got _ future, when they will be needed, we don't know. we've also got antiviral. don't know. we've also got antiviral drugs _ don't know. we've also got antiviral drugs coming — don't know. we've also got antiviral drugs coming through _ don't know. we've also got antiviral drugs coming through now, - don't know. we've also got antiviral drugs coming through now, two - drugs coming through now, two have been reported — drugs coming through now, two have been reported recently— drugs coming through now, two have been reported recently which - drugs coming through now, two have been reported recently which have i been reported recently which have -ood been reported recently which have good effect, — been reported recently which have good effect, so _ been reported recently which have good effect, so there _ been reported recently which have good effect, so there are - been reported recently which have good effect, so there are an- good effect, so there are an increasing _ good effect, so there are an increasing number- good effect, so there are an increasing number of- good effect, so there are anl increasing number of options good effect, so there are an- increasing number of options for this _ increasing number of options for this but, — increasing number of options for this but, and _ increasing number of options for this. but, and this— increasing number of options for this. but, and this is— increasing number of options for this. but, and this is important, | this. but, and this is important, going _ this. but, and this is important, going back— this. but, and this is important, going back to— this. but, and this is important, going back to the _ this. but, and this is important, going back to the timing - this. but, and this is important, going back to the timing point, i this. but, and this is important, - going back to the timing point, sage met last _ going back to the timing point, sage met last week— going back to the timing point, sage met last week and _ going back to the timing point, sage met last week and again _ going back to the timing point, sage met last week and again yesterday, i met last week and again yesterday, on both— met last week and again yesterday, on both occasions _ met last week and again yesterday, on both occasions saying, _ met last week and again yesterday, on both occasions saying, this- met last week and again yesterday, on both occasions saying, this is- on both occasions saying, this is spreading — on both occasions saying, this is spreading rapidly, _ on both occasions saying, this is spreading rapidly, you _ on both occasions saying, this is spreading rapidly, you don't - on both occasions saying, this is spreading rapidly, you don'tjust watch _ spreading rapidly, you don'tjust watch it— spreading rapidly, you don'tjust watch it spreading _ spreading rapidly, you don'tjust watch it spreading rapidly, - spreading rapidly, you don'tjust watch it spreading rapidly, you i spreading rapidly, you don'tjust- watch it spreading rapidly, you need to do— watch it spreading rapidly, you need
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to do something _ watch it spreading rapidly, you need to do something. and _ watch it spreading rapidly, you need to do something. and that- watch it spreading rapidly, you need to do something. and that isn't- watch it spreading rapidly, you need to do something. and that i5n'tju5t| to do something. and that isn'tjust the boosters. — to do something. and that isn'tjust the boosters, the _ to do something. and that isn'tjust the boosters, the boosters - to do something. and that isn'tjust the boosters, the boosters are - the boosters, the boosters are incredibly— the boosters, the boosters are incredibly important _ the boosters, the boosters are incredibly important but - the boosters, the boosters are incredibly important but it - the boosters, the boosters are incredibly important but it is l the boosters, the boosters are . incredibly important but it is also about— incredibly important but it is also about trying _ incredibly important but it is also about trying to _ incredibly important but it is also about trying to reduce _ incredibly important but it is also about trying to reduce the - about trying to reduce the possibility— about trying to reduce the possibility of— about trying to reduce the possibility of spread, - about trying to reduce the i possibility of spread, which about trying to reduce the - possibility of spread, which means reducing _ possibility of spread, which means reducing social— possibility of spread, which means reducing social contacts _ possibility of spread, which means reducing social contacts in - possibility of spread, which means reducing social contacts in order. possibility of spread, which mean5| reducing social contacts in order to try and _ reducing social contacts in order to try and achieve _ reducing social contacts in order to try and achieve that. _ thank you. prime minister, youjust thank you. prime minister, you 'ust su: nested thank you. prime minister, you 'ust suggested that fl thank you. prime minister, you 'ust suggested that the i thank you. prime minister, you 'ust suggested that the probe �* thank you. prime minister, you 'ust suggested that the probe could h thank you. prime minister, youjust suggested that the probe could be i suggested that the probe could be extended beyond the party on the 18th _ extended beyond the party on the 18th the — extended beyond the party on the 18th. the party that happened that dfu was— 18th. the party that happened that dfu was today apologised for, and that will— dfu was today apologised for, and that will be included in that probe, so obviously it is flexible. will you encourage simon case to look at all parties _ you encourage simon case to look at all parties that happened in downing street— all parties that happened in downing street last year, and will you be looking — street last year, and will you be looking for the pot to be published by the _ looking for the pot to be published by the end of the year? and for the scientists. — by the end of the year? and for the scientists, you just announced new restrictions— scientists, you just announced new restrictions including a recommendation to work from home. is the fact— recommendation to work from home. is the fact that _ recommendation to work from home. is the fact that we are here doing this
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now not— the fact that we are here doing this now not a _ the fact that we are here doing this now not a mark of failure? we should have fixed _ now not a mark of failure? we should have fixed the roof while the sun was shining surely with the pandemic, prepare the vaccine booster— pandemic, prepare the vaccine booster roll—out so it should have been _ booster roll—out so it should have been done — booster roll—out so it should have been done at lightning speed, but it has been _ been done at lightning speed, but it has been quite slow get this new part of— has been quite slow get this new part of the roll—out sorted. actually— part of the roll—out sorted. actually created a proper world beating — actually created a proper world beating test and tray system, but we are not— beating test and tray system, but we are not quite there yet as well. we went— are not quite there yet as well. we went for— are not quite there yet as well. we went for devastation last year but it feels— went for devastation last year but it feels like we haven't completely learned _ it feels like we haven't completely learned our lessons, and when are we going _ learned our lessons, and when are we going to _ learned our lessons, and when are we going to learn, because next time we might— going to learn, because next time we might be _ going to learn, because next time we might be hit— going to learn, because next time we might be hit by a virus that is much more _ might be hit by a virus that is much more dangerous in a pandemic, will we be _ more dangerous in a pandemic, will we be ready— more dangerous in a pandemic, will we be ready then? can more dangerous in a pandemic, will we be ready then?— more dangerous in a pandemic, will we be ready then? can i 'ust go back on some of— we be ready then? can i 'ust go back on some of the things _ we be ready then? can ijust go back on some of the things you _ we be ready then? can ijust go back on some of the things you have - we be ready then? can ijust go back on some of the things you have just| on some of the things you have just said. i think it is where people bearing in mind that there are a lot of countries in our immediate neighbourhood that have got restrictions already far tougher than ours and tougher than the ones that we're asking people to implement now. much tougher. and thatis implement now. much tougher. and that is because we had the fastest vaccine roll—out in europe, just to
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remind you. and it is also the case that far from having a sluggish vaccine roll—out, what we have now got it i think 21 million people who have had a booster, 21 million people boosted, and again i think i'm right in saying that we have boosted more people than any comparable country, and certainly faster than any other european country. so i'm not going to hear any criticism of the nhs or the gps or the pharmacist all the volunteers or the pharmacist all the volunteers or everybody who has worked blindingly hard to get this done as fast as they possibly can. yes, i think what is fair is to say that we now need to go much further and much faster, and asking people to make further sacrifices, as we are, with plan b, we have got to step up that
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booster campaign, and it has got to grow wings, and you know the pledge that everybody over 18 will get the offer of a booster by the end of january. i want to see us deliver that, and i want to see such a huge rate of booster vaccination in this country that if, as i hope, the boosters can hold omicron, then we can get back to the road that we were on. that's what we're trying to achieve, and on your other point about the cabinet secretary, as far as i'm concerned, he's got to get to the bottom of what he thinks is appropriate, and right, buti the bottom of what he thinks is appropriate, and right, but i repeat my view that to the best of my knowledge everything i've been told is that the rules were followed, but if that doesn't turn out to be the case, then there will be the appropriate sanctions. yes, i said in the house today, as soon as
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possible. i in the house today, as soon as tossible. , ., in the house today, as soon as possible-— in the house today, as soon as tossible. , ., ., ., ., possible. i 'ust want to add on the wider — possible. ijust want to add on the wider one. there _ possible. ijust want to add on the wider one. there are _ possible. ijust want to add on the wider one. there are multiple - possible. ijust want to add on the l wider one. there are multiple point you put there, and i will try to give a very brief answer. the short version on the pandemic, of course we have to plan ahead but remember every pandemic is different. the last pandemic that was as bad as this one, and i can certainly conceptualise very, very bad alternative ones, was hiv, a sexually transmitted infection, and that was a very different case, so the idea that you can have a pandemic plan you take off the shelf, you have to adapt it to any situation that you find. inevitably there have been bumps along the road and things that we would do differently if we had done them again, that is obvious. but actually the idea that a new variant which we knew was going to come is somehow a failure i think is a misunderstanding of the biology. you expect problems to occur, and when
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they occur you address them scientifically and rapidly. and if i canjust make one scientifically and rapidly. and if i can just make one plea scientifically and rapidly. and if i canjust make one plea on behalf of my colleagues who do the operational side weather in the nhs or elsewhere, quite a lot of those, i will put this as mildly as i can, quite a lot of those who say it is ridiculous this is going so slowly have not got as much experience as running a national programme as they might have to make those kind of comments. these things are difficult, and the people who are doing it are doing it magnificently. i wanted to say exactly that. first of all. _ i wanted to say exactly that. first of all. the — i wanted to say exactly that. first of all, the vaccines task force was foresighted to make sure that we had enough _ foresighted to make sure that we had enough boosters for this winter, it wasn't _ enough boosters for this winter, it wasn't inevitable that we would need boosters. _ wasn't inevitable that we would need boosters, and they got the supply in advance _ boosters, and they got the supply in advance ready to be able to do that, and i_ advance ready to be able to do that, and i think— advance ready to be able to do that, and i think the nhs roll—out involving _ and i think the nhs roll—out involving people right the way across — involving people right the way across the country has been one that we should _ across the country has been one that we should be proud of, actually. it is an— we should be proud of, actually. it is an operational point, not a science — is an operational point, not a science point, for me. but i look at them _ science point, for me. but i look at them and _ science point, for me. but i look at them and think they have done a great _ them and think they have done a greatjob— them and think they have done a greatjob of getting them and think they have done a great job of getting out out, you look across other countries and you will see _ look across other countries and you will see the — look across other countries and you will see the booster campaign here has been _ will see the booster campaign here has been very effective, so i would
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like to— has been very effective, so i would like to thank them for everything they have — like to thank them for everything they have done in getting everything out. they have done in getting everything out and _ they have done in getting everything out and i_ they have done in getting everything out. and i would like also to say that if— out. and i would like also to say that if you — out. and i would like also to say that if you look at the 100 day mission — that if you look at the 100 day mission that we published at the time _ mission that we published at the time of— mission that we published at the time of the g7, that was precisely about— time of the g7, that was precisely about trying to make sure that all of the _ about trying to make sure that all of the parts from surveillance through— of the parts from surveillance through to rapid production of vaccines— through to rapid production of vaccines and therapeutics through to what needs to happen for finance and getting _ what needs to happen for finance and getting them across the world and equitable access can be improved i’ili'it equitable access can be improved right the — equitable access can be improved right the way across the world so that for— right the way across the world so that for any new infection going forward, — that for any new infection going forward, there is a road map to try and get _ forward, there is a road map to try and get this— forward, there is a road map to try and get this done more quickly and more _ and get this done more quickly and more efficiently than was possible this time, — more efficiently than was possible this time, and so i think making sure _ this time, and so i think making sure that — this time, and so i think making sure that 100 day mission which the g7 endorsed i5 sure that 100 day mission which the g7 endorsed is something that is really— g7 endorsed is something that is really taken up right the way across the world _ really taken up right the way across the world is— really taken up right the way across the world is going to be crucially important. the world is going to be crucially im tortant. ,., ., ., the world is going to be crucially im-ortant. ., , , important. good, thanks everybody thank ou. thank you. studio: that is the end of that downing street news conference with the prime minister and his scientific advisors there, patrick vallance and chris whitty. let's
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bring in our political correspondent jonathan blake, who was watching and listening. jonathan, outlining their plan b for england, and talking about christmas is close to normal as possible, which isn't quite what they were saying a few days ago when they were saying a few days ago when they said to the government that it was going to be a great christmas. things have clearly changed. as you heard, the prime minister they're announcing those measures. he said that moving to plan b is the proportionate and responsible thing to do now in england, and that is in the face of i think what is pretty acute concern in government, and among those advising. advising about the new omicron variant and its prevalence in the uk and the rate, particularly at the rate at which it is spreading. the prime minister said that it was spreading rapidly. the true number of cases above and beyond those that have already been detected and confirmed it is likely to be much higher, and he said that it is growing much faster than the
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delta variant was earlier this year. and that is why these measures are now being introduced, so to recap exactly what will be introduced as part of the government's plan b which it set out earlier in the year for england. there will be face masks which will now be mandatory in more settings, most indoor public venues, the prime minister said. people will also be encouraged to work from home. the message from the prime minister was work from home if you can, go to work if you must. and he appealed to and encouraged employers to put in place the necessary arrangements to allow people to do that. and then there are covid passports. they will be introduced and will be required for people who want to go to nightclubs and also other events where there are large crowds, specifically indoor venues of more than 500 people, outdoor venues of more than
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4000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people. a negative lateralflow than 10,000 people. a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted for proof of entry in line with or instead of a covid passport for people going into those sorts of venues, and there will also be a tweak to the rules around self isolation where the introduction of daily tests will be brought in instead of the need to isolate those who come into contact with people who come into contact with people who have tested for the new omicron variant. so those other measures that being introduced. the prime minister has announced that this evening, and they will come into effect at various points in the coming days, and there will need to be measures taken and votes taken in parliament as well wear subsequently as the prime minister was speaking the health secretary sajid javid was updating mps, and there have been a good few dissenting voices,
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certainly on the conservative benches, about what the government is doing here. some are accusing them ofjumping the gun, going too far too soon, with not enough evidence. but clearly there is enough concern in government for ministers to act tonight. tbthd enough concern in government for ministers to act tonight.— ministers to act tonight. and the tuestions ministers to act tonight. and the questions that _ ministers to act tonight. and the questions that we _ ministers to act tonight. and the questions that we heard - ministers to act tonight. and the questions that we heard from . questions that we heard from journalists after that announcement were focusing notjust on that plan b announcement, but also of course the alleged party that took place in the alleged party that took place in the building there behind you last christmas, or party is plural, we are not sure. and it has been a difficult day for the prime minister politically. it difficult day for the prime minister toliticall . ., , ., �* politically. it has, and we can't itnore politically. it has, and we can't ignore the _ politically. it has, and we can't ignore the timing _ politically. it has, and we can't ignore the timing of— politically. it has, and we can't ignore the timing of tonight's i ignore the timing of tonight's announcement, coming as it does at a very sensitive time for the government when it is in the midst of a huge amount of criticism and controversy over an event that happened in downing street behind me on the 18th of december in the run—up to christmas last year, and other events which are being called into question now as well, which
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will be the subject of an investigation by the cabinet secretary simon case. the prime minister didn't have a huge amount new to say on all of that beyond what he told mps earlier on in the house of commonsjust what he told mps earlier on in the house of commons just before prime minister's questions when he offered an apology and said that he understood the anger that people felt on seeing the footage of that mark downing street briefing where allegra stratton who has since resigned in the course of the day was seen fielding questions about such an event. he did pay tribute to allegra stratton, saying she had been a fine colleague, and while the prime minister said he made no excuses for the frivolity that was present on that occasion, he said that it was vital for the public to see the importance of the information that the government was putting forward and act accordingly. and so no realfurther comment from the prime minister, as i say, beyond what he said earlier on today, but there is of course a tension
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therebetween whether these new measures have been announced will be as meticulously followed by the public and how people will view them in light of everything else that has happened. in light of everything else that has ha- ened. g ., ., ., in light of everything else that has ha ened, g ., ., ., ., o’ in light of everything else that has ha ened. �* ., ., ., ., ~' l, , happened. jonathan, thank you very much indeed- _ happened. jonathan, thank you very much indeed. jonathan _ happened. jonathan, thank you very much indeed. jonathan blake, - happened. jonathan, thank you very much indeed. jonathan blake, our. much indeed. jonathan blake, our political correspondent in downing street. much more on all the development throughout the evening on bbc news, but first let's look at the weather with louise lear. hello there. the weather story is quite down as we go through the evening and overnight as storm barra finally leaves our shores. across parts of north—west wales we had gusts of wind in excess of 50 mph, but it was quieter across eastern england with brief glimpses of sunshine, albeit on the chilly side. the low pressure is gradually drifting its weight steadily north and east, and we will start to see storm barra easing. one or two sharp showers still to clear away across england and wales. they'll do so over the next few hours, and then that's going to allow skies to clear in places. a touch of mist and fog forming
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towards dawn on thursday morning, maybe a touch of frost in sheltered rural areas as well. so, a chilly start to thursday, but there's certainly going to be a little bit more sunshine around and a quieter story. a few scattered showers across western scotland perhaps, but as we go through the afternoon, more significant rain moves into northern ireland, western fringes of scotland and gradually towards north west england and parts of the midlands. ahead of it, we keep some sunshine, but still those temperatures disappointing for this time of year. now, that weather front will continue to track its way steadily eastwards. it's going to bring some rain overnight and clear during friday morning. and then a northwesterly wind will take over on friday. that's going to drive in some showers. some of these will be wintry even at lower levels to begin with, but some showers across north west scotland and northern ireland, but elsewhere we'll have a little more sunshine, it'll be a relatively quiet day. but again still on the cool side.
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now, if you don't like these temperatures, well, i can offer you something a little bit milder as we start to head into the weekend, but it does come at a price. it might bring some rain as well. this low pressure will start to see the wind direction changing to a southwesterly. yes, it's going to bring some rain into the north and west for the weekend, but it will also bring a change to the feel of our weather. so, starting off dry, clouding over as we go through the day, outbreaks of rain the further north and west you are. but in terms of the feel of the things, we'll start to see those temperatures climbing. it will take its time in doing so, and in eastern england, perhaps still only around 6—7 degrees. milder still on sunday, but still the risk of some rain around. that's it, take care.
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hello, i'm ros atkins, this is outside source. in the past few minutes the uk government has introduced new restrictions to slow the spread of the new omicron variant. most worryingly, there is evidence that the doubling time of the cron in the uk could currently be between two and three days. in the uk could currently be between two and three days. under new rules, covid passes will be mandatory at night clubs and people have been told to work from home, if they can. scientists fear hospitalisations could reach 1,000 a day by the new year because of omicron — we'll get the reaction from an epidemiologist advising the government. another big story at downing street: boris johnson's former press secretary resigns over this video — in it she jokes about a christmas party during lockdown.
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