hello and welcome to bbc news. governments around europe are imposing tight restrictions in reaction to the rapid spread of the omicron variant. the netherlands has announced a stringent christmas lockdown, in an attempt to prevent a new wave of cases. all non—essential, stores, bars, restaurants and other public places are to shut from sunday under the new measures. anna holligan reports from the hague.
a final flourish of festive cheer before dutch cities shutdown for christmas. department stores and toy shops weren't ready for this level of footfall. while here, a beauty salon squeezed clients in for a last—minute shave. translation: it was nice to go to the city for a little _ while before the lockdowns. translation: it's too busy i everywhere but i have to come get presents before the christmas holidays. under the new measures outlined on saturday, all nonessential stores, bars, restaurants, and other public places are to shut from sunday. essential shops, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, must close by 8pm. and as previously announced, schools are closed until at least january 9. the prime minister delivered the message in a sombre tone. translation: omicron is spreading even faster
than feared, so we must intervene now to prevent much worse. this is what a christmas lockdown looks like on my local high street in the hague. most of the shutters have gone down and they won't be rolled up again until at least mid—january. this lockdown is being presented by politicians as a response to the highly contagious omicron variant, but critics argue that it must be seen in the wider context — the slow response to the delta variant and the slow rollout of the booster vaccine programme, which has meant that hospitals here in the netherlands have no extra capacity to deal with an influx of omicron cases. the dutch are seeking to speed up that booster programme. the over—60s have been just invited to get theirs, and it's hoped that within a month everyone in the netherlands who wants a booster shot will have a chance to get one. this is usually a highly organised society — the dutch don't like chaos. this last—minute
lockdown, coming just days before christmas, underlines the urgency of the situation here. there is some good news. father christmas will still be allowed to deliver presents. his message to the nation? merry christmas, happy lockdown. anna holligan reporting there for us. well, germany has become the latest european country to ban most travellers from britain. from sunday, german nationals and residents arriving from the uk will need to quarantine for two weeks, regardless of their covid vaccination status. meanwhile, there were protests in several german cities on saturday against covid—19 measures. thousands of people marched in dusseldorf and frankfurt, where there were clashes between demonstrators and police. here in britain, police have clashed with a group of protesters opposed to the latest covid—19 restrictions near downing street. a number of officers were injured. the uk has reported a surge of 90,000 cases
of the omicron variant on saturday, which government advisors said could bejust the tip of the iceberg. the mayor of london, sadiq khan, has declared a major incident because of concerns that emergency workers will struggle with rapidly rising cases. it is really important that citizens of london understand how serious things are. the best thing they can do is get both vaccines and the booster. they provide extra protection. they provide extra protection. the really bad news is those in hospital, the vast majority are unvaccinated, which is why it is so important to get the vaccines and the boosterjab. hundreds of demonstrators gathered in barcelona and bilbao in spain to protest against covid—19 passes that are now required to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and care homes. with a nationwide vaccination rate of nearly 80%, spain has been largely spared the latest wave sweeping across europe. elsewhere in europe,
hundreds gathered in the italian city of turin against the extension of a covid—19 state of emergency which runs to the end of march next year, and the so—called green pass certificates. in other news, the acclaimed british architect richard rogers has died at his home in london. he was 88. born in the italian city of florence, his family fled fascist italy on the eve of the second world war. he gained international attention in the 1970s for his part in designing the modernist pompidou centre in paris. you are watching bbc world news. borisjohnson has come under huge political pressure for his handling of coronavirus in the uk. now lord frost, the chief brexit negotiator, has resigned from the cabinet. in a letter to the british
prime minister, he has cited concerns over the direction of mrjohnson�*s government, particularly around the imposing of new restricions. the former brexit secretary said he believes we need to "learn to live with covid," telling mrjohnson "you took a brave decision injuly, against considerable opposition, to open up the country again. "sadly it did not prove to be irreversible, as i wished, and believe you did too." he went on to say "i hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by the kind of coercive measures we have seen elsewhere." our political correspondent damian grammaticus reports. this resignation of lord frost is without doubt another blow to boris johnson, delivered right at the time the prime minister is at his weakest since coming to office. lord frost, a one—time diplomat, was brought in to negotiate a boris johnson's brexit deal. he sparred with michel barnier, shuttling back and forth to brussels. it helped mrjohnson secure the support of hardline brexit supporters in his party. the gap between us is quite significant. so, lord frost, on the left, helped
secure mrjohnson�*s brexit deals and his win at the general election. he elevated lord frost to the cabinet. at that table recently, though, he's been arguing loudly against some of the prime minister's decisions, like the recent increases in taxes and spending, laying out what he said were his conservative beliefs in a recent speech. i personally will argue strongly as i can that free market capitalism, low taxes, free speech and the maximum possible amount of economic and political freedom for individuals are the best choices we could make as a country. the noes to the left, 126. there were 100 tory rebels when parliament voted on the latest covid restrictions. lord frost too had been against more measures and a vaccine certificate in particular, so his objection to the direction the prime minister is taking things. three, two, one! coming after the shock
by—election defeat for the tories in shropshire north this week, the timing adds to mrjohnson�*s woes. the pm's position has been damaged and he has lost a key to getting him into office and he looks more vulnerable than ever. damian grammaticas, bbc news. now on bbc news, yhe nigeria—based black axe is one of the most feared and powerful organised crime groups in the world. peter macjob went on a journey to meet the axemen face to face and to find out who is behind the group. a warning that this programme contains scenes which viewers may find upsetting. this morning several bodies found with their heads - decapitated were littered around the city. - 13 people have been killed in cult—related killings - within the past week. a secret death cult is thriving in nigeria. more terrifying than anything i've ever seen.
they've been accused of countless murders at home and abroad. around the world, crime agencies are cracking down on their multimillion dollar internet fraud and human trafficking network. screaming nigerians are trying to fight back, too. shouting but here in their homeland, the cults seem unstoppable. and thousands of young lives have been destroyed. after 20 years abroad, i've come back to nigeria to investigate this deadly mafia. screaming how have they become so powerful?
are politicians behind the violence? who are the men in the shadows, pulling the strings? makoko, one of the largest slums in nigeria. i'm on the trail of the black axe, my country's deadliest cult group. this place is incredible. we're literally travelling over raw sewage, but this is the only way we can access the black axe cult in makoko. it's taken months to negotiate a meeting and we have no idea what to expect. we're having to go through the back way, in order to get to this place