borisjohnson will meet with his scientific advisers this afternoon, as he considers whether to introduce further coronavirus restrictions in england. in scotland and northern ireland, further measures come into force today for pubs, bars and cafes to try to slow the spread of the omicron variant. talks between the government and uk energy providers — after warnings that bills could jump by 50% next year. the national trust warns some landscapes in the uk could be altered forever by extreme weather conditions. and england's hopes of an ashes comeback are fading rapidly in a dramatic second day of the third test in melbourne.
good afternoon. borisjohnson will meet his scientific advisers this afternoon, as he considers whether to introduce further coronavirus restrictions in england to slow the spread of the omicron variant. it's expected he'll hear about the impact on hospital admissions and nhs staff sickness over recent days. further controls have come into effect today in northern ireland and scotland. the new measures affect the hospitality and leisure industries. in scotland, nightclubs have to close for at least three weeks and one metre social distancing and table service has been reinstated in hospitality settings where alcohol is served. table service has also resumed in hospitality venues across northern ireland. no more than six people will be allowed to sit together. dancing is also prohibited, except at weddings. yesterday in wales, the rule of six was reinstated
for people meeting in pubs, cinemas and restaurants. here's our correspondent simonjones. after the christmas festivities, now it is decision time for the prime minister. borisjohnson will be going over the latest covid data to see if he thinks new measures are neededin see if he thinks new measures are needed in england. at this bar in bristol, they say they need clarity, as they look ahead to the new year. we need to get on with it now and he needs to tell people now. people needs to tell people now. people need to know, they need staff to put in place, security they need to book. stock they need to order, he needs to tell people right now so they know what they are doing. ﬁx, key they know what they are doing. a key consideration _ they know what they are doing. a key consideration is _ they know what they are doing. a key consideration is going _ they know what they are doing. a key consideration is going to _ they know what they are doing. a key consideration is going to be hospital admissions and whether omicron infections could lead to the nhs being overwhelmed. downing street said before christmas that it would not hesitate to act if necessary, but borisjohnson will face a battle to convince some of
his mps to convince them that changes needed. my his mps to convince them that changes needed.— his mps to convince them that changes needed. my thing is we should sit tight _ changes needed. my thing is we should sit tight and _ changes needed. my thing is we should sit tight and wait - changes needed. my thing is we should sit tight and wait for - changes needed. my thing is we should sit tight and wait for a i should sit tight and wait for a signal that omicron, if it is, is more severe in older people, whereas the devolved government had decided to act sooner. the devolved government had decided to act sooner-— to act sooner. yesterday in wales social distancing _ to act sooner. yesterday in wales social distancing measures - to act sooner. yesterday in wales social distancing measures were l social distancing measures were reintroduced. from today in northern ireland, their are new restrictions for pubs and restaurants. it will be table service only and the maximum of six people will be allowed to sit together. we of six people will be allowed to sit touether. ~ . ., , together. we have tried to be sensible to — together. we have tried to be sensible to look _ together. we have tried to be sensible to look after - together. we have tried to be i sensible to look after ourselves together. we have tried to be - sensible to look after ourselves and each other. i sensible to look after ourselves and each other. . sensible to look after ourselves and each other-— each other. i am slightly bewildered, _ each other. i am slightly bewildered, i— each other. i am slightly bewildered, i don't - each other. i am slightly - bewildered, i don't understand each other. i am slightly _ bewildered, i don't understand them. i have _ bewildered, i don't understand them. i have come _ bewildered, i don't understand them. i have come from scotland, so everything is different.- everything is different. table service has — everything is different. table service has come _ everything is different. table service has come in - everything is different. table service has come in in - everything is different. table l service has come in in scotland where alcohol is served and night clubs will have to close for a period of at least three weeks. the scottish health secretary this morning visited a vaccination centre in perth. it morning visited a vaccination centre in perth. , ' . morning visited a vaccination centre in perth. , , . .,
in perth. it will be difficult for businesses, _ in perth. it will be difficult for businesses, but _ in perth. it will be difficult for businesses, but if _ in perth. it will be difficult for businesses, but if we - in perth. it will be difficult for businesses, but if we let - in perth. it will be difficult for businesses, but if we let this | in perth. it will be difficult for- businesses, but if we let this virus get ahead of us, it would be even worse for the economy. ﬁgs get ahead of us, it would be even worse for the economy. as people wait to hear— worse for the economy. as people wait to hear what _ worse for the economy. as people wait to hear what further - worse for the economy. as people wait to hear what further new - wait to hear what further new restrictions might be needed for the new year, the government has insisted that no decisions have been taken for england. and today's briefing by scientists is one of a series of regular updates given to the prime minister. borisjohnson has not called a cabinet meeting or announced a recall of parliament. simonjones, bbc news. in a moment, we'll be talking to our correspondents in scotland and northern ireland, about the latest restrictions there, but first, let's talk to our political correspondent ione wells. does the fact the prime minister has not recalled parliament give some encouraging signs about the picture for now? i encouraging signs about the picture for now? ~ , ., _ for now? i think it is right to say for now? i think it is right to say for now, for now? i think it is right to say for new. it _ for now? i think it is right to say for new. it is — for now? i think it is right to say for now, it is a _ for now? i think it is right to say for now, it is a sign _ for now? i think it is right to say for now, it is a sign of _ for now? i think it is right to say for now, it is a sign of no - for now? i think it is right to say - for now, it is a sign of no movement just yet on any restrictions in england. he has made the promised to
mps he would get a say on any other regulations in england. he said it would issue further guidance if he thought it was necessary, even thought it was necessary, even though that has been met with fierce resistance from a number of conservative mps as well. it is an acknowledgement that any further legal restrictions in england would be politically quite difficult. there is the issue of getting it through his own mps. last time when he introduced covid passport in england, he relied on labour votes to get it through with a massive tory rebellion. then the issue of getting it through his fellow government ministers. at the moment a lot of government ministers not keen on the idea of further restrictions. at the moment boris johnson can use his cabinet as a shield, with all of them, the majority of them at least wanting to see more data on hospitalisations before making any decisions. they say unless rising hospitalisations could justify further restrictions, they don't currently want to introduce any. however, i think these next few days will be key, firstly, businesses are looking for
certainty, ahead of new year's eve about whether or not they will be any further restrictions. adults also government is now towing this difficult line to navigate between not wanting to act until hospitalisations arise steeply, but also not wanting to leave things too late if the data does start to point that way. late if the data does start to point that wa . . , late if the data does start to point thatwa. ., , . as we've heard in scotland temporary measures have begun for hospitality and leisure businesses, lets talk now to our correspondent catriona renton in glasgow. these are significant measures, but they are ones, that in many ways, people in scotland will be familiar with? ., , ., i, with? that is right, and yesterday restrictions _ with? that is right, and yesterday restrictions were _ with? that is right, and yesterday restrictions were introduced - with? that is right, and yesterday restrictions were introduced to i with? that is right, and yesterday i restrictions were introduced to deal with large crowds. today the focus is on hospitality and indoor areas, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and gyms. a lot of them have been exercising these measures already. they will have to ensure there is a one metre distance between groups of people and those groups of people cannot contain more than three households, where alcohol is being
served. table service will have to be used. that will be the impact on pubs where people can no longer stand at the bar. nightclubs, they will be affected and they can only open if they offer table service and if they can do the distancing measures as well. the scottish government has made extra money available to mitigate some of this, but the hospitality industry views this, some of these restrictions as yet another blow. outside events, no more than 500 people can meet outside, so that is going to have a massive impact on public events at hogmanay, effectively those are cancelled. restrictions are reviewed every three weeks, so the next date for the diary to look at is the 11th of january. for the diary to look at is the 11th ofjanuary-_ for the diary to look at is the 11th ofjanuary. and in northern ireland where new restrictions have also come into force, our correspondent louise cullen is in dungannon for us. no dancing except at weddings, louise? , ., , ., ,
louise? yes, that is the only exception- — louise? yes, that is the only exception. but _ louise? yes, that is the only exception. but this - louise? yes, that is the only exception. but this fresh - louise? yes, that is the onlyj exception. but this fresh mix louise? yes, that is the only i exception. but this fresh mix of regulations, it is a return to familiarfor northern regulations, it is a return to familiar for northern ireland around table service and hospitality settings, working from home when possible and limiting the number of people allowed to gather our homes. the wearing of face coverings are being strengthened. there will be a grace period until that is reinforced untiljanuary the 7th. executive meets in 72 hours' time to look at the restrictions
there have been more covid—related flight cancellations today with more than 1,400 flights cancelled around the world. destinations in the united states and china have been the worst hit, with us airlines saying the disruption is due to crews testing positive or isolating. in all, since christmas eve, more than 8,000 flights have been grounded. new york city has made it compulsory for everyone aged 12 and above to be fully vaccinated against covid, in order to access indoor entertainment and sports activities. it has also become the first us city to require vaccines for all private sector workers — jabs are already mandatory for state employees. the business secretary, kwasi kwarteng, has held talks with leading energy firms amid calls for the government to do more to tackle the crisis caused by a surge in wholesale gas prices. millions of households are expected to face a dramatic rise in energy bills next year. the government has said it wants to make sure consumers are protected.
our business correspondent, vishala sri—pathma, reports. it's been a constant worry for households for the past three months — rising prices of gas and electricity around the world have meant we've all been paying more to heat our homes and cook our meals. 26 energy companies have gone bust since september, and more casualties are expected in the industry, as there's no sign of prices falling. our number—one ask going into the meeting is that the government and the regulator are taking the situation very seriously, and they're prepared to start taking action — not in the months to come, but in the days to come. because i think if we don't find a solution in the coming weeks, we're certainly going to be locking uk consumers into more and more expensive energy for years to come. labour is calling on the government to use money raised through higher—than—expected vat receipts to cut household bills. the party says higher energy
and food prices have meant more vat being paid, so the extra money should be used to help people struggling with the higher cost of living. the government said they are regularly engaging with the industry, and are continuing to support those most in need. the energy price cap is expected to be on the agenda, as well — it stops companies from passing rising costs onto their customers. the cap will be reviewed again in april, when bills could go up as much as 50%. not the good news families were hoping for this festive period — with many already struggling to keep the lights on. vishala sri—pathma, bbc news. west mercia police have sent a written apology to the relatives of the former premier league footballer, dalian atkinson, six months after an officer who tasered him and kicked him in the head was jailed for manslaughter. west mercia's chief constable pippa mills said she was "deeply sorry" adding that
a police uniform did not grant officers immunity to behave unlawfully. wildlife across the uk is increasingly suffering the impacts of extreme weather events and natural disasters. that's the verdict of the national trust as it publishes its annual reckoning of uk wildlife "winners and losers". the conservation charity also warns some of the landscapes it cares for are being altered forever. our climate editor justin rowlatt reports. this is one of this year's wildlife winners. the first beaver family was released onto national trust property in somerset in 2020, and this year it produced its first kit. the baby beaver was born injune. but the uk's changing weather patterns brought losers, too. some seabird populations were hit by the storms that swept the country. other birds suffered from the unseasonable cold spells and frequent heavy rain in the summer.
i've come to newark park estate in gloucestershire to find out more about how our changing climate is affecting the national trust's landscapes and the wildlife it cares for. and just look at this wonderful place. a tudor hunting lodge with — look over here — the most incredible views right out across for the mendip hills. we've had to remove all of our ash trees, unfortunately, because they've succumbed to ash dieback. the fungal disease, which affects adult trees, is now common across britain. so we're finding that the moist conditions that we get, as well — wet and warm — are really great for these things to spread in our current climate. the national trust lost thousands more trees in storms — storm arwen, which ripped through the north of the country in late november, was particularly destructive. and some properties, like this stretch of the dorset coast, were changed forever.
this landslip — caused in part by extreme dry and wet spells — took a great bite out of the cliffs at thorncombe beacon. the kind of regular rhythms of the seasons are kind of...are kind of drifting away and we're now getting this new normal, which is pretty unpredictable and has some really big extreme kind of weather events. and all of that has a kind of massive impact on our wildlife. this year's wildlife losers include spring—blossoming trees in the south of england, which suffered a series of late frosts. but some seal populations flourished, with record numbers of seals recorded on some suffolk beaches. the warm and settled autumn produced spectacular shows of colour across the country, and helped some grassland fungi to thrive. the trust warns extreme weather is increasingly becoming the new normal, but says it is possible to strengthen ecosystems against climate change. justin rowlatt, bbc news, newark park estate in gloucestershire.
south africa has begun a week of events to commemorate the anti—apartheid leader archbishop desmond tutu. bells rang at midday today from st george's anglican cathedral in cape town and they will ring every noon for the next five days to mark archbishop tutu's life. table mountain and the city hall in cape town will be also be lit up in purple, the colour of his clerical robes — every night until his funeral on saturday. family breakdowns are one of the leading causes of homelessness in the uk, but not enough is being done to help loved ones stay together, homelessness charities have told the bbc. adam eley has been to meet rhyss mackay, who slept rough in newcastle for almost five years without seeing loved ones but whose life, has since, been transformed. i miss them lots, times, especially,
like birthdays and christmases. when rhyss left home aged 18 after disagreements with his mum, he lost contact with his family altogether. for almost five years, he slept rough on the streets of newcastle. the longer it got, the harder it became to kind of reach out and speak to them. thought about them all the time. but i had deteriorated quite a lot. you know, i looked very unwell. and i didn't want them to see us in the way i was. family breakdown is one of the leading causes of homelessness. west midlands based charity st basil's says more must be done to help families stay together where appropriate. ultimately, if we just put a roof over people's heads and we're not dealing with the issues that led to them being homeless, all that's going to happen is those people are going to end up in that same situation again. the charity has staff trained in mediation and provides parenting workshops. it wants such support to be rolled out more widely. we would be looking at local authorities to really adopt this. the local government association called on ministers to provide more long term investment. while the government said it was spending £2 billion
over the next three years to tackle rough sleeping in england. back in newcastle, rhyss struggled with his mental health while living on the streets. been kicked, punched, you know, spat on, felt like society had given up on us. so i gave up on myself, made us quite suicidal. and i did try and take me own life on more than one occasion. then, after almost five years on the streets, rhyss's life was turned on its head. he was in court being sentenced for shoplifting offences when his mum walked through the doors, having found out his whereabouts. i was just total state of shock. i thought i was dreaming for a moment. i just looked at her and she just burst into tears. i tell her, look, i'm gonna be ok. i'm going to prison. but when i got out, i'm going to make some changes and i'm going to start speaking to my family again. and i've been in contact with them ever since. the charity crisis says where it's right to reconnect family, it can offer individuals a sense of belonging. so we do see parents and children reconnected. everyone needs support
and a network around them. and so when we can make that happen, it can be so powerful. rhyss says reconnecting with his family is giving him the basis to build his life again. just having me family back on side really makes a difference on how i perceive myself and how i view life. i have a little boy at home, lovely partner, nice home, good relationship with my family. everything i wanted five years ago. adam eley, bbc news. if you were affected by the issues contained in that report and would like details of organisations which offer advice and support, go online to bbc.co. uk/actionline or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 0800 066 066. england's cricketers are sliding towards a series defeat in the ashes. australia are already 2—0 up in the five match series and could retain the ashes tomorrow as our sports correspondent joe wilson reports.
england's players were unsure for a while if they'd even be allowed in the ground. four covid cases amongst the support staff and their family. but after the tests, the test continued. and yes, england prospered. marnus labuschagne batting, ranked world number one, out for one. success for mark wood. and what about steve smith? well, here comes james anderson. oh, he's got him, bowled him. england quickly dismissed australia's most esteemed batters. hey, we're in this! maybe? marcus harris persevered for australia. not always pretty, but past 50. and that feeling of optimism, it was sneaking away from england. as so often, they needed anderson. captain's grateful hands and harris was gone. but a late flourish helped australia build their lead. when their innings finally ended, they were 82 runs ahead. and in the last hour, the true context of the day's play — england batting again,
zak crawley out for five. the very next ball — dawid malan — lbw. haseeb hameed couldn't last. faint edge, he was gone. so jack leach was sent in to defend and defy. hm, 31 foi’ii. and australia will be back for more. joe wilson, bbc news. there's more throughout the afternoon on the bbc news channel. the next news here is at 5.30. now on bbc one, it's time for the news where you are. goodbye.
mrjohnson is expected to get details on how fast the omicron variant is spreading and whether the nhs is coming under unsustainable pressure, even though omicron is now thought to be milder than previous variants. professor markjit is an epidemiologist at the london school of hygiene and tropical medicine. he's also part of spi—m, a committee that provides disease modelling advice to the government. he told me what the situation is like in london. london is ahead of the rest of the country, because the first cases started there, but i think where london goes the rest of the country will follow in a couple of days' time, so the proportion of cases as the total population of london is greatest there because they started taking off about a week before the rest of the country. in terms of what we know about omicron, we had that encouraging news from the health security agency before christmas, about the likelihood
of being admitted to hospital, assuming you've been vaccinated, with serious symptoms — at what stage do you think we will have a clearer idea of what is happening in terms of hospital admissions? i think that's the first data we are getting out, and that's encouraging news, although when we got the same data from scotland, also having encouraging news, although those figures have to be interpreted carefully and we have to make sure we compare like for like, ideally we're looking at patients who were either not infected, had no previous infection before, compared to those with no previous infection with delta. it still suggests omicron is milder but the difference is not as big as it is if you don't make that comparison. it suggests hospitalisations won't take off as quickly as the cases are suggesting, although we will have to watch it
and see what happens. we spoke about in the summer, some people spoke about vaccinations breaking the link with hospitalisations, that probably was overplaying it, but the prime minister used the phrase about weakening the link with hospitalisations. does that look like that's one of the consequences of the vaccination programme? definitely weakening is the right word — there always be a link because the vaccines don't give 100% protection, especially against omicron. but the risk of someone vaccinated getting hospitalised with covid will be much lower than someone who is not vaccinated. let me ask you something else because we spoke about omicron and delta, i read something over the christmas period that said one of the added complications for scientists in trying to model the outcomes has been notjust of the different variants but the same variant has sometimes performed in different ways in different parts of the world.
some parts of the world, a particular variant has had very little impact, whereas in others it has had a devastating impact. do we have any idea why that is? there are lots of factors going on. partly it is the population — how old is the population, do they have chronic conditions, what proportion have been vaccinated, have they been infected before? all these things will have an impact on the impact of the vaccine — what other measures are being taken, how much is the population mixing with each other? to some extent, if we know all these we can try to work out what might be happening. but, in the end, the best thing is to get uk data and what is happening in the uk, that is the safest thing to do. the cost of global shipping has risen dramatically this year, as supply chains around the world battle with the impact of the covid pandemic. it's led to frustrating delays
for businesses struggling to meet consumer demand, but also to tens of billions of pounds of profits for shipping companies. our global trade correspondent chris morris reports. on a misty morning in leeds just before christmas, at long last a container arrives all the way from china. cheering. this family—run business develops and designs fun gifts, and this is the busiest time of year. 90% of their stock is made in china — it helps keep consumer prices down, but nearly all deliveries in 2021 have been late. several containers full of christmas gifts won't get here untiljanuary. if we don't get this stock to them today, the order is gone. it's been a year of good business but increasing delays and rising costs. it was delayed three weeks getting out of china, it was delayed another month on sea. you can see we've lost, for a seasonal business, you know,
this is stock that people cannot buy until the last minute, it really hurts for a small business like ours. this is where the container came from, near shanghai. the trouble is they are not enough empty containers in china to meet the demand for sending goods around the world. covid shutdowns and delays have put global supply chains out of kilter. we already know it is a sensitive system — the evergiven, the ship that blocked the suez canal for six days in march, caused massive backlogs. but it is covid that has done the real damage. container lines are run like train lines. they have schedules and they're meant to call at fixed times for fixed durations, that is just not happening because they can't. and the cost of sending shipping containers by sea has risen dramatically. it has absolutely gone crazy this year. if you're looking at short—term freight rates from asia to europe you are looking at a 366% increase. longer—term rates locked
in 12 months in advance have gone up even more. the shipping container industry is on course to make vast record profits this year. ports are working longer hours to keep trade moving, more ships are on order, but it will take time for things to settle down. the huge disruption caused by covid—i9 has exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains. in some ways they've held up remarkably well, given the scale of the pandemic, but it's been a reminder for all of us how dependent we have become on getting shipping containers delivered around the world on schedule. one option is to increase local production, they're starting to do a bit of that here in leeds. but don't expect globalisation to retreat any time soon. this is still a hyper—connected world, and now omicron is creating more challenges for the supply chains that we take for granted. now it's time for a look at the weather with chris fawkes. hello there.
we've got some extremely mild weather to come later this week with temperatures not too far away from the december records. today, it is grey and cloudy, murky, with the low clouds making it quite dark at times, with pulses of rain moving across england and wales. further north—west, something a little bit brighter for scotland and northern ireland but here there will be a scattering of showers. temperatures across northern areas are fairly close to the seasonal norm but it is milder in the south, where temperatures could reach between 11—13 celsius for some. overnight tonight mist and fog patches will reform so it will become quite murky again. outbreaks of rain developing later in the night as well. the rain and cloud keeping temperatures well up, 7—9 celsius. colder northern scotland, cold enough for a few patches of frost in the countryside. tomorrow, it's a wet day coming up, with this rain very slow to ease away eastwards, so still some rain around across eastern england into the afternoon. the brightest weather again for scotland and for northern ireland as well.