tv The Travel Show BBC News December 28, 2021 3:30am-4:00am GMT
the us health authorities have halved the recommended isolation period for people who test positive for covid—19, without exhibiting symptoms. the centers for disease control now says that infected but asymptomatic people should stay home for five days and wear a mask around others for a further five. france has become the latest european country to tighten covid restrictions, in the face of rapidly rising cases. the government has stopped short of imposing a curfew despite daily infection rates exceeding one hundred thousand. employees have been told to work from home for three days a week, where possible. the uk health secretary, sajid javid has confirmed that no further covid measures, will be introduced in england before the new year — but he urged people to "remain cautious." the announcement puts england out of step with the other devolved uk nations who have introduced tougher measures.
there've been emergency talks between the business secretary, kwasi kwarteng, and the uk's energy industry, to try to resolve the ongoing crisis caused by rising wholesale gas prices. energy companies have warned that bills could go up by 50 per cent next year without government action. theo leggett reports. a midwinter meeting, at a time when the energy industry is battling a deep economic chill. the cost of gas on european wholesale markets has been hitting record levels, and suppliers say consumers will end up paying a heavy price. energy companies themselves have already been badly hit. more than two dozen have gone out of business since the summer, and more casualties are expected. that's because, so far, they have had to absorb most of the extra costs themselves. it's a situation that won't last. household gas and electricity bills are capped by the energy regulator, ofcom, but with wholesale prices at their current levels, it seems inevitable
the cap will be raised in the spring and raised significantly. that will leave millions of consumers across the country facing much higher bills. there are millions of households, millions of families, who really struggle to afford to heat their homes in winter. with prices doubling next year, that is only going to get worse. there is going to be more families that need help and those families that do need help will need more of it. people within the industry say ministers could consider cutting the environmental and social levies that energy consumers have to pay. labour wants vat on bills to be removed. a real rethink, listening to the industry leaders, to see what they recommend, would be an important thing to do, before february, and february is when ofgem meets to decide what its price is going to be for the domestic consumer on the 1st of april. today's meeting is unlikely to be the last. the government says talks will continue over the coming days
and weeks to ensure uk consumers are protected. theo leggett, bbc news. now on bbc news — the travel show. oh, wow. look at the size of this place. this is tokyo stadium and it was home to the football, the rugby, and the pentathlon during the olympics. and i'm glad to finally be here. japan's delayed summer of sport finally got under way in 2021. my name's steve brown and i was supposed to come over the paralympic coverage. not being able to make it out was a huge blow. the whole thing about sport, it's not just about watching it, it's about feeling it, that immersive experience. before i was a presenter, i was captain of the london 2012 rugby wheelchair team. and when i was in hospital
sport was what got me out. it was definitely the building blocks to the person that i have become. tokyo holds a special place in paralympic history. it was all the way back at the 1964 games that the term paralympic was first used. but being disabled injapan hasn't always been easy. it's often seen as a country that values conformity and fitting in. so, at the end of this paralympic year, i'm finally getting the chance to explore japan and find out what life's late for those who stand out from the crowd. along the way i'll some old opponents, discover a hidden tropical culture, and ride the waves with some adaptive surfing.
my journey across japan begins in the capital, tokyo, the world's busiest city, where i am on my way to meet some former rivals. it's excellent sitting here and watching the japanese paralympic team doing the training. wheelchair rugby has this nickname, murder ball, and you can see why. it's the only full contact wheelchair sport there is. your opponent is going to work very hard to knock you out of your chair, so you have got to work hard to knock them out of theirs. the team won bronze at the 2021 games. and i rememberfacing them all the way back at london 2012.
this gym was specially designed for para—athletes and opened in 2018. in the build—up to the paralympics, the government committed to introducing more barrier—free access across the country. we'll see how i get on as i explore more ofjapan. here in tokyo, the subway system is said to be almost entirely accessible. even if some of the adaptations are a bit bizarre.
so this is going to turn into a wheelchair lift, but they've had to shut everything off to make it happen. so i come on... you won't find many of these adapted escalators around the subway. normal lifts are far more common. brakes are on. yes, no problem. and that's probably a good thing. 0k. and it's done. thank you, gentlemen. well, that was terrifying. but on the surface there are old pockets of tokyo that can still be a challenge to get around. we're in golden gai and that translates as golden city, which is quite a strange name for a place no bigger than a football pitch.
the place is just starting to open now. if i had left it another hour or so this would be starting to get much busier and on these narrow streets i think i would have trouble getting around. see, look, this is a perfect example, there's no room for me in there, there's a step to get in, and the door�*s too narrow. a few blocks over there's an area where another group of people are finding their voice. it's called ni—chome and it's said to have the highest concentration of gay and lesbian bars in the world. i've arranged to meet nunu, who works here. and what's the attitude like to the lgbt community injapan?
this pocket of tokyo flourished because it gave people a space outside of the mainstream where they could express themselves without facing disapproval. but tradition still has a powerful hold overjapan, as i'll find out in the next stage of myjourney. now it's time for me to leave the capital on board one of their famous bullet trains. so what's happening? we are trying to book a a wheelchair space for you. some lines saw the number of wheelchair spaces trebled in the up to the paralympics, but it takes a while to find me a space. it's turning out to be quite a faff, i think, they recommend that you book it all up in advance
to save all of this. that doesn't work if you don't know you are travelling until an hour before you need to travel. all sorted. well, here we go then. i'm on my way to 0shima island, a thousand kilometres west of tokyo and more than five hours by train. to an area that remains in thrall to centuries old traditions and customs. that's a big flight of steps. whoa. 0k.
whoa. 0h. here we are. 0h. wow. getting up here might have been a bit of an effort, but it was certainly worth it. you don't see many places like this, do you? this is the nakatsumiya shrine. it was built in the 18th century to pay homage to a holy island some 50 kilometres off the coast. 0kinoshima has been worshipped for well over 1000 years, lying between japan and the korean peninsula.
a world heritage site in 2017. but the old taboos mean only men can set foot on the island and miki can'tjoin her male colleagues on archaeological expeditions. watching these videos it certainly has got this kind of eerie mystical power to it. i might not be able to go myself, but one way that tourists can experience 0kinoshima is by trying a misogi ceremony,
i'm heading out to japan's southernmost spot, 0kinawa, which is made up of more than 100 subtropical islands. it's a popular holiday destination because of its year—round warm temperatures and, back in 2007, it was the first place injapan to make a barrierfree declaration — a commitment towards making travel more accessible for all. i have heard 0kinawan culture has distinct differences from the mainland, so i've come here to find out more.
back in the 15th century, the ryukyu kingdom united the islands that now form 0kinawa. they were trading people and now an international influence can still be felt in their art and design, their architecture, and in theirfood. ok, now, this looks very nice. i think i will start with this. what is it?
it smells strong. has it got a strong flavour? yes. 0k... wow. that is a strong flavour. i need to wash it down. so what is this? that's nice and it's quite smooth. fragrant. maybe i'm just washing down the fermented tofu... but ryukyuan culture hasn't always been embraced by the mainland. in the 19th century after it became part ofjapan there was a crackdown on local customs.
that is the only way i can explain it. that is what i was expecting to see. and it's such a shame. when it was standing, shuri castle drew around 2 million people a year. then, in october 2019, a fire, blamed on a faulty electrical system, tore the wooden palace, destroying all the main buildings. the debris has been cleared away and the site is once again open to tourists, where they can find out about an ambitious new reconstruction that is currently under way.
so this is smoke damage? yes. you can feel the weight of them they are a real solid piece. how many will you need to make? it is not the first time the castle has been destroyed and rebuilt. previously it was bombed in the second world war. its reconstruction turned it into a symbol of ka nawha's resilience.
it's tragic to see all this devastation, but with the reconstruction set to open in a few years' time, maybe it's a chance for the ryukyu culture to get a bit more attention. here in okinawa, my trip across japan is coming to an end. but there's one more thing for me to try. so... this foot, 0k. oh, my goodness! surfing is a year—round activity on these subtropical islands. and taishi is an organiser for accessurf, a local charity that helps people with accessibility needs, like mine, to ride the waves. well, i have never been surfing before. reassure me, many people have you taken out already? i've got the wetsuit on. let's make the most of this, shall we? all right, let's go.
well, i've been been in for spiritual, now i'm going in recreational. i'm ready, let's go. this way around ? with me safely on the board, the team run through a few basics. ok, so how do i fall down? i go over and i push the board away from me? yes. so i push away the only thing that i want to grab? well, i think i've got the paddling. shall we try some surfing? yeah. in my journey across japan, i have seen that it's a country that is still bound by tradition.
but i have also met people who are pushing those boundaries. and here in okinawa i have seen that there's more thanjust one traditional culture. for me, coming here in my wheelchair, there have been a few problems here and there. but opening up is a process, whether it's opening up to foreign travel after a pandemic or opening up to new ideas and experiences. and this has been one experience that i am definitely going to remember.
hello there. the big weather story for the rest of this week, and of course that means the rest of this year, is all about exceptionally high temperatures. this chart shows the temperature compared with the average. as these deep red colours spread northwards across the chart, that shows that temperatures will be significantly higher than we'd expect them to be at this time of year. daytime highs of 16—17 degrees, some very mild nights. there will be some rain at times as well, and during tuesday, it's this area of low pressure responsible for bringing some wet weather. and on the southern flank of that low, also some quite windy weather. so, as our area of low pressure slides eastwards, we will see outbreaks of rain through the morning across parts of england and wales. a lot of mist and murk and low cloud around as well. should brighten up from the west. northern ireland and scotland certainly turning
brighter by the afternoon. 0nce any early fog has lifted, there should be quite a lot of sunshine around. relatively light winds in the north, but down towards the south, particularly for western and southern coasts, we're likely to see gusts of 40—50, maybe 55 mph. and still quite a split in temperatures for the time being. 5—6 degrees in northern scotland, 12—13 in southern england. then as we head through tuesday night into the early part of wednesday, a drier, quieter interlude before another band of rain swings its way in from the west. a little bit chilly again across northern parts of scotland, very mild down towards wales and the south west of england. and for wednesday, that band of rain associated with the frontal system will continue to journey its way north—eastwards, so we will see some wet weather for a time on wednesday. clearing many areas quite quickly. that rain lingering, though, for a good part of the afternoon in northern scotland. behind it, there will be some spells of sunshine, some areas of cloud, too. but some increasingly mild conditions, 15—16 degrees in the south, 13 there for belfast, ten in glasgow.
the milder air is journeying northwards. it will continue to do so on thursday. quite a cloudy day for many, some mist and murk, some rain especially in the west. best chance of any sunshine in eastern parts, but highs of 16 or maybe 17 degrees. but even northern scotland will be up into double digits by this stage. another quite windy day in prospect. for friday, new year's eve, a lot of cloud around, some rain, especially in the west. best of any sunshine in the east, and still milder than it should be for the end of december. highs of 11—16 degrees.
this is bbc news, our top stories. america's leading health body halves the isolation period for patients with asymptomatic covid, from ten days to five. france gets tougher on covid restrictions — working from home becomes compulsory, as infection rates exceed 100,000 a day. heavy snow batters the us western states leaving thousands without power and causing travel chaos. tributes to the ant man, e0 wilson — one of the world's leading comservationists dies aged 92. as hollywood box—office takings continue to tumble,we ask if it's because of covid, the films or the movie—goers themselves?