this is bbc news — the headlines the hospitality sector welcomes the decision not to impose further covid restrictions in england before the new year describing it as a lifeline but ministers say further restrictions hinges on the number of hospitalisations at the moment, we don't think that the evidence supports any more interventions beyond what we've done but obviously we've got to keep it under very close review because if it is the case that we start to see a big increase in hospitalisations then we would need to act further and that's why we have to keep it under close review. the french government call their new covid measures "proportionate", as rules for remote working and public gatherings come into force next week. it's all over — australia thrash england to win the ashes, after a dismal collapse in melbourne
heavy snowstorms batter western states in the us — leaving thousands without power and causing travel chaos. at half past, mark kermode looks back at the cinematic highs and lows of 2021 — including the return of james bond and an oscar—winning perfromance from anthony hopkins. good morning. the hospitality sector has welcomed the decision not to impose further coronavirus restrictions in england this week, describing it as a "lifeline" to pubs, bars and clubs relying on new year trade for their survival. the health secretary, sajid javid, announced yesterday that the government would wait untiljanuary before re—evaluating the situation in england. but scotland, wales and northern ireland have all introduced further restrictions this week. people in wales and scotland
are living with curbs on hospitality, including the closure of nightclubs. and all three nations have imposed restrictions on social mixing indoors. some of the scientists who advise the westminster government say ministers in england are acting "on the optimistic end of the spectrum" in terms of assessing the impact of the omicron spread. record numbers of coronavirus cases were recorded in england on christmas day. here's our political correspondent, iain watson. with christmas celebrations coming to a close, there had been fears of a much bleaker new year. with covid cases continuing at high levels, scotland, wales and northern ireland have all imposed new restrictions. but in england, the emphasis for the time being is on caution, not compulsion. we think some 90% of cases now across england are this new omicron variant, so it shows you just how quickly it has spread.
we have had news in recent days that it's milder. now, that in itself isn't good news enough — that's good news, but we know that it spreads very rapidly, so we have to set that news against that. but whilst we should all absolutely remain cautious, we don't think there's any need for any further measures until the new year but, of course, we will keep that under review. many in the hospitality industry welcomed the fact that there'll be no new restrictions in england before new year — the night time industries association said it was amazing news — but some businesses say that even the existing restrictions have hit them hard, and they're still looking to the government for more help. it feels that, if there isn't some intervention that happens within the next sort of week or so, there'll be a lot of hospitality business like mine that will go out of business comejanuary, february, because we do not have the reserves to be able to weather the storm. with no new restrictions before the new year, parliament won't need to be recalled from its winter break. the ayes to the right, 369...
100 of borisjohnson�*s own mps rebelled earlier this month against the introduction of covid passes in england. if the prime minister had tried to push more measures through this week, he could have faced even fiercer resistance. as long as the nhs is not overwhelmed, then we stay, keep the uk open for business, keep our schools open — because the collateral damage to wider society and the economy of any lockdown measures are very much underestimated. but ministers are still concerned about the effect of self—isolation and sickness on nhs staffing levels so they've given no guarantees that there won't be more restrictions injanuary. and labour is calling for the government to publish the data and advice it receives when making its decisions. england is now on a divergent path from scotland, wales and northern ireland... ..but it's not yet clear whether that will also lead to different results in trying to keep the virus under control. iain watson, bbc news. chris hopson is the chief executive of nhs providers —
which represents health services across the uk. earlier, he explained the difference in the recording data of patients admitted to hospital with covid, and those admitted because of covid. well if you look at the level of his hospitalisations, the numbers are definitely going up, if you look on a national basis they've gone from about 6,700 people in hospital a week ago to 8,500 yesterday, an increase of about 27%. it's increasing but not precipitate. i think as we all know it's london that's been the epicentre for omicron and that's gone from a 45% increase in the number of hospitalisations, but i think the thing we need to wrap our heads around, an important piece of nuance, is a few of our chief executives are talking about people coming into hospital with covid as opposed to because of covid and let me explain the difference.
clearly in the first previous peaks, we have had some very seriously ill older people who've got really significant respiratory problems and in order for us to look after them, we've had to give them extra oxygen, we've had to ensure for a significant percentage of them, they've had to go into critical care. the difference this time is we have quite a few patients who are coming in, they might have fallen off their bike and knocked their head or broken their leg and what has happened is they have got no symptoms but when they arrive they are actually testing positive for covid and interestingly the statistics we use do not actually distinguish between those two. paul hunter is a professor of medicine at the university of east anglia and says we still need to wait for more data to understand the impact of 0micron in older people. 0ne one of the problems is of course a lot of that data covers the holiday period and the build—up to the holiday period and epidemiology
results over bank holidays and public holidays are always a bit muddier because they are affected by how likely people are to go and be tested, whether they want to go into hospital and things like that so it can be quite difficult to interpret data around christmas. but having said that, i think cases are still rising, i think suggestions a few days ago that we might have actually started to peak i think was probably not borne out yesterday but on the other hand, cases are not increasing as rapidly as they were a week or so ago. i think we can be fairly certain they are not doubling every couple of days now. cases are increasing in older people and of course, older people over 60 and those of the group more likely to go into hospital. and hospitalisations are also rising but so far, nothing obvious amongst people on intensive
care units. so a mixed picture, i'm afraid. 0ur political correspondent ione wells is here. we've heard the assessment from some scientist at the westminster government is making decisions on the optimistic end of the spectrum in terms of the data they are looking at. what's the sense of the direction of travel? they said no new restrictions in england until the new year, they haven't said anything beyond that.— the new year, they haven't said anything beyond that. exactly, there are some good _ anything beyond that. exactly, there are some good news _ anything beyond that. exactly, there are some good news and _ anything beyond that. exactly, there are some good news and some - anything beyond that. exactly, therei are some good news and some news kept under review at the moment by ministers. firstly, in terms of the positive side, we did see those record numbers of covid cases on christmas day reported in england, at the moment ministers and scientists have been slightly more optimistic when it comes to hospital admissions, they are much lower than they were this time last year and that's the figure ministers had been keeping a close eye on to check whether there was hospital admissions were rising at the rate we've been seeing covid cases rise. having said that, there are a number
of things which are worrying ministers, for example the number of people who are not vaccinated, still filling up intensive care, that's a concern with the levels are people who haven't had their first dose let alone a boosterjab. secondly there is a concern about staff shortages particularly in the nhs because of the number of people going off sick and that's why they haven't ruled out restrictions in england in the new year and as you say we've had some scientists today from sage, the government advisory group saying this is on the more optimistic end of the data being interpreted by ministers, but we did have a message from the environment secretary george eustace and he said while obviously at the moment they do not think any further interventions in england are necessary, the date it would need to be kept under review of hospital admissions start to rise. ~ ., . ., ., of hospital admissions start to rise. ~ ., . ., . . , rise. we note the infection rate has been rising. — rise. we note the infection rate has been rising. we _ rise. we note the infection rate has been rising, we always _ rise. we note the infection rate has been rising, we always predicted i rise. we note the infection rate has been rising, we always predicted it| been rising, we always predicted it would. _ been rising, we always predicted it would. we — been rising, we always predicted it would, we have known that for weeks, the key— would, we have known that for weeks, the key question is how many of
those _ the key question is how many of those infections will translate into hospitalisations and there is early encouragement from what we know in south _ encouragement from what we know in south africa _ encouragement from what we know in south africa that we have fewer hospitalisations and the number of days of— hospitalisations and the number of days of a _ hospitalisations and the number of days of a stay in hospital if they io days of a stay in hospital if they go to— days of a stay in hospital if they go to hospital is also significantly lower_ go to hospital is also significantly lower than in previous variants so at the _ lower than in previous variants so at the moment we don't think the evidence — at the moment we don't think the evidence words any more intervention beyond _ evidence words any more intervention beyond what we've already done but we have _ beyond what we've already done but we have to _ beyond what we've already done but we have to keep it under very close review _ we have to keep it under very close review because if it is the case we start— review because if it is the case we start to _ review because if it is the case we start to see — review because if it is the case we start to see a big increase in hospitalisations then we would need to act— hospitalisations then we would need to act further and that's why we have _ to act further and that's why we have to — to act further and that's why we have to keep it under close review. this leaves — have to keep it under close review. this leaves england very much out of step with the other nations of the uk? ., �* , �* , step with the other nations of the uk? . �* , �* , . ., , uk? that's right, we've seen wales, scotland, northern _ uk? that's right, we've seen wales, scotland, northern ireland - uk? that's right, we've seen wales, i scotland, northern ireland introduce restrictions when it comes to things like restrictions on hospitality, the numbers of people gathering both for private and public events, also reintroducing measures on social distancing so as you say england very much diverging from the other nations of the uk and i think this
ties into what is becoming a little bit of a political gamble for the prime minister. 0n the one hand, if he manages to succeed in keeping the economy open, something that has been welcomed by hospitality businesses today ahead of new year's eve, while also managing to keep the nhs from being overwhelmed and that something which will go down well particularly with mps from his own party, i think a number of those were fiercely opposed to the idea of more restrictions, we could have seen further rebellions in the commons if he did go ahead with them, having said that, if hospital admission start to rise sharply, particularly when we may be see the impact on cases of some of that mixing up parcels over the christmas period, if they translate into hospital admissions, the prime minister could risk being accused of acting too late and following popularity and politics over public health. that's something which labour has already hinted at, and they have asked for the government to publish all its advice from the sage advisory committee but also all
of the data to make sure the government is definitely following the science on this. for government is definitely following the science on this.— government is definitely following the science on this. for the moment, thank yon — andrew watterson is a professor in public health at the university of stirling. what do you make of the government approach? the what do you make of the government a- roach? ., ., approach? the government in england, do ou approach? the government in england, do you mean? — approach? the government in england, do you mean? yes, _ approach? the government in england, do you mean? yes, as _ approach? the government in england, do you mean? yes, as far— approach? the government in england, do you mean? yes, as far as _ do you mean? yes, as far as restrictions _ do you mean? yes, as far as restrictions are _ do you mean? yes, as far as restrictions are concern - do you mean? yes, as far as restrictions are concern for l restrictions are concern for england. restrictions are concern for england-— restrictions are concern for encland. , . , ., ., ., england. they really are out of ste -. england. they really are out of ste. if england. they really are out of step- if we _ england. they really are out of step. if we are _ england. they really are out of step. if we are looking - england. they really are out of step. if we are looking at - england. they really are out of - step. if we are looking at evidence about transmission, which is clearly what scotland, wales and northern ireland dead, they come to very different conclusions about what the risks are and about what the figures are telling us. england has the highest seven day positivity rate just before christmas. across the whole of the uk. and therefore, one would have expected a more precautionary and preventative approach but that's not what we have seen. so i think there's a real mismatch between what some of the data is telling us at the moment
about transmission and what is happening in terms of policy and prevention. be happening in terms of policy and prevention-— prevention. be that as it may in terms of the — prevention. be that as it may in terms of the number _ prevention. be that as it may in terms of the number of - prevention. be that as it may in terms of the number of cases i prevention. be that as it may in i terms of the number of cases but when the government looks at the date on hospitalisations, that doesn't seem to be pointing to as high a peak or a spike in numbers as we saw with previous ways, hence perhaps their reluctance to take measures that would be very restrictive on day—to—day life and economically, if it's not merited by the hospitalisation numbers? yes. the hospitalisation numbers? yes, but the hospitalisation _ the hospitalisation numbers? yes but the hospitalisation numbers are rising. and there is the issue then about how omicron might affect the various people who provide the service so it's notjust hospitalisations. it's about the people who are going to care for those who are ill, so it is the staff but also, as we have seen across the united kingdom, there are issues then about other groups of
critical workers, critical to the economy and society, so you cannot run your transport system, you cannot operate the shops, you cannot move food around if there are lots and lots of people who are off with omicron so there are real economic and social risks with leading numbers rise and not being able to control this as well as there are risks about clamping down too much and that's where we see this divergence of the four countries on how to tackle the public health and the social damage issues. on that point about the divergence - the social damage issues. on that point about the divergence in - point about the divergence in approach between the nations of the uk, in terms of public health messaging and compliance, how much of an impact does it have the people say in wales or scotland or northern ireland look at england and say, hang on, they are not having the same limitations and restrictions stop does it affect compliance in the way the restrictions are followed in those parts of the uk? n followed in those parts of the uk? i think there are issues that may operate both ways as well because
people in england may say, why in the other three countries are they taking these actions but mixed messaging, i think, taking these actions but mixed messaging, ithink, is taking these actions but mixed messaging, i think, is a taking these actions but mixed messaging, ithink, is a really taking these actions but mixed messaging, i think, is a really big issue. what we have heard from the government in england is be careful, and opened if you windows! that is not very good messaging as opposed to meet in these sorts of numbers, stay that far apart, wear masks and so on. so i think there's a real problem across the uk about muddled messaging, primarily created i think in england. qm. messaging, primarily created i think in encland. ., , messaging, primarily created i think in encland. . , , in england. 0k, really interesting to seak in england. 0k, really interesting to speak to _ in england. 0k, really interesting to speak to you. _ in england. 0k, really interesting to speak to you, professor. - in england. 0k, really interesting| to speak to you, professor. thank you. countries across europe are tightening restrictions as infections rise and the 0micron variant spreads across the continent. in france, a record of more than 100,000 new cases on saturday means tougher restrictions. remote working is now compulsory — where possible — and public gatherings have been cut to 2,000 people for indoor events. the bbc�*s azadeh moshiri reports.
with the festivities over and memories made, france is now snapping back to the reality of the pandemic. president macron convened a remote cabinet meeting to review the latest data on the 0micron variant. and his government's verdict is clear — cases are surging, and more restrictions are needed, at least for the next three weeks. starting on monday, all public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for indoor events, and 5,000 for outdoor ones. all spectators will also have to be seated at concerts. food and drinks can only be consumed while seated at bars and restaurants. and they will be banned on all public transport as well as cinemas. working from home will now be mandatory three days a week, where possible. and masks will be compulsory in outdoor city centres in addition to public transport.
france's prime minister said he knows this all sounds like a film without an ending. translation: i know these measures can sometimes i make people feel fed up, but since the start of the crisis, the president, like his government, has sought only to protect you. the government is preparing for a huge wave of 0micron cases, having already hit a record number in the last few days, registering more than 100,000 positive cases for the very first time. that's why france is offering a third booster shot after three months instead of four. but there is a fear that hospitals could buckle under the pressure, and that more measures will be needed. translation: with the omicron variant leaving the wave - to continue to expand would not only mean putting pressure
on hospitals but especially that would mean putting pressure on all of society, because there will be 1 to 1.5—million people who would have to self—isolate each day. the government has warned it will introduce passes that would make vaccines mandatory for certain activities byjanuary 15th, that's if parliament approves. but it did stop short of imposing a lockdown on new year's eve. a silver lining, as france prepares for a fifth wave of the pandemic. sport and for a full round up from the bbc sport centre, here'sjohn watson. good morning. but not so good if you are a fan of english cricket. england's ashes hopes are over. 3—0 down now in the five match series, and no way back after slipping to another heavy defeat in melbourne. joe root and ben stokes resumed
this morning on 31—4, but england were bowled out forjust 68, injust an hour and 20 minutes, there lowest score in australia in 117 years. our sports correspondentjoe wilson was watching. 100,000 seats at the melbourne cricket ground. did one person give england half a chance? ben stokes can defy all the odds — sometimes. 0h, he's got him, there's the comeback. the bowling here was just too good — stokes knew it — gone for 11. england's collective collapse was so painful because it was so predictable. bairstow — lbw — given. a bowler playing in his very first test match, scott boland took over — joe root out for 28. well, that's one to celebrate — and the catcher, david warner, certainly did. england's resistance vanished. never mind making australia bat again — england couldn't even keep going until lunch. boland — six wickets for seven runs.
and it was australia's future who wrapped it up — 22—year—old cameron green... oh, there we go! ..dismissing 39—year—old james anderson. 68, all out. i'm absolutely gutted. bitterly disappointed. you turn up today and you walk out to bat with ben stokes and you feel like anything's possible. er...you know, we're bitterly disappointed to find ourselves in this position. the whole mystique of the ashes is the concept of the ultimate competition. well, as the two teams shook sanitised hands, the gulf between them had never seemed so wide. joe wilson, bbc news. contrasting fortunes for both teams, the aussies building a strong test team while england have a lot of work to do to become comeptive again. competitive again. steven finn was part of the last
england team to win in australia but said this tour had been very different. there's not much that has gone right if we are being quite honest. i think the lack of first innings runs has been a big problem for england, i think the lack of preparation time that they had in the build—up to the tour, they had less than a day �*s practice in the few weeks they had in australia in the build—up to the first test match because of bad weather which i think has a bit of a reason as to why they got into a bad rot of form in their back—to—back test matches, by that i mean there's only three or four days in between each game so you just roll from game to game and it's easy to take the baggage from all of the bad performances into the next one. a combination of all of those things, i would say. the most disappointing thing over here from australians as they want to see their side challenge, i think, they want to see their side challenge, ithink, and i don't think at any stage over the three games so far have they really been challenged.
games so far have they really been challen . ed. ., games so far have they really been challenged-— challenged. england certainly have not been at _ challenged. england certainly have not been at it, _ challenged. england certainly have not been at it, it _ challenged. england certainly have not been at it, it has _ challenged. england certainly have not been at it, it has not _ challenged. england certainly have not been at it, it has not been - not been at it, it has not been competitive at all and england will be looking to salvage something from the remaining test matches. the busy premier league schedule continues today with four more games. two are off though, because of covid cases. a record 103 players and staff tested positive for covid in the seven days up to and including boxing day. but newcastle's match at home to manchester united went ahead last night — with the points shared. 0ur sports correspondent katie gornall was watching. for manchester united, it's been a while. a covid outbreak at the club meant this was their first match in more than two weeks. newcastle have played three games in that time and lost them all. festive cheer has been hard to come by here. but where there is allan saint—maximin, there is hope. with the united defence scrambling, stjames' park was rocking. united's new manager was not impressed. even the great cristiano ronaldo looked rusty. united needed a response in the second half, but still they had to rely on their goalkeeper. the chances were coming,
and eventually edison cavani took one. it was an equaliser that united barely deserved. it would get worse for newcastle as their star player departed early. but they refused to be beaten, battling to the end. they finished with a point. it could have been more. newcastle rooted in the relegation zone but they have spirit, and how. katie gornall, bbc news. the defending champion gerwyn pryce survived a huge scare to reach the last 16 of the pdc world darts championship at alexandra palace. the world number one was taken all the way to a sudden death leg by belgium's kim huybrechts. he kept his cool though as he took out 76 to set up a meeting with the netherlands dirk van duijvenbode in the next round. that's all from me, plenty more on the bbc sport website. including plenty of reaction from
australia following the ashes disappointment, england losing the third test match in melbourne and with it, the hopes of the ashes. as you've been hearing, england's ashes hopes are over. let's talk some more with former england captain graham gooch. in terms of painful matches to watch, where does this rank? it’s watch, where does this rank? it's cuite watch, where does this rank? it�*s quite painful, isn't it? ithink watch, where does this rank? it�*s quite painful, isn't it? i think the real worrying thing for me is we lose ashes series in the past and there's always a bit of an inquest but it's the nature of the defeats, we have been heavily beaten in all three test matches so we have not really been competitive and that's a really been competitive and that's a real worry. and i think you've got to look at the wider implications of our game, notjust the players, obviously the preparation was poor, that was the same for australia. they were all in bubbles with the covid situation, they could not get the practice they wanted which does not help us because generally, when
you go to australia, our teams are undercooked at the start and we normally improve. that has not been the case in this series.— the case in this series. bitterly disappointing- _ the case in this series. bitterly disappointing. do _ the case in this series. bitterly disappointing. do you - the case in this series. bitterly| disappointing. do you attribute the case in this series. bitterly i disappointing. do you attribute it to an exceptionally strong australian side or an exceptionally poor performance by england? bath. australian side or an exceptionally poor performance by england? both, i think australia _ poor performance by england? both, i think australia have _ poor performance by england? both, i think australia have been _ think australia have been outstanding. they have dominated every session almost, all three of these test matches, apart from the odd interlude from dawid malan, joe root, when they got 80s, in the second test, i think, otherwise they have dominated each session with the bat, the ball, they have caught better than us and played much better than us and played much better cricket so you have to congratulate them. i think we have been poor, they have had lots of meetings and things but we had not gelled, we have not played consistently as a unit. there has been the odd good performance, jimmy anderson always performs, performed
well to help england bowl australia out in the match, 267, 4—32 from 23 overs so he still performs but in test match cricket, a long game, you have to get a big score, you have to make a foundation for your bowlers to operate in. england �*s batting, the top order, we have had problems for many years since the retirement of andrew strauss and alastair cook and our players are formed in county cricket now, they have to play 100 cricket, t20, so do other sites around the world and they cope but patients is not the watchword for players. not that i see. i am an ambassadorfor essex players. not that i see. i am an ambassador for essex county cricket club, i watch a lot of county cricket and all our players generally are in a hurry, they are all aggressive, they go for their shots and if they play well, they get 100s very quickly. i am not advocating boring cricket but in a
long game, a four orfive—day advocating boring cricket but in a long game, a four or five—day game you have to build a partnership and our players had not been good enough to do that in this series. qm. to do that in this series. ok, graham gooch, _ to do that in this series. ok, graham gooch, lets - to do that in this series. ok, graham gooch, lets hope i to do that in this series. 0k, graham gooch, lets hope they can salvage something in the remaining test matches. thank you. heavy storms have battered western regions of the us, leaving thousands without power. almost 30 inches — 76 centimetres — of snow fell in california at the weekend, causing major disruption and road closures. other western us states too continue to be battered by heavy snow storms including the state of washington. sylvia lennan spence reports. breathtaking views of snow—covered forests — a true winter wonderland in the us state of oregon. in neighbouring washington state, much excitement as seattle, too, was blanketed in snow. i woke up this morning and i was like, "oh, my gosh, there's six inches of snow
on the ground — i think i got to go skiing!" when we went to bed last night at midnight, i had trouble believing it would actually snow today. and when i woke up and saw what looked like maybe four inches, i was super excited. but it wasn't all fun and frolics, with seattle's mayor declaring a civil emergency ahead of the storms, to give shelter to those in need. travellers, too, were hit by delays and cancellations as airport operators tried their best to remove ice from planes, the battering snow hindering their progress. flights were cancelled, and many people stranded. we had to wait for two hours outside in 20—degree weather for a taxi that would be willing to take us to one of the only hotels with room availability. meteorologists say global warming is playing havoc with the climate, making storms more intense and unpredictable. la nina is happening, and that is bringing the jet stream just directly over the west coast. we have just been pummelled by very heavy lowland rain, significant mountain snow. so, yes, there is a degree of normalcy here —
we see this kind of winter weather — but this is extreme snow, especially for what we're seeing in california, oregon and washington. while many stay home to avoid the plunging temperatures, others are making the most of the winter freeze — sliding towards the end of the year as best they can. sylvia lennan spence, bbc news. now it's time for a look at the weather with carol kirkwood. hello again. over the next few days the temperature is going to rise to unseasonably mild levels. today, what we've got is rain pushing its way into the north sea leaving a lot of cloud in its wake, thick enough for some patchy light rain or drizzle at times. the clearer skies across the highlands, northern ireland and parts of england and wales means that some of us will see some sunshine. but a windy day, especially with exposure in wales and the english channel. through this evening and overnight, there will be quite a bit of clear sky around, so especially in scotland, parts of northern england, we are looking at a touch of frost before this next system swings in bringing
its rain from the south—west. so tomorrow, we start off with all that rain spreading from the south west steadily northwards and eastwards, behind it, there will be some residual cloud, there will still be some dampness in the air, but for some, it should start to brighten up, particularly so for north—east england and also parts of northern ireland. temperatures tomorrow ranging from 7 to 16. this is bbc news, the headlines: the hospitality sector welcomes the decision not to impose further covid restrictions in england before the new year describing it as a lifeline — but ministers say further restrictions hinges on the number of hospitalisations. the french government call their new covid measures "proportionate", as rules for remote working and public gatherings come into force next week. it's all over — australia thrash england to win the ashes, after a dismal collapse in melbourne.