coronavirus variant. he's called on people to come forward for booster vaccinations and is urgently considering widening the booster program. two people who tested positive for the new variant remain in isolation. as our health correspondent anna collinson reports. the borders have already been breached by omicron with two cases of the heavily mutated covid variant detected in england, scientist and the government fears there may be more. the threat it poses is currently unknown but there are concerns limitations mean it may spread more quickly. the south african doctor who first spotted omicron says she found many patients who tested positive with the new variant displayed a very mild symptoms, no cough, more tiredness. i think you already have it in your country, not even knowing it. your doctors might be more focused on the delta symptoms and missing these because it is easy to miss them. if it was not for the fact we've not
seen the covid cases this past few weeks we would also have missed it. what we are seen clinically in south africa, and i'm at the epicentre, as mild cases. we've not admitted anyone. i spoke to other colleagues of mine, same picture. extra targeted testings are now taking place in brentwood in essex where one of the cases was located. expanding the booster programme is another part of the government's fight against any new wave. there is every reason — fight against any new wave. there is every reason to _ fight against any new wave. there is every reason to believe _ fight against any new wave. there is every reason to believe the - fight against any new wave. there is every reason to believe the vaccines i every reason to believe the vaccines remain effective and even if the variant impacts their effectiveness in a negative way, there will still be a real purpose to getting vaccinated, than not been vaccinated at all and that is why i also asked as soon as i learned about this variant i asked thejcvi, the group of expert advisors, to give me urgent advice on broadening the booster programme, i have also asked
the nhs to prepare for much greater capacity in our vaccination programme. capacity in our vaccination programme-— capacity in our vaccination programme. capacity in our vaccination rouramme. ., , ., programme. from tuesday morning it is exected programme. from tuesday morning it is exnected mask _ programme. from tuesday morning it is expected mask wearing _ programme. from tuesday morning it is expected mask wearing in - programme. from tuesday morning it is expected mask wearing in shops . is expected mask wearing in shops and on public transport will be compulsory. bringing england in line with the other nations. anyone arriving in that uk will need to be tested, and any omicron contacts will have to isolate. the government has stopped short of rolling out plan b, with no vaccine passports or people advised to work from home. something advised by stage and in place in scotland. the us company moderna says it should know in the coming weeks if current vaccines would work against the omicron variant and if needed a newjab could be available early in the new year. ~ ., , , ., year. we have some experiments that need to net year. we have some experiments that need to get done. _ year. we have some experiments that need to get done. this _ year. we have some experiments that need to get done. this is _ year. we have some experiments that need to get done. this is a _ need to get done. this is a dangerous looking virus but i think we have many tools to be able to fight it, so i am optimistic. the
government — fight it, so i am optimistic. the government believes the new rules are proportionate and will protect christmas. it also hopes it will buy scientist valuable time to investigate whether the omicron variant is more severe, spreads more easily and how the vaccines will cope. there are warnings that the travel and hospitality sectors are already being affected by concerns over the new variant. our business correspondent caroline davies is here. already concerns about the crucial period running up to christmas. and period running up to christmas. and of course this _ period running up to christmas. ﬁfic of course this is vital for the hospitality industry. the trade body uk hospitality said the return of masks and a solution for travellers will have an immediate impact on already fragile consumer confidence and they said some people have seen bookings and plans changed and cancelled. given this is already a pretty fragile confidence to start with. there's also frustration in the travel industry, pcr testing for international arrivals will come in from next week but there is no definite date as yet. that was, the
confusion was exacerbated by the fact that on top of a home office form a notice was put up to sickness. from 4am on tuesday. no official —— to say this will start from 4am on tuesday. the health secretary says he cannot be definite on the timing because he's working with the four nations to firm up one of those tests will come in exactly. thank you. health authorities in the netherlands have confirmed 13 people who arrived on flights from south africa earlier this week have tested postive for the omicron variant. they were among 61 passengers who were in quarantine after being identified as having covid—i9 when they arrived in the country. anna holligan is in amsterdam. and anna, we've just had an update from the dutch health authorities. we have. the netherlands is now the new variant hotspot in europe, more cases confirmed than any other country. the dutch health minister
has in the last hour been updating people, 13 cases confirmed so far of the omicron variant, but they are still conducting more sequencing tests other could be more to follow. these passengers arrived in the netherlands on friday, 61 of them tested positive for covid and they've been taken into isolation in a hotel but those flights are still arriving in earlier one came in from johannesburg, anotherfrom cape town and that's causing quite a lot of concern here because the netherlands is already a record—breaking infection rate and today new measures come into place, bars and restaurant and cafe is a nonessential shops have to close by at5 pm, this is to try to relieve pressure on the health service, the hospitals are overwhelmed, intensive care units do not have enough beds, operations are being cancelled. and the boosterjabs are being slow to
roll out, the over 80s and health workers are onlyjust been called forwards for their boosters and now they this new variant to contend with. more testing been carried out throughout today. thank you very much, and are. distruption is continuing in the aftermath of storm arwen. 16,000 homes and businesses in north—west england are still without power. electricity north—west says it's aiming to have them all reconnected this afternoon. european ministers are meeting in calais this afternoon to try to find a solution to the growing number of migrants crossing the channel in small boats, after 27 people died this week. the home secretary, priti patel — who won't be there — has warned that a failure by european politicians to co—operate on the issue will lead to "even worse scenes" in the channel this winter. from calais, our correspondent, lucy williamson, reports.
france says it is a front—line state for the eu when it comes to migration. not in terms of people arriving but of people trying to leave. pressure has grown on paris since wednesday, when 27 people died trying to cross the channel to the uk. people smuggling networks are known to operate across eu borders, and the government says more than half the people camped here have come from belgium. the french interior minister gerald darmanin is meeting eu ministers here in calais today to try to stop the flow of people and equipment into france. the uk government agrees that the ideal solution would be to stop migrants before they ever reach the french coast but the home secretary priti patel won't be here today. she's been disinvited, amid political tensions between london and paris. the invitation was withdrawn after borisjohnson published his solution to the problem on twitter.
in a letter to president emmanuel macron, he called forjoint patrols and for french cooperation in sending migrants back to france. both are things paris has refused in the past. yesterday a senior eu official said brexit had changed the rules. if i recall well, the main slogan of the referendum campaign is we take back control. it seems the united kingdom took back control, it is up to them now to find the necessary measures to operationalise the control they took back for themselves. british politicians used to remind their european counterparts during brexit negotiations that the uk wasn't leaving europe, just leaving the eu. what that distinction means for managing cross—channel migration is still being hammered out. lucy williamson, bbc news, calais. you can see more on all of today's stories on the bbc news channel. the next news on bbc one is at five o'clock.
bye for now. hello. you're watching the bbc news channel with ben brown. the news channel with ben brown. time is ten past on sport and time for a full round up from the bbc sport centre. here's holly hamilton. good afternoon. great britain are under pressure in their second match in the davis cup finals in austria. after beating france yesterday, dan evans was a heavy favourite to win his opening match against tomas machac — a player ranked over 100 places below him. but a frustrated evans lost in straight sets
with machac winning 6—2, 7—5, coming back from 5—2 down to win the second set. that means cameron norrie had to win his match againstjiri lehecka. it went to a deciding third set but the british number one prevailed winning 6—1 in the final set. the upcoming doubles match featuring joe salisbury and neal skupski will decide the tie. emma raducanu is playing her first match on british soil since winning the us open. she's facing elena—gabriela ruse of romania in the champions tennis exhibition at london's royal albert hall, live on bbc iplayer and she's just won the first set 6—3. four premier league games, including manchester city v west ham kick off at 2 o'clock. later, chelsea host manchester united at stamford bridge, with the visitors looking to impress their expected new interim manager ralf rangnick. michael carrick is still in temporary charge of united today. the chelsea boss, thomas tuchel —
a protege of rangnick — isn't ruling out a united challenge for the title. maybe i still am, i will never write anybody off, not in this game. because it is a big club, first of all, but it is a very experienced and individually, top—level group of players. and individually, top-level group of -la ers. , ., ., , and individually, top-level group of -la ers. , . ., and individually, top-level group of .la ers. , ., ., ., players. these are the ones you have to en'o , players. these are the ones you have to enjoy. going _ players. these are the ones you have to enjoy. going and — players. these are the ones you have to enjoy, going and putting _ to enjoy, going and putting yourselves in these positions and playing _ yourselves in these positions and playing against a team playing very well. whatever individuals are on the pitch. — well. whatever individuals are on the pitch, recent times, they have looked _ the pitch, recent times, they have looked dangerous, looked a good team, _ looked dangerous, looked a good team, obviously had some really terrific_ team, obviously had some really terrific results. be a good test for us, looking — terrific results. be a good test for us, looking forward to it. in the scottish premier league, leaders rangers are 2—1 ahead against livingston. goals from scott arfield and joe aribo put them 2—0 up. a win would move rangers six
points clear at the top. celtic host aberdeen later. england's director of cricket ashley giles says the england squad has been impacted by the racism issues surrounding the sport. they're currently preparing for the ashes series in australia. but giles says the squad have been closely following azeem rafiq's revelations about his time at yorkshire. the situation has also caused a lot of chance for discussion and reflection within the playing group. and they think deeply about these things. and this situation has affected people on this side of the world. it feels like we have a real diversity in our playing group, a group that works incredibly well together, support each other and in most instances, if not all, appreciates each other�*s differences. meanwhile, australia's assistant coach andrew mcdonald, is confident
that their new leadership team, captain pat cummins and vice captain steve smith, can lead them to a successful defence of the ashes. cummins, who was vice—captain of the one—day and test squads, was named as australia's 47th test captain last week after the resignation of tim paine. he'll be the first fast bowler to lead his country in the white—ball game. i think it's a really good dynamic. you've got a former captain and a new captain, that's always very handy. he's going to draw on that experience, he has other senior players around him so we have great confidence the players are going out on the field, amongst each other, will be able to problem solve on the go out there with the amount of critic experience out there. not so many concerns once they cross over the road. great britain's charlotte bankes finished second earlier today in the first snowboard cross world cup of the season at secret garden in china — racing on the beijing winter olympics course ahead of the
games in february. speaking of the snow, causing some problems over here, barely against tottenham has been postponed because of the weather. all the rest of the fixtures taking place, all the updates on the bbc sport website. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour. more now on face masks being compulsory in shops and on public transport in england from tuesday in response to a new variant of the coronavirus. all international travellers arriving in the uk will also have to take a pcr test for covid—19, and self—isolate until they test negative. that'll come into force as soon as agreement has been reached with all four nations of the uk. let's speak to bobby morton, a national officer for the unite union, which represents transport workers. thank you for being with us. what do you make of this ruling now from the
government that in england, face coverings are going to be compulsory public transport, is it something you have been calling for? yes. you have been calling for? yes, thank you- _ you have been calling for? yes, thank you. this _ you have been calling for? yes, thank you. this is _ you have been calling for? yes, thank you. this is something i you have been calling for? 1a: thank you. this is something that might union, we have been pleading with the government, all the way back since the first days of the pandemic. to make masks compulsory on public transport. why we ever let that slip, why the government ever let it slip, we do not know but again, it is notjust enough to say that face masks must be mandatory. that's easy to say. however, it has never ever been policed or monitored. at this stage, with this new variant coming along, we have to learn our lessons from the past. it has to be policed, it has to be monitored. and people should not be allowed to mount a bus or train or any form of public transport unless
they are wearing that mandatory mask. 50 they are wearing that mandatory mask, ,, ., ., they are wearing that mandatory mask. ., ,., . they are wearing that mandatory mask, ., ,., . �* they are wearing that mandatory mask. ., . ~ mask. so who will police it? are you auoin to mask. so who will police it? are you going to have _ mask. so who will police it? are you going to have enforcement - mask. so who will police it? are you going to have enforcement officers i going to have enforcement officers on every bus, train, around the country? if i on every bus, train, around the count ? . , , country? ifi had my way, believe me, i country? ifi had my way, believe me. iwould- _ country? ifi had my way, believe me, i would. this _ country? ifi had my way, believe me, i would. this is _ country? ifi had my way, believe me, i would. this is so _ country? ifi had my way, believe me, i would. this is so serious. l country? ifi had my way, believe| me, i would. this is so serious. in the first weeks of the pandemic, we had something like 50 fatalities amongst bus drivers. when i look at statistics around the world, just this year, in paris, there was a bus driver who left his cab to ask people to alight the bus because they were not wearing face masks. the poor man was battered to death, he was killed, he was a fatality. and god forbid that she ever happen in this country to any of the drivers that i represent. but i su - ose drivers that i represent. but i suopose the _ drivers that i represent. but i suppose the transport - drivers that i represent. but i suppose the transport companies will say, you know, it would cost them a lot of money to hire loads of enforcement officers?-
lot of money to hire loads of enforcement officers? how much is a life worth? that — enforcement officers? how much is a life worth? that is _ enforcement officers? how much is a life worth? that is the _ enforcement officers? how much is a life worth? that is the question. - enforcement officers? how much is a life worth? that is the question. i - life worth? that is the question. i frequently ask the government now, it could be the police that do it, it could be the police that do it, it could be people who belong to the bus operators. i have not got the answers, i have got the answer that it needs to be policed and it needs to be monitored, otherwise there will be more deaths, unnecessary deaths. and when i look at the billions upon billions of pounds that have been handed out to, if you like, cronies of the government, well money means nothing at all to borisjohnson. and his people. find the money, get it policed. what the money, get it policed. what about people — the money, get it policed. what about people policing _ the money, get it policed. what about people policing themselves? people agreeing that there does need to be face mask wearing from tuesday and just doing it themselves? are you not confident that most people will come if they are told to wear face coverings, just do it whether it is enforced or not? the
face coverings, just do it whether it is enforced or not?— it is enforced or not? the way i answered _ it is enforced or not? the way i answered that _ it is enforced or not? the way i answered that it _ it is enforced or not? the way i answered that it is _ it is enforced or not? the way i answered that it is that - it is enforced or not? the way i answered that it is that i - it is enforced or not? the way i answered that it is that i use i answered that it is that i use public transport and i am talking about buses and i think it was six months ago, i was on a bus on the wirral where i live and i had a face mask on and a man got onto the bus, came and sat next to meet with known social distancing, no face masks and i asked him, social distancing, no face masks and iasked him, would he social distancing, no face masks and i asked him, would he either move away from me or get off the bus? and it almost turned violent. the man said to me, you know what you can do, don't you? and i got off the bus. that is because i was restraining myself, it doesn't always happen. so no, i am not confident that people will do that on 100% basis and that is what it has got to be. hand on 100% basis and that is what it has got to toe-— on 10096 basis and that is what it has got to be. and do you think it is because _ has got to be. and do you think it is because people _ has got to be. and do you think it is because people have _ has got to be. and do you think it is because people have become l is because people have become complacent? i is because people have become complacent?— is because people have become comlacent? ., ., complacent? i would not say, some --eole complacent? i would not say, some people have — complacent? i would not say, some people have become _ complacent? i would not say, some people have become complacent, l people have become complacent, obviously. however, injust overtwo years of this pandemic, no one has
been made to wear a mask in public transport. you were told you sure wear one, it would be a jolly good idea to do so but it has not actually been enforced. it is now at this stage, i cannot emphasise this enough, with this new variant, it has to happen now, otherwise the prime minister will have blood on his hands. , , prime minister will have blood on his hands. i, , , . ~ prime minister will have blood on his hands. , _ ., ,, prime minister will have blood on hishands. ,1,_ ., ,, . eu ministers are meeting in calais to discuss how to deter migrants from crossing the channel to the uk. 27 people drowned last week. the home secretary, priti patel, was due tojoin the meeting but was disinvited amid growing diplomatic tensions. benedicte paviot, france 24's uk correspondent, has been telling us how significant this move is. yes, this is a new low but then coming on top of the fisheries
dispute, the lack of resolution over the northern ireland protocol, the threats since july the northern ireland protocol, the threats sincejuly of an invocation of article 16 by the uk, a full suspension on parts of the brexit agreement, of an agreement negotiated, signed by this prime minister and this government, tweets, eight of them on thursday night, a public letter on what is a very complex, over 20—year—old immigration problem, a global immigration problem, a global immigration problem, a global immigration problem, where france is a transit country, says president macron. and where increasingly, countries like the netherlands and germany are seen as where the gangs of criminals that are making an awful lot of money from desperate people, throwing themselves on overcrowded and unseaworthy small boats to cross the channel, the busiest shipping lane, it's said, in the world. you can see that is not a way of doing business. that the
french president emmanuel macron, who only 26 hours before had spoken to borisjohnson. 50 who only 24 hours before had spoken to boris johnson.— to boris johnson. so yes, a new low. given that, — to boris johnson. so yes, a new low. given that. and _ to boris johnson. so yes, a new low. given that, and president _ to boris johnson. so yes, a new low. given that, and president macron . to boris johnson. so yes, a new low. l given that, and president macron was clearly furious when he talked about this in rome after the british had put out that letter from boris johnson to president macron on twitter, he was very angry. but what is the way back from this? ultimately, there cannot really be a solution without british and french cooperation on this issue of migrants coming across the channel. what is the best way out of this? the best way is indeed of course to engage in dialogue. what we have got todayis engage in dialogue. what we have got today is a very important meeting happening at 2 pm uk time in calais. you have got the ministers from belgium, france, the netherlands, and representatives from the european commission on immigration, europol and front text, they will be
looking at it notjust a france uk issue. this is, as i said, a global, i think 80,000,000 refugees coming from countries, afghanistan, syria, somalia, all kinds of countries. so really, the problem is much bigger and wider. so it is to try and find and wider. so it is to try and find an eu solution or solutions, it will notjust be one solution and then, looking at saying that and announcing that to the british and seeing how a dialogue can properly be engaged to try and find some sort of resolution, particularly after the tragedy of wednesday. it was an accident, i think, the tragedy of wednesday. it was an accident, ithink, waiting the tragedy of wednesday. it was an accident, i think, waiting to happen but a tragic one that nobody wants to see repeated. but what is important is not to do this with tweets are public letters. and france ceases very much as a letter that was not, that is the suspicion, not actually really aimed at paris, the french government, at engaging
in dialogue but actually more men for a domestic audience and probably to the conservative party itself. after all, to the conservative party itself. afterall, brexit to the conservative party itself. after all, brexit is about taking back control of borders. and it is clear that you need to engage and have agreements. there is no agreement, says the uk left the eu. and that needs to be either bilateral or certainly with the eu. so concrete dialogue, suggestions, but having said that, france and the uk collaborate on all kinds of defence, security issues, geopolitical issues across the world. and also, are cooperating in many ways on different shores with, we know, british money being contributed to that. but it is because the safety and security measures are so efficient, for example, the eurotunnel and eurostar, that now because of the pandemic, people can no longer come over on lorries under throwing themselves on boats. the women's tennis association says
it remains concerned about chinese tennis star peng shuai's ability to communicate freely, openly, and directly. peng shuai disappeared from public view for three weeks after accusing a top government official of sexual assault. the association's chairman steve simon says he won't engage in further email communications with her because it's �*clear her responses were influenced by others.�* the world tennis associations says it "remains deeply concerned that peng is not free from censorship or coercion and decided not to re—engage via email until satisfied her responses were her own, and not those of her censors." yaqiu wang is a senior researcher on china for human rights watch, she gave us her assessment of the situation. i agree with the wta assessment, i don't think she is free, even though she appear on those videos and pictures. chinese history of silencing
critics, disappear them, and making them reappear on some videos, saying they are not doing that well. this fits into a history of the government doing that. i have concerns about her safety and freedom. if the government really wants to show that she is free, why not let her talk to her fans? or hold a press conference? let her leave china so she can speak to whoever she wants to. everybody knows, the ioc knows as well, that this must involve some kind of state surveillance or coercion. for the ioc to engage in this kind of government orchestrated narrative is shameful. it is very encouraging to see the wta response. they have been very upfront and clear that human rights is bigger than business. we have grown so accustomed to international sports organisations and international business cowering to the chinese government human rights violations.
for the wta to say that, it is very encouraging and i hope other international organisations follow suit. elodie bateson has been blind since birth. but the 11—year—old from limavady in northern ireland has become an expert at making short animated movies with the help of a voice—assisted tablet and specialist braille technology. this is her story. my name's elodie, i am 11 and i'm from limavady. i like technology a lot. elodie has been blind since birth. so this is one of my animations that i did. i'm going to play. she makes short animated movies using a voice assisted tablet. it gives her detailed descriptions as she works on her animations. play, go back.
i started by drawing balls, like, bouncing up and down. then i made one which had, like, music and sound effects. she came and showed me it. and i thought, wow, you know, this is amazing. and it's amazing that the technology exists. some people might think that technology is something you have fun. you rely on all this technology to be your eyes. uh-huh. the family insight project received national lottery funding to provide technology training to families impacted by sight loss. and the project organised summer schemes around technology. - some of the tablet technologyl that was there to make movies and also braille can be - integrated with technology. braille is a written - form of communication of usually raised dots, - and the different combinations of those dots can equal letters and numbers. . i think i started learning braille whenever i was about three. this here is the braille screen where you can type in things.
so the braille pops up onto this bit here and i can read it. if i press this key to make the letters just like a normal brailler. i think it's also important that kids get to use technology when they're quite young because there's very, very little that you can't do. elodie can also use her tablet to take photographs. she uses artificial intelligence and image based recognition so that she can see what's around her. and lets her take pictures. and you also love taking pictures of vicky. yes. so this is my dog, vicky. she is a buddy dog. focus unlocked. image of a dog standing on a tile floor. - ican take i can take the picture stop pressing the side button. for the take picture button.—
the side button. for the take picture button. elodie says she ho es to picture button. elodie says she hopes to develop _ picture button. elodie says she hopes to develop her - picture button. elodie says she hopes to develop her own - picture button. elodie says she | hopes to develop her own apple picture button. elodie says she - hopes to develop her own apple when she is older. i hopes to develop her own apple when she is older-— she is older. i think you were -la in: she is older. i think you were playing a _ she is older. i think you were playing a game _ she is older. i think you were playing a game and - she is older. i think you were playing a game and getting l playing a game and getting frustrated that it was not accessible and i said maybe you could _ accessible and i said maybe you could make games for blind kids? she said no, _ could make games for blind kids? she said no, mum, i could make games for blind kids? she said no, mum, lam going could make games for blind kids? she said no, mum, i am going to make them_ said no, mum, i am going to make them so— said no, mum, i am going to make them so everybody can play them! i them so everybody can play them! thought them so everybody can play them! i thought that was very sweet. i was thinking i could have like a game, add voice would work on it so like everyone could play. ilirui’irz�*ve add voice would work on it so like everyone could play.— add voice would work on it so like everyone could play. wise words from a little 11-year-old. _ everyone could play. wise words from a little 11-year-old. 11-year-old - a little 11-year-old. 11-year-old elodie. now it's time for a look at the weather. let's cross to nick miller. some pretty devastating scenes after that storm? absolutely. a swathe of very strong winds over an unusually large area of the uk. yesterday, from an unusual direction, responsible for a lot of damage will