this is bbc news, i'm david eades. 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. the political stand—off in somalia escalates — as the president and the prime minister engage in a power struggle, after delayed elections. and cape town's city hall is bathed in purple light to honour archbishop desmond tutu, as south africa holds a week of mourning and commemoration.
hello and welcome to bbc news. thanks forjoining us, we are going to bring you developments from across the globe as the rapid rise in 0micron cases triggers a slew of different responses. the us health authorities have halved the recommended isolation period for people who test positive for covid—19 but don't exhibit symptoms. the centers for disease control now says that infected but asymptomatic people should stay at home for five days and wear a mask around others for a further five. it comes as new york city made it compulsory for everyone aged 12 and above to be fully vaccinated against covid, in order to access indoor entertainment and sports activities. new york city's mayor explained why the measures
were being taken now. we have made history in new york city. and we lead the nation with the strongest vaccine mandate anywhere, private sector vaccine mandate, reaching hundreds of thousands of businesses and we put this mandate into action, as 0micron was coming, but we had no idea it would be quite this intense. but we knew, with 0micron coming, with cold weather, it was time to do more. well, thank god we did, because these mandates have been absolutely necessary to keep this thing going. the reason this thing keeps going, the reason we are open, while some other places are shut down, is because of our focus on vaccination and we use mandates and incentives. we have got to double down, because one thing we can all agree and we have talked to a lot of business leaders about this, covid is bad for humans, it is bad for our health, but it is also bad for business. let's talk more now about that isolation advice change form the cdc. i'm joined now by dr peter chin—hong, an infectious disease specialist and a professor of medicine at the university
of california san francisco. interesting to hear bill de blasiojing covid is bad for bing. i suppose this step is one way to ease the business pain. one way to ease the business ain. ~ . , one way to ease the business ain, ~ ., , ,., one way to ease the business ain. ~ . , ., pain. what is your thought about it? _ pain. what is your thought about it? | _ pain. what is your thought about it? |think_ pain. what is your thought about it? i think we - pain. what is your thought about it? i think we don't. pain. what is your thought - about it? i think we don't have about it? i think we don't have a lot_ about it? i think we don't have a lot of— about it? i think we don't have a lot of time to hear the best data — a lot of time to hear the best data in_ a lot of time to hear the best data in a _ a lot of time to hear the best data. in a large sense it is driven_ data. in a large sense it is driven by— data. in a large sense it is driven by the workforce, if you think_ driven by the workforce, if you think about health care and airlines. _ think about health care and airlines, they all have a common— airlines, they all have a common dominator. if you were positives — common dominator. if you were positives and people were asymptomatic, you had a covid prison— asymptomatic, you had a covid prison sentence for ten days, and _ prison sentence for ten days, and i— prison sentence for ten days, and i think— prison sentence for ten days, and i think that was wreaking havoc— and i think that was wreaking havoc on— and i think that was wreaking
havoc on all facets of life, frankly _ havoc on all facets of life, frankl . ., , , ., frankly. the trouble is, our assumption _ frankly. the trouble is, our assumption was _ frankly. the trouble is, our assumption was you - frankly. the trouble is, our| assumption was you needed frankly. the trouble is, our - assumption was you needed ten days to be shot of it. can you exlain days to be shot of it. can you exniain a _ days to be shot of it. can you explain a little _ days to be shot of it. can you explain a little bit about - days to be shot of it. can you explain a little bit about the l explain a little bit about the infection period and how long we might still harbour it? severai— we might still harbour it? several reasons went into this recommendation. overall, we are not in _ recommendation. overall, we are not in the — recommendation. overall, we are not in the same place as we were — not in the same place as we were in— not in the same place as we were in the fall of 2020 when the guidelines were updated. we have had — the guidelines were updated. we have had vaccines since then and — have had vaccines since then and more _ have had vaccines since then and more therapeutics, so if you — and more therapeutics, so if you think— and more therapeutics, so if you think about that timeline when — you think about that timeline when you are infected and when you are — when you are infected and when you are most likely to transmit, if you think about aloha, _ transmit, if you think about aloha, it _ transmit, if you think about alpha, it was said to be about five days, _ alpha, it was said to be about five days, delta four days, and omicron — five days, delta four days, and omicron is _ five days, delta four days, and omicron is thought to be three days, — omicron is thought to be three days, much of that data comes from _ days, much of that data comes from the — days, much of that data comes from the oslo event when scores of people — from the oslo event when scores of people were infected with omicron. that is the thinking, two days— omicron. that is the thinking, two days before, three days
after — two days before, three days after. call it five, and you ask— after. call it five, and you ask for— after. call it five, and you ask for the additional five days, _ ask for the additional five days, we think the probability of transmission then is low. and — of transmission then is low. and even— of transmission then is low. and even if you do get transmission, we have antibodies and increasing all options _ antibodies and increasing all options that will be available. we are — options that will be available. we are more comfortable with treating — we are more comfortable with treating covid. as a vaccinated person. — treating covid. as a vaccinated person, we know you are very unlikely— person, we know you are very unlikely to _ person, we know you are very unlikely to get serious disease, hospitalisation and death, — disease, hospitalisation and death, very different from november 2020.- death, very different from november 2020. ok, the other oint is november 2020. ok, the other point is that — november 2020. ok, the other point is that it _ november 2020. ok, the other point is that it applies - november 2020. ok, the other point is that it applies to - point is that it applies to asymptomatic cases. again, what sort of proportion are we talking about, who would really be covered by this?— be covered by this? exactly, so if ou be covered by this? exactly, so if you look _ be covered by this? exactly, so if you look at — be covered by this? exactly, so if you look at the _ be covered by this? exactly, so if you look at the initial - if you look at the initial european data from the first wave — european data from the first wave of— european data from the first wave of covid, about 50% of folks — wave of covid, about 50% of folks with omicron were asymptomatic, and because we don't _ asymptomatic, and because we don't the — asymptomatic, and because we don't the whole spectrum of how many— don't the whole spectrum of how many people are going to be asymptomatic, but similarly, in
an infectious disease paradigms, we think asymptomatic people in general transmit— asymptomatic people in general transmit less than symptomatic folks _ transmit less than symptomatic folks. that is why the thinking is that— folks. that is why the thinking is that if— folks. that is why the thinking is that if you are asymptomatic, you are probably good _ asymptomatic, you are probably good to— asymptomatic, you are probably good to go to work after five days — good to go to work after five days in _ good to go to work after five days. in fact, if you look at south _ days. in fact, if you look at south africa right now, if you are asymptomatic, you don't have — are asymptomatic, you don't have to _ are asymptomatic, you don't have to isolate at all as long as you — have to isolate at all as long as you wear the mask for ten days — as you wear the mask for ten da s. ,., , as you wear the mask for ten da s. , ,., as you wear the mask for ten das. , , days. does it bother you, this new regime? _ days. does it bother you, this new regime? i— days. does it bother you, this new regime? i appreciate - days. does it bother you, this i new regime? i appreciate there is an economic call for it, a business sense, but as a medical man and a scientist, are you anxious? i medical man and a scientist, are you anxious?— medical man and a scientist, are you anxious? i am a little anxious to — are you anxious? i am a little anxious to be _ are you anxious? i am a little anxious to be honest, - are you anxious? i am a little anxious to be honest, david, | anxious to be honest, david, because _ anxious to be honest, david, because we don't quite have the amount— because we don't quite have the amount of— because we don't quite have the amount of data we had in the previous— amount of data we had in the previous version. we know for e>
am nervous — end is what makes me nervous. i am nervous about whether or not folks _ am nervous about whether or not folks are — am nervous about whether or not folks are going to wear masks after— folks are going to wear masks after those five days, because you are — after those five days, because you are not out of the woods just — you are not out of the woods just because you are in society, _ just because you are in society, it doesn't mean you are not— society, it doesn't mean you are not capable of transmission. are you going to wear— transmission. are you going to wear the — transmission. are you going to wear the right mask? cloth masks _ wear the right mask? cloth masks are not going to be enough _ masks are not going to be enough for omicron we think, and you — enough for omicron we think, and you need something better, at least — and you need something better, at least a — and you need something better, at least a well fitted surgical mask— at least a well fitted surgical mask if— at least a well fitted surgical mask if not a n 95 mask. no new ma'or mask if not a n 95 mask. no new major seems _ mask if not a n 95 mask. no new major seems to _ mask if not a n 95 mask. no new major seems to be _ major seems to be straightforward. thank you for joining us. the french government has announced new measures, to deal with a spike in covid infections. working from home will become obligatory again where possible, for at least three days a week — although schools will open on schedule in the first week of january. there are also no plans to impose an evening curfew, but there will be limits on the size of audiences for indoor and outdoor events.
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 2000 people for indoor events, and 5000 for outdoor ones. all spectators will have to be seated at concerts. food and drink 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 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 field without an ending. translation: i ending. translation: ~ ., , translation: i know these measures — translation: i know these measures can _ translation: i know these measures can sometimes i translation: | know these i measures can sometimes 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 cases, having already hit a rapid number in the last few days, registering more than 100,000 positive cases for the very first time, which is 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:— measures will be needed. translation: ~ . ., translation: with the omicron variant, continuing _ translation: with the omicron variant, continuing to _ translation: with the omicron variant, continuing to expand - variant, continuing to expand would not only put pressure on hospitals but especially pressure on all of society, because there will be up to 1.5 million people who would have to self—isolate each day. the to self-isolate each day. the government _ to self-isolate each day. the government has _ to self—isolate each day. the government has warned it will introduce part that will make vaccines mandatory for certain activities by january 15th, vaccines mandatory for certain activities byjanuary15th, if activities by january 15th, if parliament activities byjanuary15th, if parliament approves. but it didn't stop short of imposing a full lockdown on new year's eve. a silver lining, as france prepares for a fifth wave of the pandemic. meanwhile in the uk, the health secretary sajid javed has said there will be no new restrictions introduced in england before the new year. ministers had been under pressure to respond
to rising infection levels after the devolved administrations in scotland, wales and northern ireland all implemented measures to stem the spread of the 0micron variant. with a record number of covid cases recorded on christmas day, there were fears of a rather bleaker new year. scotland, wales and northern ireland have all imposed further restrictions. so there was pressure on the government at westminster to make it clear if england would follow. for the time being, it won't. and for the remainder of 2021, the message will be caution, not compulsion. there will be no further measures before the new year. we won't be taking any further measures. of course, people should remain cautious as we approach new year celebrations, and take a lateral flow test, that makes sense. celebrate outside, if you can. have some ventilation indoors, if you can. please remain cautious. many businesses will drink to that. but at this pub in bristol, they say that even existing restrictions have hit them hard. we've already lost a very, very big trading period, already. a really key trading period. next month, it'll have little impact, because it's a quiet
time of year anyway. government ministers are still worried about the effect that self—isolation as well as sickness is having on staffing levels in the nhs, which is one of the reasons they haven't completely ruled out new measures in 2022. covid is having a significant impact on staffing in our. emergency departments. the most common figure coming back at us is thatj departments are reporting 20, 25% of their staff off— because of covid—related reasons at the moment, | and that's a really big deal. for emergency departments. westminster is now on a very divergent path from the administrations in other parts of the uk. but government ministers say they are analysing the data in england, not ignoring it. the prime minister was briefed by his scientific and medical advisers today, and downing street say he saw nothing in the data that would force him to push the red button on further restrictions in england. had he done so, then mps would have been brought back here to vote on them.
that's now been ruled out. you can see why borisjohnson might have been quite keen to avoid that. the ayes to the right, 569. earlier this month, 100 of his own mps rebelled against the introduction of covid passes, and he may have faced even greater resistance to any new measures before new year. the prime minister is well aware of the sentiment on the conservative backbenches. it was a massive rebellion. without hard data to support any further lockdown measures, the rebellion would only be larger. labour is calling for the government now to publish all relevant data and scientific advice, they say to reassure the public that borisjohnson isn'tjust capitulating to his own party. there's often been a spirit of goodwill during the covid crisis but you can't entirely keep politics out of a pandemic. 0ne further statistic which indicates just how fast the 0micron
variant is spreading is the rate of infection per 100,000 people. and in the uk, it is now 1095. there's a similar level of infection in spain — although spain has been reporting even higherfigures over the christmas period. currently there are 1206 cases per 100,000 people. it's the first time that figure has gone above 1,000 — it's spain's highest on record. an israeli hospital is giving people a fourth shot of the vaccine, as part of a clinical trial, to determine whether it might stem the further spread of the virus. the trial in tel aviv includes 150 healthcare workers who received their third shot no later than august this year. israel is considering a fourth dose, a second booster, for vulnerable people. the infections have been surging in recent weeks despite the comprehensive vaccination programme. let's get some of the day's other news.
the captain and first officer of a freighter that caused an environmental disaster in mauritius have been sentenced to 20 months in prison. both men were found guilty last week of endangering safe navigation — the captain admitted to drinking and partying. their vessel, the mv wakashio, ran aground on a coral reef in the indian ocean archipelago injuly 2020. more than 1,000 tonnes of toxic fuel spilled into pristine mauritian waters. geologists in iceland are warning that a series of tremors near the capital reykjavik could signal that a new volcanic eruption is on the way. thousands of mini quakes have been recorded in recent days. experts say the cause is magma moving beneath the earth's surface. they're warning tourists to stay away, although it's not clear if and when a quake might happen. two football teams in france have been thrown out of the french cup because of fan violence. lyon and paris fc were punished after crowd trouble
forced the abandonment of their french cup match earlier this month. both clubs can appeal against the decision. stay with us on bbc news, still to come. home after almost a week — we meet the search and rescue dog who needed to be rescued herself. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland they are going to use money that we picked up in belgium today and then we will be in france and again it will be the same money. it has got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed
at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? - no, fantastic. that's better. j big ben bongs. this is bbc news, the latest headline. 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, with working from home becoming compulsory, as infection rates exceed 100,000 a day.
there's a growing political standoff in somalia between the president and prime minister. president mohamed abdullahi farmaajo says he has suspended the prime minister, accusing him of corruption over a land grab case. the prime minister mohamed hussein roble says the president is attempting an informal coup. bella shegow has sent this report from mogadishu. the power struggle between the two leaders took a new turn today when early this morning vehicles from the presidential palace blocked roads close to the prime minister's residence, forcing the prime minister to get to his office on foot. mr roble then accused the president of sabotaging the elections. translation: i would like to make it clear to the somali i people that the somali federal government will be in charge during the transition period, and i therefore give order to also my national forces to work
under the command of the office of the prime minister from today. and the former president, mohamed abdullahi farmaajo, is no more of the presidential candidate, so therefore he should stand aside. today's move comes just three months after the president, mohamed abdullahi farmaajo, and the prime minister agreed to end a bitter feud sparked by the disappearance of a female intelligence officer in june. the fear now is that today's development will only deepen the political crisis and could trigger clashes between the forces loyal to the two men, such as the ones in mogadishu in april, and president mohamed abdullahi mogadishu in april, when president mohamed abdullahi farmaajo unilaterally extended
his four—year term by two two years. the canadian filmmaker jean—marc vallee, whose work included the oscar—winning film dallas buyers club and the young victoria has died at the age of 58. the montreal born filmmaker also won an emmy award for his work on the successful television series big little lies. the production company, hbo, described jean—marc vallee as a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker, a truly phenomenal talent who infused every scene with a deeply visceral, emotional truth. no cause of death was reported. record amounts of snow are falling in western and northern japan, blocking roads and railways and disrupting flights. thousands of homes are without power. 0ne town in fukushima prefecture has registered 1.5 metres of snow in recent days. forecasters say the amount of snow this season is twice that of an average year. there's no let—up in sight, with more snowfall forecast into tuesday along the japan sea coast. warnings are in place for residents to stay home.
meanwhile heavy snow in seattle has caused travel disruption. planes at the airport were held up while ice was removed from them. the mayor of seattle has declared an emergency to allow the city access to extra resources to protect residents to cricket now — and in the last few minutes, australia has successfully retained the ashes, winning the third test against england at the melbourne cricket ground. in what was a dominating performance, australia's fast bowlers ripped through england's batting order to win by m runs and an innings to spare. the victory means australia has an insurmountable 3—0 lead in the best of five test series, retaining the ashes. south africa has begun a week of events to commemorate the life of archbishop desmond tutu. the anti—apartheid leader died on sunday, aged 90.
the bells of cape town's st george's cathedral, where he was archbishop for 10 years, will toll for 10 minutes every day at noon until friday. table mountain and the city hall in cape town will be lit up in purple every night ahead of his funeral on the first of january. purple to represent the colour of his clerical robes. here are the pictures from earlier today of south african president cyril ramaphosa arriving at the archbishop's residence, to offer condolences to his widow leah and the other family members. 0ur correspondent nomsa maseko is in cape town outside st george's cathedral. earlier she described what people have been saying to her about desmond tutu. people are reflecting about archbishop desmond tutu as a man who was small in stature but had a big heart. after all, he was the man who was chosen by nelson mandela to head the reconciliation process here back in 1994, when south africa became a democracy.
a lot of people speak about the man who played a prominent role in ensuring that south africa does indeed become a democracy. so he wasn'tjust respected here in this country, but all over the world, and also with world leaders having paid their own tribute, speaking about the man, describing desmond tutu as a moral compass not just for south africa, but also for them in their respective countries. one of the world's most prominent naturalists and conservationists, the american scientist e0 wilson, has died at the age of 92. professor wilson, a biologist who specialised in the study of ants, has been described as darwin's natural heir. he conducted pioneering work into the biological underpinnings of social behaviour. a specialist search and rescue dog that's been missing for nearly a week was today found safe and well. juno was last seen
during a walk near great yarmouth in norfolk. her owner's been out looking for her every day, has barely slept, and mike liggins was there to see the reunion. along to you, ian. she does belong to ian, and he'd almost given up hope. but this is the moment juno and her owner ian danks were reunited. i've just been incredibly emotional back there, as you've probably got on camera. but, you know, i'm just totally humbled by what people are willing to do for people in the community. and that's what lowland rescue is all about. juno is a short—haired german pointer and has been trained as a search and rescue dog. six days ago she went missing on a family walk at fritton near great yarmouth, and despite social media appeals and searches, there was no news. tell me about christmas without her. i'd rather not, to be honest.
it's obviously been really tough on you. yeah. — yeah, it's little things. it's a quiet house, her bed's empty. today, search and rescue teams from across the countryjoined the search, and news came through that juno had been spotted by one of the team's drone pilots. they think they've found her. flying along the river, on the river bank, and there she was. appeared, yellowjacket. stopped, zoomed in, brought the drone down a little bit. and she was just sat up and she looked up at the drone. she's alive because she was moving. so that was it. she gets a good meal now? we've got lots of leftover turkey. so yeah, that's what we're going to do. after a quick trip to the vets. juno has lost weight, around five kilos, but is doing well and is now at home resting in front of the fire.
more on the website. 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, the headlines... the us health authorities have halved the recommended isolation period for people who test positive for covid nineteen, 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. there have been heightened tensions in somalia — as a political stand—off between the president and the prime minister has continued to escalate. following a delayed election, president mohamed abdullahi farmajo suspended the prime minister — but mohamed hussein roble has refused to step aside. there've been emergency talks