this is bbc news the headlines at seven. the education secretary for england backs reducing the covid isolation period — from 7 days to 5. the australian government did not give assurances to novak djokovic that he could enter the country without a vaccination — according to documents filed before tomorrow's court hearing. an afghan baby separated from his parents in kabul during the chaos of the us withdrawal — is reunited with relatives. morrisons becomes the first supermarket to scrap �*use by�* dates on its milk — telling consumers to use the �*sniff test�* instead. and coming up on sportsday — we'll get all the news on the fa cup fourth round draw — where non league kidderminster have drawn premier league high—flyers west ham.
welcome to bbc news. the education secretary has said shortening the covid isolation period in england would be helpful in dealing with staffing shortages. nadhim zahawi said any decision would be made on the basis of advice from the uk health security agency — and said absences among teachers would rise now that schools are back. the us recently shortened isolation for those testing positive for covid from seven days to five. our health correspondent dominic hughes has more. the good news is that booster jabs are holding fast against the omicron wave. even as new cases have surged, hospital admissions remain a long way off the peak seen this time last year. but hundreds of thousands of people are currently isolating for at least seven days, so now there's a suggestion that —
in england, at least — that period could be cut to five days instead. i think if the experts, and i have to defer to the uk health and security agency, deem it appropriate that you can have two negative tests on consecutive days, as we do now with day six and seven, then it's a good thing to keep under review. some experts agree a five—day isolation period could be safely introduced. you're generally infectious for about two days before you develop symptoms to about three, maybe four days afterwards, so limiting the cut—off point to five days wouldn't really substantially increased risk. so you think the advantages outweigh any possible risks? that would have considerable benefits in terms of staffing without significantly increasing the risk of disease transmission, so i think we should do that. lateral flow tests have played a vital role in this current
stage of the pandemic, so mr zahawi was quick to deny reports the government was planning to start charging for them, and labour's shadow chancellor says people need to be able to test regularly to stop passing on the virus. lateral flow tests are absolutely essential to keeping us protected and to keep our economy open. there is another potential threat to staffing levels on the horizon. all health care workers in england with direct contact with patients need to have had two covid jabs by the end of march or they risk losing theirjobs. one nhs boss acknowledges that could affect around 10% of his workforce. we have approximately 1a,000 staff at king's... so you could lose more than 1,000 staff? it's an extreme position. but i am confident, and we're already seeing a number of staff choosing to be vaccinated. the push on vaccinations and boosters, notjust for nhs staff but all of us, continues. but even though the omicron wave is not yet over, ministers are clearly thinking
about what comes next and how we live with covid in the months to come. dominic hughes, bbc news. and now to the latest official figures on the virus which show iai,472 new infections in the latest 24—hour period. in the same period 97 deaths were reported, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive test result. that means the total number of people who've died with covid now stands at 150,154. on vaccinations, 35.5 million people have had a boosterjab, which means more than 61% of those aged 12 and over have now had three vaccine doses. ealier craig beaumont from the federation of small businesses explained why his members would welcome the five day isolation period, if it was recommended by health officials.
it would be. it has to be safe, so we wouldn't call for a public health measure, it's all about public health and safety, and this would have a huge impact. we have 2 million people with covid in the uk this week, so they are isolating, and if you are a big employer, what you can do is you can move projects around, you can move teams, even in the public sector except for specialised roles, you can move civil servants around between different functions. but if you are a small business with a team of five and you lose two or three of those, it will get very rough very fast, especially for customer facing businesses, you have only got so many people to fill the hours in the day. so the self isolation aspect of this is a real issue for us, and if it can be done safely and it's a big if, we are basically looking at the us cdc, the center for disease control, which did conclude that five days was the right time period, and that is the same science, the same variant, the same sort of workforce, so we would like the uk authorities, the chief medical and scientific advisers, to take a look, because if it can be done it
would be good. our political correspondent ben wright is with me now: first, the question on self isolation, is kite flying? or are people actively looking at this. he: would like to see the quarantine reduced to five days. it is something that has been discussed for a while. it shows concern in whitehall about how this is impacting on staffing levels in the public and private sectors. omicron is milder than previous variants, fewer people are ending up in
hospital, the massive impact is on staffing levels, particularly in the nhs. a few days ago an interesting statement went out talking about the american move. they reduced isolation down to five days. the uk says it wouldn't be useful here, it would be counter—productive, they say, but are leaving it under review. i say, but are leaving it under review. :, , , review. i am sure they will get the hint about whether _ review. i am sure they will get the hint about whether they _ review. i am sure they will get the hint about whether they respond l review. i am sure they will get the | hint about whether they respond is down to them. in terms of the staff shortage question, we've had this concern in that report that it might not be a temporary thing in the health service because of this vaccine mandate. there have been warnings that if you don't do something we will stop you, i'm thinking of when teenagers were told to get vaccines and they said
vaccine passports would be introduced, so lots of teenagers signed up because they did not want to be excluded from pubs and clubs. is this gamesmanship? you to be excluded from pubs and clubs. is this gamesmanship?— to be excluded from pubs and clubs. is this gamesmanship? you are right, it has been used _ is this gamesmanship? you are right, it has been used as _ is this gamesmanship? you are right, it has been used as an _ is this gamesmanship? you are right, it has been used as an incentivising i it has been used as an incentivising carrot for various different groups in the pandemic. this is a tougher policy. a policy was applied to the care sector, and it means that from the 1st of april in england any front line and nhs staff will have to have proof of vaccination for their employment.— to have proof of vaccination for their employment. front line could be a porter. _ their employment. front line could be a porter, anybody _ their employment. front line could be a porter, anybody in _ their employment. front line could be a porter, anybody in close - be a porter, anybody in close contact, so it could be quite dramatic. contact, so it could be quite dramatic— contact, so it could be quite dramatic. , . ., ., dramatic. exactly and we heard from a doctor today. _ dramatic. exactly and we heard from a doctor today, who _ dramatic. exactly and we heard from a doctor today, who was _ dramatic. exactly and we heard from a doctor today, who was the - dramatic. exactly and we heard from a doctor today, who was the boss . dramatic. exactly and we heard from a doctor today, who was the boss of| a doctor today, who was the boss of kings hospital in london, saying that he thinks 10% of his staff are currently unvaccinated and he is worried about the impact this will have on staffing levels. that was a concern picked up by a member of the
house of lords. it was the same observation they made. where is the contingency plan if a large proportion of that 10% between now and april decide not to have this vaccination and leave their position in the health service? what are the plans in place? this will be causing perhaps quite a lot of concern within the department. they hope between now and april the 1st people working in the nhs in england will see the writing on the wall, will go ahead and have a vaccination. this isn't a policy being looked at in scotland and wales.— isn't a policy being looked at in scotland and wales. what about the olitics on scotland and wales. what about the politics on this. _ scotland and wales. what about the politics on this. the _ scotland and wales. what about the politics on this. the prime _ scotland and wales. what about the politics on this. the prime ministerl politics on this. the prime minister made some decisions but mainly because it would not have gone through the house of commons. there is lots of talk — through the house of commons. there is lots of talk about _ through the house of commons. ii—ii” is lots of talk about heading towards endemic covid rather than pandemic. fortories towards endemic covid rather than pandemic. for tories who have been very unhappy with borisjohnson's
approach to this in recent months, this is the moment they run out of patience. they say this is effectively over. one of the members of the covid recovery group, former chief whip, leading the group, he's done an interesting interview in the ft today saying this is it, boris johnson needs to come to the house of commons and say the current plan b measures in place for england need to be it. they need to go by the end of january. to be it. they need to go by the end ofjanuary. there to be it. they need to go by the end of january. there can to be it. they need to go by the end ofjanuary. there can be no more. we need to move on. he says there will be a massive rebellion against boris johnson if he doesn't. eeen be a massive rebellion against boris johnson if he doesn't.— johnson if he doesn't. even more than those _ johnson if he doesn't. even more than those who _ johnson if he doesn't. even more than those who rebelled - johnson if he doesn't. even more than those who rebelled last - johnson if he doesn't. even more . than those who rebelled last month. quite big. they will be talking about that in the papers. because if it was in the ft, it'll be on the front pages. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30 this evening in the papers — our guestsjoining me tonight are aletha adu, political
correspondent at the daily mirror and the former conservative adviser mo hussein. novak djokovic�*s appeal against deportation from australia begins in a few hours — with a court hearing. the men's tennis numberi has been held in a hotel in melbourne since he arrived in the country — the australian government says he is not exempt from the requirement for visiting foreigners to be vaccinated. from melbourne, shaimaa khalil reports. a day before challenging his deportation in court, novak djokovic is still held at the immigration detention hotel, and his supporters are still outside, calling on the government to let him out. oh, mate, i haven't slept since he came off the plane. we are all sick to the stomach. it's a very unfortunate situation for australia. it's becoming very embarrassing. the world number one is now in the middle of a political and diplomatic storm that has provoked anger in his home country of serbia. this was djokovic arriving on wednesday. his legal team say he was granted a vaccine exemption from tennis australia because he tested positive for covid—19 on the 16th of december.
that was also the day when these pictures were taken, showing the tennis player maskless at a ceremony in serbia, where he was honoured with his own postage stamp. it is unclear at which point he took the pcr test, and when he knew he had covid—19. djokovic�*s lawyers has said that on january the 1st, he received a document from home affairs telling him his travel declaration responses indicated he met the requirements for a quarantine—free arrival into australia. but in its court submission, released a few hours before the hearing, the government said it had not given the tennis star an assurance about his vaccine waiver, adding that an e—mail from the home affairs department was not a guarantee that his so—called medical exemption would be accepted. the court document also challenged djokovic�*s claim for medical exemption on the basis that he contracted covid—19 in mid—december, saying there was no suggestion that he had acute
major medical illness. just a week before the australian open begins, a judge will now decide whether the nine—time champion will be able to defend his title. shaima khalil, bbc news, melbourne. our correspondent guy de launey is in belgrade and he told us how people were reacting there. we have seen once again a rally outside the national assembly here in belgrade this afternoon, and that was people turning up in their hundreds to hear from novak djokovic's family. his mum, dad, and brother, and they were talking about their latest contacts with the world tennis number one. his brother was saying he was grateful for all of the support serbia was sending to him and was hoping for the right verdict from an independent judge. his mother said that he hasn't been getting breakfast. he said in prison he would at least
be getting three meals a day. his father has taken a more paranoid point of view saying this is only happening because we are serbia, a small country, and they are trying to put us down. they've been quiet on the political front. i think everybody is now waiting for this court verdict to come out. 22 tourists including women and at least 10 children have died in their cars in pakistan when they became stranded in a snowstorm which saw up to five feet of snow fall in a few hours. thousands were trapped in a popular hilltop village murree after they'd travelled to see the snowfall. all survivors have now reportedly reached safety. local authorities have been criticised for their slow response to calls for help. farhatjaved is in murree and sent this report about the rescue operation. more than 5000 people have been rescued here in this camp, temporary established by the pakistan army. there are five more such camps with roughly the same number of tourists who have been rescued. that whole rescue and relief operations started yesterday
when thousands of tourists were found trapped in a snowstorm in the small town of murree which is just a few miles from the capital islamabad and a famous tourist destination in pakistan. a video went viral where eight family members could be lying dead in their car, and after that many other such videos popped up, and so far 22 people have been declared dead. their bodies have been retrieved and the police have confirmed that eight of them were frozen to death. translation: we leftl home at 4pm and spent the whole night in our car. i could sense death everywhere. i can't explain in words what i was going through then. we were praying for god to help us. those who have died include women and children and those who were rescued were brought here into these camps and were given food and blankets. we have spoken to some of them, who shared their experience when they had to spend the night in freezing temperatures inside their cars.
a baby who was separated from his parents at kabul airport last august, as thousands of people tried to leave afghanistan, has been reunited with members of his family. the boy was only six weeks old when he disappeared in the mayhem at the airport — his parents were among the thousands flown of the country and are now in the united states. now the man who found the baby has handed him over to relatives in kabul. our correspondent there quentin sommerville, has the story. amid afghanistan's thousand tragedies, a small beam of sunshine. sohail was only a0 days old when he was lost as his family escaped kabul. he is now back in his auntie's arms. "sohail is in good health," his aunt says. "we're a bit unfamiliar for him, but he's been very good and he hasn't cried. "he's been sleeping well. "he's onlyjust woken up." in the chaos that followed the taliban's takeover here in august, an exodus as families fled the country. sohail�*s dad was a security
guard at the us embassy. they joined the flood of people rushing to leave. like others shown here, he was handed to us marines guarding the airport fence. once inside, the family couldn't find him. they left for the united states. taxi driver hamid safi says he found the boy all alone by the roadside inside the airport. unable to find the family, he says, he took him home. "as a father i know how it feels to have children," mr safi tells me. "i couldn't leave him alone, so i saved him and took care of him and my wife fed him." but mr safi was reluctant to let the boy go. it took weeks of negotiations and some time in taliban detention before he handed him back. he, his wife and daughters are distraught without the boy. the last five months have been enormously difficult for many afghan families, but none more so than this family. having sohail back is an enormous
relief, and the hope is now that he willjoin his brothers and sisters and his mum and dad in the united states. after so long apart, the baby only responds to mohammad, the name mr safi gave him. but now he's back with them, his family says sohail will soon rediscover who he is. quentin sommerville, bbc news, kabul. the supermarket chain morrisons is to scrap �*use by�* dates on most of its milk, in a move it says will stop millions of pints being poured down the sink. instead, the retailer will display �*best before' dates on 90% of its own—brand milk products. the recycling charity �*wrap' says morrisons will be the first retailer to make the move. the change will happen later this month. richard swannell is the international director for wrap, a charity supporting people and businesses to reduce waste. thanks for talking to us. i guess
you are going to welcome this move in the hope it will reduce some of that waste?— in the hope it will reduce some of that waste? . :, , that waste? indeed, we welcome this. what's interesting _ that waste? indeed, we welcome this. what's interesting is _ that waste? indeed, we welcome this. what's interesting is that _ that waste? indeed, we welcome this. what's interesting is that there - that waste? indeed, we welcome this. what's interesting is that there is - what's interesting is that there is about 490 million pints of milk wasted every single year. we know one of the causes of that is actually a misunderstanding around use by dates and throwing away too early. one of the causes of throwing away milk, and milk is the third most significant item we throw away every single year. !time most significant item we throw away every single year-— every single year. one of my colleagues — every single year. one of my colleagues was _ every single year. one of my colleagues was saying, - every single year. one of my i colleagues was saying, wouldn't every single year. one of my - colleagues was saying, wouldn't it be possible to just make the use by date later? is there dot is the use by date defined legally that you cannot do that?— by date defined legally that you cannot do that? : , , , cannot do that? absolutely. the use b date is cannot do that? absolutely. the use by date is for _ cannot do that? absolutely. the use by date is for food _ cannot do that? absolutely. the use by date is for food safety _ cannot do that? absolutely. the use by date is for food safety measures. j by date is for food safety measures. you can use food right the way up to
midnight of the use by date. but you can freeze up to the use by date for most products. it isn't safe to use them after the use by date. whereas a best before, it is a guidance to quality, therefore is perfectly safe to consume after the best before date. 50 to consume after the best before date. , to consume after the best before date, , :, to consume after the best before date. , :, ., to consume after the best before date. , :, :, date. so this would have achieved the objective _ date. so this would have achieved the objective of— date. so this would have achieved the objective of the _ date. so this would have achieved the objective of the first - date. so this would have achieved the objective of the first move - date. so this would have achieved the objective of the first move to | the objective of the first move to delay that but you cannot do that. i understand you cannot do that for health and safety reasons. that makes sense. at the same time, most milk, not all milk is in recyclable containers and in some cases still bottled. if people are throwing away the mill, which is a bad thing, they are usually recycling the containers they come in anyway, so is it really going to make much difference on that side of things?— going to make much difference on that side of things? when you think the whole of _ that side of things? when you think the whole of uk _ that side of things? when you think the whole of uk we _ that side of things? when you think the whole of uk we throw— that side of things? when you think the whole of uk we throw away - that side of things? when you think| the whole of uk we throw away over that side of things? when you think i the whole of uk we throw away over 9 million tonnes of food every year,
and 6.6 million of that is in the home, 70% of that, and that has a huge environmental impact both in terms of tonnes of waste going down the sink or going into landfill. the food breaks down and produces methane. milk is a priority because it is a high carbon product. it is the top item that we throw away in terms of when you look at it from a carbon emissions perspective. also, for most products there is more carbon in the food than there is in the packaging. carbon in the food than there is in the packaging-— carbon in the food than there is in the packaging. that's an interesting oint. the the packaging. that's an interesting point- the key _ the packaging. that's an interesting point. the key thing _ the packaging. that's an interesting point. the key thing is _ the packaging. that's an interesting point. the key thing is don't - the packaging. that's an interesting point. the key thing is don't waste l point. the key thing is don't waste milk and recycle _ point. the key thing is don't waste milk and recycle your— point. the key thing is don't waste milk and recycle your bottle, - milk and recycle your bottle, plastic or glass.— milk and recycle your bottle, plastic or glass. there is another an . le, plastic or glass. there is another angle. the _ plastic or glass. there is another angle, the impact _ plastic or glass. there is another angle, the impact on _ plastic or glass. there is another angle, the impact on the - plastic or glass. there is another| angle, the impact on the industry and farmers who at the moment are facing uncertainty because they don't know what the impact of the new pay system will be due to
brexit. i wonder whether some dairy farmers might say, hang on a minute, the effect of this will be people buy less milk because they won't be throwing the product away, they will be using it longer, and therefore, actually, they clearly don't want their milk wasted, they want people to use it, but they will lose money because people are buying less milk because people are buying less milk because they are throwing less of it away. because they are throwing less of it awa . ~ �* because they are throwing less of it awa .~ �* :, ., , because they are throwing less of it awa. �* :, ., away. we've spoken to farmers and manufacturers _ away. we've spoken to farmers and manufacturers right _ away. we've spoken to farmers and manufacturers right through - away. we've spoken to farmers and manufacturers right through the - manufacturers right through the supply chain. everybody is working towards the cop26 target of halving the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the food and drink sector by 2030 and then go beyond that, to net zero. what we do in one of our projects, and something we can all do in the home, it was found that reducing food waste was the number one way you could reduce greenhouse gas emissions just in terms of quantity. you will find
farmers will be delighted that their food will be consumed. that's why they produce it. they don't want the waste. : ~ they produce it. they don't want the waste. :, ~' , :, , they produce it. they don't want the waste. : ~ ,, , . they produce it. they don't want the waste. :, ~' i:, , : . :, , waste. thank you very much. wrap, the charity — waste. thank you very much. wrap, the charity working _ waste. thank you very much. wrap, the charity working with _ waste. thank you very much. wrap, the charity working with businesses| the charity working with businesses to help reduce the waste associated with some food products. a government agency in kazakhstan has revised the official assessment of the number of people killed in the violence of the last week — increasing it to 164. most of the fatalities were in the biggest city, almaty. the unrest began when demonstrators took to the streets angry about the cost of fuel. more than 5,000 people have been arrested. the unrest began as a protest against the rise in fuel prices, but may have morphed into a power struggle between factions of the ruling elite. russian troops continue to guard strategic facilities. our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg has travelled to kazakhstan's capital. well, the capital of kazakhstan feels pretty calm, really, but after the protests and violence that erupted across much of the country last week, a state of emergency and a curfew remain in place here and nationwide. there is very little connectivity —
they switch the internet on for maybe three or four hours a day, which makes it very difficult for people to actually work out what's going on here. and although things were much, much quieter here than they were in almaty, you can see security has been tightened. for example, that is the entrance to the presidential palace, which has been blocked off. president tokayev blames the terrorists and bandits for the violence, but there is a growing suggestion that violence is somehow linked to a power struggle going on within the ruling elite in kazakhstan. the us and nato are due to hold talks with russia later this week to discuss soaring tensions in the region, particularly in ukraine, where russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops near the border. moscow is demanding guarantees that nato will not expand further eastwards and have ruled out making any concessions towards that. us secretary of state antony blinken has said russia must choose between dialogue and confrontation.
here's our moscow correspondent caroline davies on those tensions and what could jeopardize this week's talks. rising tensions between the us and russia, these talks are key. neither side is showing optimism. the backdrop is that the us and nato are concerned about the number of troops, russian troops, building up on ukraine's border. russia has previously issued a list of demands to de—escalate this and key to it is the fact they don't want ukraine to be able tojoin the fact they don't want ukraine to be able to join nato. president putin has said russia was promised nato wouldn't expand further east towards its borders but the us has said that it was never given that pledge. nato has said it won't compromise on its core principles, including the right for every nation to decide its own path. however, the reality is while nato isn't ruling out the fact ukraine could in theory join nato in the future, at the
moment that isn't close to becoming a reality. the us has said it doesn't want to divert the conversation into a discussion about nato, that it wants to focus on the situation in ukraine. russia said these talks could last as briefly as a day and it isn't going to make concessions under pressure or with threats from the west. at the moment there is no indication that russia is making any movement towards the us's position, the west isn't making any concessions to move towards russia's position. if these talks don't go well, some people have said vladimir putin is bluffing, others have said that there is a risk of a russian invasion, which means this week these key talks are important. normally at this time in january we normally at this time injanuary we would be normally at this time in january we would be getting really excited about the golden globes, the film awards being held in the united states. but not this year. normally
it is a precursor as to what might be in the oscars. this year it is being held without a—list stars and is not being shown on television. the event is being boycotted after it emerged that the organisers, the hollywood foreign press association, hadn't had a single black member for nearly 20 years. the awards will be announced via social media. our entertainment correspondent colin paterson reports. # tonight, tonight # it all began tonight...# tonight, west side story is one of the big favourites to win at the golden globes. but none of its stars or its director, steven spielberg, will be there. the same goes for belfast, which is tied for the most nominations — seven. we're looking to cleanse the community. you wouldn't want to be the odd one out in this street. touch my family and i'll kill you. it is based on the childhood of its director, sir kenneth brannagh, who has never won a golden globe. if he does tonight, the way
he will find out is on his computer. it is doubtful that he will even care. the golden globes are normally a star—studded event, but they have been beset with problems for the past year. a los angeles times expose revealed that they have not had a single black voter for almost two decades, and there are accusations of unethical practices. this prompted tom cruise to send back the three golden globes he had won. the rights holders, nbc, said they would not broadcast the ceremony, and despite radical changes being introduced, hollywood en masse decided to boycott the event. this week, the golden globes announced that the ceremony at the beverly hilton hotel in los angeles will be a private event and will not be live—streamed, with winners simply being announced on social media. this prompted us talk show host conan o'brien to ask...
and ricky gervais, who has hosted the golden globes five times, has even suggested there is a chance this could be the last time they are held. you're the number one topic ahead of tater tots, and the pope followed you... as for who could win, when it comes to the tv categories, there could be a procession for succession. the media family drama series has the most nominations, with five. is he going to watch? could we make a note in the minutes that he is watching us? but with no—one able to watch the globes and with things as they are, it is fully expected that tonight's winners will not even acknowledge that they have won. i'm a good guy. i'm betterthan you. 3 new photographs of the duchess of cambridge have been released to mark her 40th birthday today. the portraits were taken by fashion photographer paolo roversi — and show catherine wearing alexander mcqueen dresses. they will go on display this year in berkshire, st andrews and anglesey —
three places that she has lived. and the duchess of cambridge has thanked supporters for their birthday wishes. in a rare personal message on twitter she also thanked photographer paolo roversi. now...some spectacular pictures of the northern lights — they put on a stunning display in the skies above the north of scotland last night. the ethereal light display — also known as aurora borealis — was spotted by people in aberdeenshire, moray and caithness on saturday night. the best time of year to see the northern lights in scotland is the autumn and winter months when the nights are longer and darker. they don't appear on set dates each year and are only visible in dark skies. these photographs were shared on social media and by bbc weather watchers. as ever, we are grateful to them. aren't they fantastic pictures? now it's time for a look at the weather with darren bett. hello there. we have seen welcome sunshine across much of the uk today, but it will turn cold quickly this evening across the eastern side