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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 22, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm mattherw amroliwala. our top stories — world leaders reinstate covid restrictions. germany and portugal announce more post—christmas curbs. france warns daily cases could pass 100,000 a day very soon. 13 million people are put into covid lockdown — in one chinese city — just weeks ahead of the winter olympics. in the last few minutes uk government scientific advisers are recommending children aged 5—to—11, who are clinically vulnerable, should be offered a low dose of covid vaccine. the welsh government introduces new measures from boxing day, groups of no more than six people will be allowed to meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants
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0micron is here already in wales. and it is now spreading quickly. israel plans to become the first country to roll out a fourth dose of covid vaccine — as it prepares to deal with the 0micron variant. and scientists in china reveal a dinosaur embryo from at least 66 million years ago that was preparing to hatch from its egg — just like a chicken. hello and welcome. world leaders are re—instating covid restrictions — as 0micron continues to spread fast. germany and portugal have announced new measures that will kick in after christmas. spain has reported its highest number of daily cases, since the start of the pandemic and france has warned they could soon pass 100,000 a day.
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yesterday, the uk recorded more than 90,000 cases. and in the last few minutes, the uk government has recommended that vaccines should be given to all vulnerable children aged five to 11. in germany, the curbs are due to come in on the 28th of december. private gatherings will be restricted to ten people and nightclubs will close. portugal has ordered bars and nightclubs to shut from 26 december, and made working from home obligatory. in the uk, the welsh government has announced groups of no more than six people will be allowed to meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants in wales from 26th of december. in england — new rules mean people with covid can now stop self—isolating after a week following two negative lateral flow tests — effectively opening up christmas for thousands. let's start with more on that with dominic hughes. with hundreds of thousands of people forced to isolate for ten days
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after testing positive for covid, staff shortages are becoming an issue. it is already affecting train companies, hospitality and, crucially, some hospital trusts. let's notjust measure the pressure on the nhs by looking at the number of hospitalisations in london, because staff absences are likely to be just as great, if not an even more important indicator of how much pressure the nhs is under. now in england at least, the rules are changing, with the time spent in isolation cut from ten days to seven. but to do that, you must record two consecutive negative lateral flow tests from day six onwards and those tests must be taken a minimum of 2a hours apart. what has changed is the availability of tests, the fact we have ordered a lot in advance and we are using them as a tool, the fact that the uk hsa are testing all of these various systems and then put sensible approaches in place. people ending isolation early are still strongly
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advised to be cautious, to work from home, limit contact with vulnerable people, and not visit crowded or poorly ventilated spaces. that is because, as this graph shows, it is still possible to be carrying the virus at levels that can't be detected by lateral flow devices, even some days after first falling ill. but for some, like lee, it means christmas plans are now back on. well, it has saved christmas for me. i thought i was here till midnight | on boxing day in self—isolation.| so i can go back to the family home now and see my young daughter. i the new rules have also come as a huge relief to those who have been struggling to keep their businesses running as staff fall ill, although finances remain very tight. i think the government have been very supportive to the hospitality industry throughout the pandemic, so i can't criticise that. however, the six grand doesn't go very far and particularly for small businesses at this time of year when christmas is so important. there are no plans for a rule change
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in scotland or northern ireland, but the welsh government has announced more restrictions from boxing day, including limiting to six the number of people who can meet up in pubs, restaurants and cinemas. the government has also ordered more than four and a quarter million extra doses of antiviral drugs to treat covid, preventing it from becoming a more serious illness. these antivirals are a significant new defence. we haven't had these before, one of these antivirals that has already been approved by our regulator was quite recent. and so it is the first time we have got this type of defence. changing isolation rules means that for some, christmas has come early, but this still threatens to be a very challenging festive season, with the new variant spreading fast. dominic hughes, bbc news. as you've been hearing — further restrictions will come into force in wales from boxing day. gatherings in pubs, cinemas and restaurants will once again be limited to six people per group. all licensed venues will be
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restricted to offering table service, the two—metre social distancing rule will return in public places and people will be encouraged to take a lateral flow test before they mix with other households. 0ur wales correspondent, tomos morgan is in cardiff with the latest the first minister has put regulations in place that will come in on boxing day in wales. they mostly involve the hospitality sector, the rules of six will come into force again in restaurants, in cinemas and theatres as well. and table service will be required in licensed premises. the two metre social—distancing rule will also come back in and that will dictate how many people can attend weddings and funerals from boxing day. when it comes to household mixing, this is the thing the welsh government cabinets were wrestling over in the last few days, they have issued guidance, not regulation. but they have said to people to limit the amount of people they mix with in their homes and to change who they mix
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with on different days as well. and what they have also said it is although that is guidance, there is a ban on groups of 30 or more inside. and these rules are in addition to the rules already announced this week in that nightclubs will close on boxing day and no spectators at sporting events as well. the northern ireland executive is meeting now to consider a range of new covid measures, as cases of 0micron increase there. people are already limited to indoor gatherings of 30 people, face coverings are mandatory on public transport and indoor settings and a covid pass or negative test result is required to gain access to some hospitality premises. last week ministers warned a significant intervention could be needed after christmas, if cases continued to rise. that's despite a big escalation of the vaccination and booster campaign.
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london is the worst hit area of the uk — with the 0micron variant making up the vast majority of cases. and there are major concerns about whether the hospitals — just like in parts of europe — will be be able to cope with an increase in patient numbers. i spoke with our health correspondentjim reed who's been lookingt at the data from london. looking at where i am at the moment, and a place called lambeth, one of the areas in the south of london. at the moment, one in every 35 people in this borough have currently tested positive with covid. that's not one in every 35 have had it, one in every 35 currently have it. and we haven't had numbers like that throughout the entire pandemic. infections have been going up very strongly across most parts of london, especially in this part of south london. having said that, over the last three or four days there are some more encouraging signs that those infections, at least in london, are starting to slow down.
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in some places, they are going to plateau. why would that be? there are lots of different reasons that it could be. one which is often cited is could we be seeing some constraints in testing capacity? you know, taking longer for test results to come through because so many people are infected. another one which is possibly more important is behavioural change. even before any very strict new regulations are brought in in england, are we starting to see more people changing their behaviour, cancelling restaurant bookings and so on? that appears to be making a real difference now. before i ask you the next question, i want to put onto the screen the current graph. it shows the daily cases per 100,000, a rolling seven day average across europe. the graph is pretty self—evident. you can see the spike in uk cases that you are reflecting on, france, that we had in the headlines, worried about it soon reaching 100,000 cases a day. in terms of what you are seeing in london, briefly, on this point, what is the latest on the doubling time on the implications for hospitalisation?
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well, we had those really, really sharp increases in cases last week, when the number of cases in london was doubling every two days. that was unprecedented. now that seems to have calmed down and we are looking at hospitalisations in london. the last day we have, for sunday, there were 2115 people admitted to hospital in london with covid, up from 157 the week before. we are seeing some quite sharp increases, but that is slightly below the level that might be expected, given the number of cases we have had. so, it's not entirely bad news. let's return to the news announced a short time ago that uk scientific advisers are recommending children aged 5—to—11, who are clinically vulnerable. 0ur health correspondent katharine da costa joins me now. tell us more about what they are saying. tell us more about what they are sa inc. , ,., ., tell us more about what they are
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sa in. , ., ., ., ., saying. yes, so, we got information that the uk — saying. yes, so, we got information that the uk regulator, _ saying. yes, so, we got information that the uk regulator, the - saying. yes, so, we got information that the uk regulator, the mhra, | saying. yes, so, we got information l that the uk regulator, the mhra, has said that pfizer vaccines are safe and effective for children aged 5-11, and effective for children aged 5—11, and the and effective for children aged 5-11, and thejcvi, and effective for children aged 5—11, and thejcvi, the vaccine experts that advise the government, have said it should be offered to those in at—risk groups, with underlying health conditions, things like severe neuro disabilities. this is a group of about 330,000 children. they will be offered to morocco doses of the pfizer vaccine. this will be a third of the adult dose, so, a smaller dose for children, and it will be given eight weeks apart. but for the rest of the children in that age group, they have yet to make a recommendation, they are waiting for more data about the 0micron variant, and further safety data from other countries. in addition to that, they are also going to be expanding booster is offered to 16—17 —year—olds, as well as 12—15s in at—risk health groups,
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and those that are household contacts of somebody with a severely weakened immune system. and 12—15 —year—olds who themselves are severely immunosuppressed and have already been offered three vaccines as part of their primary treatment. but the focus is still very much on the adult booster vaccination campaign, and pushing those out to get as many people vaccinated by the end of this year. you get as many people vaccinated by the end of this year.— end of this year. you talked in the middle of the _ end of this year. you talked in the middle of the answer _ end of this year. you talked in the middle of the answer about - end of this year. you talked in the middle of the answer about what. middle of the answer about what other countries are doing, france is doing a similar thing with their 5-11 doing a similar thing with their 5—11 —year—olds right across the board. have they said here in the uk what this decision, in terms of the data, what that is based on, the data, what that is based on, the data they have looked at? in the real world _ data they have looked at? in the real world data, _ data they have looked at? in the real world data, there _ data they have looked at? in the real world data, there are - data they have looked at? in the | real world data, there are around data they have looked at? in the i real world data, there are around 5 million 5—11s that have been vaccinated in america. there will be some data coming from other countries, israel, for example, they will be looking at the real world
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data and data from the laboratories, and the trial data that has been carried out by pfizer. so, there is evidence to be looking at. but then they also need to factor in the impact of the 0micron variant, and how effective vaccines are against that, before making any more decisions. they are not completely ruling it out, and saying that they will never recommend 5—11 —year—olds across the whole board are offered it, but they are waiting for more data in the new year.— it, but they are waiting for more data in the new year. thank you for the latest on _ data in the new year. thank you for the latest on that _ data in the new year. thank you for the latest on that developing - the latest on that developing element of the story. israel has become the first country in the world, to make a fourth dose, of the coronavirus vaccine widely available. it'll be offered first, to people over the age of 60, and medical workers. last week, the who was critical of many countries offering a third dose of the vaccine when many countries haven't even rolled out their first. 0ur correspondent tom bateman is injerusalem.
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this was israel's pandemic expert committee, who had met around the same time as its coronavirus cabinet, including the prime minister, naftali bennett, last night. came out with this recommendation and said that they were advising a fourth vaccine shot, a booster shot, for everyone aged over 60, as well as people with compromised immune systems and health workers. this was immediately welcomed by the prime minister, naftali bennett. he had previously said he was impatient for the green light to be given for this. he described it as wonderful news and immediately started preparations for that fourth shot to be given to those people. there is still a bit of rubber stamping to do by the health ministry, but it looks like it will go ahead. now, the issue here, as you say, is very much about data. what is the data behind this? we simply don't know, because the expert committee have not published the evidential basis for all of this. and one of the experts involved
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in the decision was on the radio in israel saying that they simply do not have the information, they don't have the numbers yet for whether or not immunity wanes after the third vaccine, and if it does, how long it takes, and by how much. she described that has quite a complex decision, and said, nevertheless, when you look at the way that 0micron is spreading, its infectiousness elsewhere in the world, she described that as particularly frightening. i think that is what this decision was based on. there is politics around all of this. you mentioned that there is always calls when booster shots are administered by rich countries, there is a lack of supply in poorer countries in the world, that debate is always around. naftali bennett, he has staked his reputation on keeping the economy open, keeping schools open for kids, and he is very much of the school of thought of trying to intervene with the vaccines, rather
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than shutting down the economy. the northern chinese city of xi'an has ordered all 13 million residents, to stay at home, in a strict lockdown — as concern grows over a fresh outbreak of covid—19. all households may only send one household member outside once every two days to purchase necessities, with all others ordered to remain indoors except for emergencies, the city government said in a statement. 0ur china correspondent steve mcdonnell has more. there have only been dozens of new cases today but as an indication of the preparedness of the authorities to stamp out any outbreak, we are seeing a citywide lockdown in xi'an, 13 million people told to stay home. the way it's going to work is that each household will be allowed one person go outside every two days to buy essential supplies. distance bus stations... all nonessential services have been
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closed and nobody is allowed to leave the city without special permission from officials. interesting, because until recently, chinese officials have been able control the outbreaks with quite targeted lockdowns. so, neighbourhoods and the like. we haven't seen an entire large city lockdown for quite some time in china. i think the proximity of the olympics might have something to do with it. xi'an isn't that far to the west of beijing and they've seen 0micron taking off in other parts of the world and itjust shows what china is prepared to do with its still sticking to the back to zero covid strategy. the nigerian government has destroyed more than 1 million doses of covid—19 vaccines it said had reached
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their expiry date. health officials say, the jabs were delivered by international donors, just before their expiry date, which did not give them enough time to distribute them around the country. nigeria is facing a fourth wave of the pandemic with the centre for disease control saying, that there's been 500% increase in infections rates in the last two weeks let's turn away from coronavirus developments and bring you another important story. it's nearly a week, since a super typhoon hit the philippines — killing at least 375 people, and leaving hundreds of thousands without shelter. one of the worst affected areas was the popular tourist island of shargo. from there, our correspondent howard johnson sent this report. devastation as far as the eye can see. voted best island in asia this year by conde nast, devastation as far as the eye can see. siargao now resembles an apocalyptic mess. super typhoon rai first made landfall here last thursday, packing winds in excess of 150 miles
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an hour and dumping huge quantities of rainfall. this scene is repeated many times across the island. a tree felled by the super typhoon across the road blocking the passage of motorcycles and it has caused all this debris to block the road. we can see corrugated iron and electricity cables which have come down from the pylon and that is affecting things gravely because there is no electricity and that means no internet signal, no cellular network and no pumping of water. prices for filtered bottled water have doubled in the last week forcing the poor to find other sources. this family are drawing water from an old well, but it isn't clean. diarrhoea cases are on the rise here.
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it is bad for the stomach but we have no choice, we need to drink. we do not have safe water to drink. this is general luna, a popular surf spot for international tourists and young nomadic workers. but as our drone footage reveals, the area is now totally inhospitable. this man shows me to where his home and convenience store once stood. i'm scared because no more food and then my house is broken from the typhoon. at the island's badly damaged airport, aid is getting through, but in limited quantities. we are geographically isolated in this area so transport of goods is very difficult.
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construction materials for repair and especially for evacuation centres to move people especially when the rain will come, many people are living on the streets in makeshift houses and this is just the start of the typhoon season which normally ends in mid—march. outside the airport, residents have been waiting for up to three days for a flight off the island. it is leading to a sense of panic. there is no system, we have to figure it out ourselves. the real pandemic is not having a system. as night falls, and newly arrived philippine red cross team helped islanders to speak with loved ones using their satellite phone. help is on hand here, but there needs to be a lot, lot more. howard johnson, bbc news, siargao island. now to quite a remarkable discovery.
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scientists have found a perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo. it was discovered in southern china and thought to be at least 66 million years old. dr fion waisum ma was part of the research group looking into this study. thank you so much for being on the programme. wow, that is quite some discovery, isn't it?— discovery, isn't it? yes, it is one ofthe discovery, isn't it? yes, it is one of the best _ discovery, isn't it? yes, it is one of the best preserved _ discovery, isn't it? yes, it is one of the best preserved dinosaur l of the best preserved dinosaur embryos ever found of the best preserved dinosaur embryos everfound in of the best preserved dinosaur embryos ever found in science. of the best preserved dinosaur embryos everfound in science. i'm really excited about it. tell embryos ever found in science. i'm really excited about it.— really excited about it. tell me more about — really excited about it. tell me more about where _ really excited about it. tell me more about where it _ really excited about it. tell me more about where it was - really excited about it. tell mej more about where it was found really excited about it. tell me - more about where it was found and a little more about the fossil itself? this fossil was discovered in southern china, in around 2000. it was hidden in storage for 15 years. it was not until 2015 that the curator of the museum sorted through storage and discovered the fossil.
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then they arranged the preparation, they removed the rocket covering the skeleton, and finally we see this amazing fossil. we skeleton, and finally we see this amazing fossil.— skeleton, and finally we see this amazing fossil. we saw it there and our pictures — amazing fossil. we saw it there and our pictures and _ amazing fossil. we saw it there and our pictures and i _ amazing fossil. we saw it there and our pictures and i will— amazing fossil. we saw it there and our pictures and i will put _ amazing fossil. we saw it there and our pictures and i will put it - amazing fossil. we saw it there and our pictures and i will put it back. our pictures and i will put it back on the screen in a moment or two. tell me a little bit more about the type of dinosaur. do we know the typer type of dinosaur. do we know the type, and tell me more, because in this fossil you can see it curled up. this was just before it hatched, am i right? up. this was 'ust before it hatched, am i riuht? , , up. this was 'ust before it hatched, am i right?— am i right? yes, this dinosaur belonas am i right? yes, this dinosaur belongs to — am i right? yes, this dinosaur belongs to a _ am i right? yes, this dinosaur belongs to a theropods - am i right? yes, this dinosaur i belongs to a theropods dinosaur group that existed during the cretaceous, they are always described as birdlike, because they are covered with feathers, they don't have teeth, they have a beak. with this specimen, we see it has a unique posture, with the body curled up, and the head in between its legs. and this posture is very similar to what we see in late stage
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embryos of a living bird. what similar to what we see in late stage embryos of a living bird.— embryos of a living bird. what size would that go _ embryos of a living bird. what size would that go to? _ embryos of a living bird. what size would that go to? when _ embryos of a living bird. what size would that go to? when it - embryos of a living bird. what size would that go to? when it was - embryos of a living bird. what size - would that go to? when it was grown, it would be two _ would that go to? when it was grown, it would be two or _ would that go to? when it was grown, it would be two or three _ would that go to? when it was grown, it would be two or three metres - it would be two or three metres long. in it would be two or three metres lonu. , ., , it would be two or three metres lonu. , , long. in terms of this discovery, ou have long. in terms of this discovery, you have been _ long. in terms of this discovery, you have been poring _ long. in terms of this discovery, you have been poring over- long. in terms of this discovery, you have been poring over it, i long. in terms of this discovery, l you have been poring over it, but what do you actually hope to learn from all of the work you are doing? because of the similarity in posture, in this dinosaur, and in modern birds, we infer that they might have very similar behaviour. behaviour in dinosaurs, that is a topic rarely explored in the past, mainly because of the scarcity of well preserved dinosaur embryos. with this new discovery, we can look at it in detailfor the with this new discovery, we can look at it in detail for the first time, and it shows some behaviour observed
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in modern birds can however of old in modern birds can however of old in their ancestors, the dinosaurs. 66 million years ago, incredible, it had actually been found in the year 2000. it is astonishing that it has been tucked away and nobody knew it was there? , ., , , was there? yes, it has been hidden for 15 years — was there? yes, it has been hidden for15 years. until— was there? yes, it has been hidden for 15 years. until it _ was there? yes, it has been hidden for 15 years. until it came _ was there? yes, it has been hidden for 15 years. until it came to - was there? yes, it has been hidden for 15 years. until it came to light i for 15 years. until it came to light again. for 15 years. until it came to light aaain. ., ~' for 15 years. until it came to light aaain. . ~ ., again. thank you for your time in tellin: us again. thank you for your time in telling us more _ again. thank you for your time in telling us more about _ again. thank you for your time in telling us more about this - again. thank you for your time in telling us more about this find i again. thank you for your time in l telling us more about this find out what it tells you. thank you so much forjoining us on the programme. before we take a break, it is worth returning to that news from the uk in the last 30 minutes or so, the new advice from the uk authorities that children within the 5—11 year old age group, those clinically at risk, will now be offered a covid vaccine. so, that advicejust risk, will now be offered a covid vaccine. so, that advice just coming
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in. a third of adult doses, and the doses are eight weeks apart, between first and second doses. we are back with more than 30 minutes. see you then. scottish premiership clubs are voting this afternoon to decide if they move their winter break forward because of new restrictions in the country. clouds will be limited to 500. many derbies are scheduled to be held on the 2nd and 3rd ofjanuary, including celtic v rangers. the clubs are considering whether to pause as planned, after 3rd january, start the break after the boxing day fixtures or begin the hiatus before sunday's games. the livingston manager told the bbc today that he thought 10 of the 12 clubs were in favour
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of the second of those three. premier league clubs have agreed to continue with the games as scheduled between christmas and new year. arsenal boss mikel arteta is desperate that if football does keep going, it does so in front of supporters. football is all about sharing it with people, and having fans around the stadium. without that, it is a completely different sport, the competition gets... i don't know, lost, and it's not the same. liverpool captain jordan henderson says he's concerned that player welfare is not taken seriously as football clubs in england prepare to continue with their busy festive period among rising cases of covid. he's told the bbc that it's difficult to perform at the highest level when liverpool have five games within two weeks. steven gerrard says the covid situation at his club, aston villa, is changing by the hour. he agrees that the growing impact of the 0micron variant is being felt by players. we have a situation at the weekend
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where _ we have a situation at the weekend where one — we have a situation at the weekend where one of the players was reluctant _ where one of the players was reluctant to get out of his car, because — reluctant to get out of his car, because he had some symptoms, he's -ot a because he had some symptoms, he's got a young _ because he had some symptoms, he's got a young family. totally understand the situation and how he felt at _ understand the situation and how he felt at the _ understand the situation and how he felt at the time. that is where i have _ felt at the time. that is where i have got— felt at the time. that is where i have got to be him tell it back out there _ have got to be him tell it back out there for— have got to be him tell it back out there for him in support in the best way we _ there for him in support in the best way we can, — there for him in support in the best way we can, so have the staff, we have _ way we can, so have the staff, we have a _ way we can, so have the staff, we have a major— way we can, so have the staff, we have a major responsibility to listen — have a major responsibility to listen to— have a major responsibility to listen to the players and deal with every _ listen to the players and deal with every situation as it comes your wax _ australia's dominance over england in the ashes has been reflected in the new world rankings with marnus labuschagne replacing joe root at the top of the test batters' list. the two teams are heading to melbourne next for the boxing day test with bowler mark wood insisting that there remains a way back for england from 2—0 down in the series. we've got to believe that we can turn this around. we haven't showed our best stuff yet. we know that. australia have played really well. if we can't match them, and we believe we can win test matches
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here, we'vejust believe we can win test matches here, we've just got to up our game, all three areas. at the minute, australia have scored 400 twice. we have had batting collapses and we have had batting collapses and we have dropped catches. so, we have facets of the game that need major work. australian open organisers say they're still not sure if novak djokovic will defend his title next month. djokovic — who would be going for a record 21st men's grand slam title — is on the entry list but has so far refused to disclose his covid vaccination status. all players and staff must be jabbed or have a medical exemption granted by an independent panel of experts. the first grand slam of the year gets underway in melbourne on 17 january. if novak shows up at the open, he will either be vaccinated or he will have a medical exemption. now, his choice on his medical condition, it is his choice to keep private, like any others may do with any condition
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we may have. we're not going to force him or asking to disclose that. needs to know that the condition of entry would be those two requirements. we'll have more sport for you later on the bbc news channel. this is bbc news, the headlines: in the last few minutes uk government scientific advisers are recommending children aged 5—11, who are clinically vulnerable, should be offered a low dose of covid vaccine. the welsh government introduces new measures from boxing day, groups of no more than six people will be allowed to meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants. germany and portugal announce more post—christmas curbs. france warns daily cases could pass 100,000 very soon. 13 million people are put into covid lockdown — in one chinese city — just weeks ahead of the winter olympics. now on bbc news, it's hardtalk with stephen sackur.

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