tv BBC News at One BBC News March 24, 2020 1:00pm-1:31pm GMT
calls for more clarity after the prime minister declared a national emergency about coronavirus and brought in drastic new rules. people are urged to stay at home. the measures are the toughest restrictions on daily life in living memory. i hope that people will follow this advice. if for any reason they don't, penalties are there. we'll have all the details of the new measures, and later in the programme we'll answer some of the many questions you've been sending us. there's some confusion about which businesses are considered essential and can stay open. japan postpones the tokyo olympics and paralympics to next year after mounting international pressure. pharmacies are appealing to people
not to stockpile medicines, as they report a big increase in customers. and hundreds of thousands of british citizens travelling abroad are urged by the foreign office to come home before more air routes are closed. and in sport, european rugby chiefs insist they're committed to completing the campaigns this season, after the semis and final of the champions cup and challenge cup are postponed. good afternoon and welcome to the bbc news at one. the government has sought to clarify the tough new restrictions introduced last night to curb the spread of coronavirus. the prime minister declared
a national emergency and ordered everyone to stay home and follow strict rules. you can only leave your home for very limited purposes, such as shopping for basic necessities like food and medicine. you can go outside for one form of exercise each day, either alone or with members of your household. you can leave home for any medical need or to care for a vulnerable person. and finally you can travel to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary and if you cannot work from home. the measures will be enforced by the police. borisjohnson gave the orders as the number of people in the uk who have died from the virus reached 335 and the number of cases rose above 6,500. here's lauren moss with our first report. britain is beginning a new life behind closed doors. sweeping new
measures to stop people mixing with each other and spreading the coronavirus are now in place across the uk, banning gatherings of more than two people and asking us to only leave home when it's absolutely necessary. we want to make sure that the reinfection rate goes down, that we slow the spread of the virus, because it's absolutely critical for making sure that our nhs is in the strongest position possible to restrict the spread, and that means restricting social contact and following the advice to government has put forward. what are the new rules, then? no—one should go out u nless rules, then? no—one should go out unless it is to shop for essentials, as infrequently as possible, to exercise once a day, walk, run or bike ride. if there is a medical needle to help the vulnerable person, and to travel to and from work, but only if that work can't be done from home. police officers will
be given powers to break up groups and fine anyone ignoring the advice. the aim is to get people to comply with these new rules so that we reduce the level of contamination, and that is up to them, but if people are not compliant after a warning, then there will be fines and potentially prosecutions, and thatis and potentially prosecutions, and that is all being worked through in the legislation. weddings are cancelled, funerals can continue, but mourners must stay two metres apart. playgrounds are closed, but parks are staying open. no prime minister wants to enact measures like this, i know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people's lives, to their businesses and to theirjobs. and thatis businesses and to theirjobs. and that is why we have produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support, both for workers and for business. and i can assure you that we will keep these restrictions under constant review. so how people
adjusting the new routines?” under constant review. so how people adjusting the new routines? i can't say it is unexpected, we were expecting lockdown for a while, simply because people haven't been taking it seriously. my first reaction is genuinely relief, i think this is a measure that probably needed to be taken a week ago. three weeks is decent, it is going to disrupt some lives, but thatis going to disrupt some lives, but that is obviously what we need to do to beat this. i welcome the lockdown, but i think the lockdown isa lockdown, but i think the lockdown is a reflection of a wanton disregard for the safety of other people. despite the strict steps we've all been told to take, some tube trains in london was still packed this morning, moving front line workers to make their own plea to the public. we will look after your relatives with care and love, but i don't want to be overwhelmed by tears and a loo at work because somebody sends me a picture today are people queueing and safely. it is going to be hard enough as it is. what we need you to do is to make sure that every person in this
country sits down this morning before they leave the house, reads the guidance. non-emergency operations are being counselled to free up beds, and now one hospital is postponing chemotherapy and outpatient appointments for at least two weeks because of an increase in patience with covid—i9. the new restrictions will be reviewed in three weeks' time. we are warned that more lives will be lost as we work our way through this national emergency. lauren moss, bbc news. let's speak to assistant political editor, norman smith. norman, what sense do you have of the government realising that there is still a need for even further clarity around some of this? well, it might be understandable that there is some confusion this morning given the scale of these restrictions and the pace at which they are having to be implemented, but no doubt the government has to get on top of this, because in
particular, if people do keep going into work in large numbers, that risk more infections, more pressure on the health service, and bluntly more deaths, which is why the chancellor is now looking at bringing forward a package of measures to safeguard the self—employed from being substantially out of pocket, because the fear is, say, self—employed builders, electricians and plumbers, they might feel under pressure to do they might feel under pressure to do thejob to get they might feel under pressure to do the job to get some money coming in. soi the job to get some money coming in. so i think in the next 48 hours we will see the chancellor coming forward with some sort of measures to protect them. also, the argument over construction workers is clearly not over, despite michael gogl saying it is ok for them to go in, because in london we know tube trains are being packed, in large part, because many construction workers are travelling into town on them. that argument is not yet over, but more broadly this has to be ironed out, because if we are to have any chance, at the end of three
weeks, or reading some of these restrictions, we need them to work, albeit i think we have to be cautious about any relaxation in the restrictions, because here we are just at the beginning of the sort of upswing in infected cases — the peak is probably not going to be for another two weeks, and it would seem to be very, very unlikely the government will seek to relax restrictions right at the peak of the crisis. yes, all right, for now, thank you, norman. later in the programme, we'll be answering some of your questions about the new restrictions. we have had a huge, huge number of questions. but we can talk more about the reasons behind the restrictions with our science correspondent pallab ghosh. one of the scientists that you talk to, pallab, what are they saying about what is in place and the timing and what is in place and the timing and what is in place and the timing and what is now taken where we are as a country? there is overwhelmingly
strong support for these measures, indeed some said we should have adopted these measures weeks ago. we will not know if the government was too slow to act before the whole thing is over, but for the time being that is strong support from many scientists, because it was clear from last weekend at the numbers were rising at such a rate that the nhs would have been overwhelmed by the cases, which is why we had the measures last week that we thought were severe, to tell people not to go out unless it was absolutely necessary. but as we have seen, too many people were ignoring and are ignoring that advice, hence the stricter measures. but today some of the social scientists have said that that was because of unclear messaging by the government. for example, until last night, the advice was that we should go out to parks for exercise. there is still a lack of clarity, the messages come in many ways, much clearer. we should know in a few weeks' time whether the stricter measures are having any effect. if they are, then
there may be some easing — if not, they are likely to be extended and possibly even tightened further. yes. all right, thank you, pal abu ghosh, our science correspondent, thank you. we've heard that essential businesses are allowed to remain open — including supermarkets, chemists and banks. but there are still questions aboutjust what does — or should — constitute essential work. in the last few minutes, one of britain's biggest builders, taylor wimpey, has said it's closing its sites. our business correspondent sarah corker reports. shopping centres and retail parks across the uk are largely off—limits. at this site in north manchester, just four out of 35 stores providing vital supplies are allowed to stay open. i'm just asking people what essential things you've been buying today? milk. food for my 87—year—old mother.
potatoes. stuff that will be staple in the fridge. it's ok in there. nice and calm and nobody is panic buying. last night nonessential retailers were ordered to close, including clothing shops, hairdressers, hotels and electronic stores. the government will pay 80% of wages. today the chancellor has promised more support for the self—employed, but admitted that there are difficulties. we absolutely understand the situation that many self—employed people face at the moment as a result of what is happening and are determined to find a way to support them. we need to be confident that can be done in a way that is deliverable and is fair to the vast majority of the british workforce. on the list of vital retailers allowed to remain open include supermarkets and food shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, newsagents, pet shops, home and hardware stores, post offices and banks. online orders and deliveries will continue.
and construction work can carry on if workers stay two metres apart. i think it's important when we have construction work that is going on in a way that can be done safely, in the open air, on new sites, that that does continue. but transport for london has taken the decision to temporarily suspend work on crossrail and other sites. there has been some confusion among businesses. this morning sports direct said it would remain open as it's uniquely placed to keep the uk fit and healthy. but then the chain did a u—turn. it is clarifying with the government if it is deemed an essential service. we are receiving new deliveries regularly... meanwhile, supermarkets continue to face huge demand and are asking the public to be considerate during these extraordinary times. the tokyo olympics will be delayed for a year because of the coronavirus. japan's prime minister, shinzo abe,
said the games would be held by the summer of 2021 at the latest, along with the paralympics, as proof of the world's victory over the disease. let's talk to our tokyo correspondent, rupert wingfield—hayes. no surprise, rupert, but what is being said there? that is right, not really a surprise, we have been expecting an announcement, butjust 24 hours ago the chief of the tokyo olympics held a press conference to say that postponement was being considered but it would take them about four weeks to make a final decision. well, 24 hours later, not four which, this has announced. prime minister shinzo abe really feeling the pressure in the last 204i was, not just feeling the pressure in the last 204i was, notjust because the who says that the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to accelerate, but also because a number of countries, including great britain, had threatened to pull out if the games went ahead this summer. australia
and canada leading those calls, but us athletics also joining in today. so that really piled the pressure on shinzo abe, who called up the ioc chief, thomas bach, this evening in tokyo, and they both agreed that a delay was now necessary and that that would be beyond the end of this year and no later than summer next year, so it looks like summer 2021 tokyo olympics instead of summer 2020. rupert, thank you, rupert wingfield—hayes in tokyo. pharmacists are asking people not to stockpile medicine. many chemist shops are reporting a big increase in customers, and some are now limiting purchases. the royal pharmaceutical society says stocks are secure but is urging everyone to show restraint. here's our health correspondent dominic hughes. it's actually a bit of a tsunami of customers that are wanting almost anything. we're actually short on that, aren't we? the local pharmacist‘s shop is now a key part in the fight
against coronavirus, and they're having to adapt to the new world we all now live in. over here, we've constructed a two—metre high perspex screen that gives us some protection from individuals coming into the pharmacy. with gps‘ surgeries and hospitals already facing huge pressures, more people are turning to pharmacies like this one in north manchester. just keeping up with patient demand is a real challenge, let alone managing fluctuating prices. last week, as soon as there was even an indication that there were going to be shortages in the ingredients from india and china, almost every molecule that you typically use in a pharmacy, almost every product related to that started to rise in price. it is tremendously difficult to run a business in this situation, but in some ways at least we are able to run the business.
it's sometimes easy to forget that community pharmacists like this one form part of the front line of the health—care service, but they are at the moment facing unprecedented levels of demand. and that increased demand comes with risks. pharmacist neil denby had to self—isolate after falling ill, although in the end his test was negative. i had a patient come in who asked to speak to me, so we went into a consultation room. this person had viral symptoms, upper respiratory tract problems, a cough. now, being a pharmacy, i've got no follow—up on that, so i couldn't tell you if they'd tested positive, and then about a week after that, i started to feel unwell myself. keeping the supply of medicines flowing to those who need them will be vital in the coming months. the message is that stocks are secure, so don't panic. we've seen what has happened in supermarkets, we don't want to be the next wave of that. so we're urging everybody, stick to the supplies you have,
we'll make sure you get them in due course, but please, please think of others as well. the pressure could be eased by recruiting final—year students and recently retired pharmacist, but even with extra staff, the months ahead will be a real test. dominic hughes, bbc news, north manchester. our top story this lunchtime: ministers have sought to clarify the strict new measures introduced last night to curb the spread of the coronavirus. behind me they are planting lettuces and they will need to pick them in a month's time, but and in sport, england defender lucy bronze is your bbc women's footballer of the year 2020. she claims the title for the second time, as the award attracts the highest number of votes in
its six year history. the foreign office has advised all british nationals travelling abroad to return to the united kingdom while they can. but with huge numbers of flights cancelled, and many countries on lockdown, it can be difficult to get home. last week, the government said there could be as many as a million british citizens still abroad. our sydney correspondent shaimaa khalil has been talking to travellers in australia. australia was supposed to be about excitement and adventure. but for ash and harry are to become a time of anxiety and despair. like many travellers trying to get back to britain, their flights have been cancelled. and they are racing against time. we feel very helpless. we tried contacting the airline and we have had no luck whatsoever. we can't get a refund, so we can't get our money back to book a new flight. a lot of people are saying, just book the next flight out,
but we physically do not have the funds to do that. so we are just stranded really, aren't we? yeah. it's just unsettling to know that we might be stuck here and not able to get home for the foreseeable future. australia is in the grips of the covid—19 pandemic. many travellers told us they want to leave but they need more support. the advice from the british embassy here is this. get on a plane and get out if you can, or stay put and wait it out. but with flight cancellations, no refunds, and those depending on casual work losing theirjobs and their income, many here cannot afford either of those options. and it's notjust young travellers are stranded. sue callum is a cancer nurse from leeds. she's visiting her daughter in melbourne and is due back in work early next month. i'm an nhs worker in the uk, so whether i could volunteer in some way, shape or form, that would be something i would explore if i was anticipated being here for longer than the next
two weeks, which is what they have initially predicted. neighbouring new zealand will enter a full lockdown on wednesday, with only essential services open and international travel all but stopped. at least 300 brits are trying to leave. among them anna and phil, who want to cut short their honeymoon. i'm still a junior doctor, but i'd be able to help out in a&e as much as i can. just doing day—to—day work, seeing as many patients as possible. i'm getting lots of e—mails saying they are really in need of locums, so i do feel as a british doctor that i should be back to help them. with tighter borders and fewer flights, travellers are quickly running out of options. and many also running out of hope. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, sydney. the number of people dying from the coronavirus in spain continues to rise, with a further 514 deaths overnight.
there have been reports that soldiers have found elderly residents of retirement homes abandoned and, in some cases, dead. our correspondent, guy hedgecoe, is in madrid. tell us more, guy. well, this latest jump tell us more, guy. well, this latest jump in the figures had been at least partly expected by the authorities for they had said this was goings to be a tough week for spain, and that we could expect the numbers of deaths to increase, that has happened. a lot of that has at tributed to the fact the coronavirus has spread to retirement homes and that has been, the cause of many of
the deaths that we have seen both here in the madrid region which has been to the epicentre of the virus in spain but other parts of the country. you thank you guy. the world health organization says there is a "glimmer of hope" for italy, the worst—affected country in europe. the rate of new infections has fallen for two consecutive days, from more than 6,500 to under 5,000. the number of deaths has also declined, but the who warns it is still "very early days" for the country. a "feed our nation" campaign has been launched by farmers, to try to recruit tens of thousands of people to help save fruit and vegetables from rotting in the fields. the jobs are usually done by seasonal migrants from eastern europe, but many can't come to the uk because of the coronavirus restrictions.
richard westcott is in ely in cambridgeshire. richard? we have all seen what has happened in the supermarkets but what about the food that is going to be coming down the line in a few months‘ time? the planting lettuces behind me, those lettuces need to be picked, starting on april 222nd and they are currently very short of workers to do it because they normally come from abroad so there is this campaign like you have said, to get british people coming in and picking. beverley, you have worked for the biggest lettuce grower in
britain, one the biggest in europe, how serious is your issue? pretty serious. we find ourselves with over 2,500 vacancies that we need to fill over the next few weeks if we are to start harvest on 22nd april and you, as you say you can see them being planted. we need the people tojoin us, to come and harvest this lovely fresh food. this is going to go on all summer? if you start with us then you can work through to october. there is a big push, what
do people need toe do. sadly a ho of people are struggling for work. do people need toe do. sadly a ho of people are struggling for workm you are out of work, a student, if you are out of work, a student, if you are out of work, a student, if you are self—employed or if you have sadly been made redundant because of a business downturn log on the website. guys fresh. follow the link, we have all kinds of roles, harvest operator, production operators, there is tractor driver, all sorts of things. thank you. the message is this will make the difference between people living and people dying. you can go out to exercise once a day, orfetch food or medicine, but only with people you live with. in short, stay at home as much as possible. it will save lives.
many of you have contacted us about the restrictions now in place — so let‘s answer some of the most commonly asked questions. our home affairs correspondent, daniel sandford, is with me. these are reflective of the questions we are getting. these are reflective of the questions we are getting. carris asks: "despite the prime minister‘s announcement last night, i am fully expecting to see children on my estate playing in a large group outside. should this be reported to the police?" i think the answer to that is yes, you can let the police know. it is not a 999 issue, you can contact the police by other means. whether they will immediately come out and deal with it, i think is unclear at the
moment. moment. the regulation probably don‘t come into force until thursday, so the police probably it is worth contacting the police. chris asks: "if we‘ve ordered an elderly person some shopping as part of our online shop, are we allowed to take it round to them? it‘s about a mile away across a residential area. can we walk there? how do we prove it to the police if we are stopped on the way there or way back?" well, two things, simply, helping elderly people and dealing we‘re essential food supplies, absolutely within the rules, not a problem, and police aren‘t going to be going round stopping people walking round, so all fine. people walking round, so all fine. dave says: "since the outbreak i have been exercising while trying to avoid other people. i have been driving no more than 30 minutes to places where i do not expect to encounter other people, walking for about 60 minutes then returning home. i am concerned that, with the new restrictions, there might be an implication that you should only take exercise starting from your own home.
is this correct?" i think it isn‘t. it is fine to drive and take exercise, there is no new rules about that. the point is to try and exercise only once a day, thatis to try and exercise only once a day, that is the requests and there is no through a will stop you going somewhere to take exercise. we have been talking about business. a question from matt. matt says: "pubs in some small villages are still open. how can this be?" it is not... you need to contact your local authority. it could have implication for the pub in future in terms of it losing its license. thank you. now, sport may have come to a halt because of coronavirus, but many teams are trying to remain active in their community. stevenage football club probably have more challenges than any other — they‘re bottom of the football league in england. but they are trying to lead the way in switching their resources —
as our sports correspondent joe wilson reports. professional football, north hertfordshire. in adversity, what else to do but adapt? and so stevenage fc‘s captain and central defender becomes food deliverer. the football has stopped, but the community that surrounds the club is still there, waiting. there are people around the world that have got a lot of people they can rely on, but there are people, especially in this community, who don‘t have anyone to rely on, and it‘s good for the club to all come together and help towards the one cause. just a friendly voice at this time can be crucial. stevenage‘s foundation will continue to take calls, offer advice, even when staff start working from home. lots of football clubs are helping in various ways at the moment. but here the perspective is unique. football was suspended with stevenage admittedly at the bottom, last place in league two. a couple of weeks ago we might have even referred to that as a crisis. now we really know what a crisis is.
the perspective on the whole of football has changed. i mean, we had a really, really tough season on the field, really good season off the field. but actually, our league position is just out of the window. we‘re not worried about that. we‘re really worried about making sure the next time we kick a football here that as many of our staff, players and supporters and the volunteers are all in a healthy position to come back and support us. without money from the matches, the future is, to say the least, a challenge. but clubs like stevenage are nothing without their communities. the support is mutual. right now that may be measured in sandwiches. after all, the opponent is the same for everyone. joe wilson, bbc news, stevenage. time for a look at the weather. ben rich has that. , thank you. very good afternoon to you, it is