Monday evening news briefing: Pubs open but no alcohol in new Covid rules for Wales

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Alcohol to be banned in pubs and restaurants in Wales

Now you cannot even drown your sorrows. Pubs and restaurants across Wales will be banned from selling alcohol and forced to close by 6pm under new Covid-19 restrictions due to come into force from Friday evening. The latest restrictions come as a Cabinet minister suggested drinkers in England could order a Scotch egg with their pint to get around Tier 2 restrictions. Meanwhile, the Government has published its impact assessment of the new tiers arrangement for England several hours later than expected, with rebels criticising Boris Johnson for the delay. The 48-page report has acknowledged the "knock-on implications" of restrictions on other health services, mental health and physical wellbeing as well as the economic impact. Our liveblog has the latest.

In a Downing Street press conference this evening, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said "while we can let up a little we can’t afford to let up a lot" as he revealed coronavirus cases dropped 30% last week. It comes after it emerged the Moderna vaccine offers 100% protection against Covid-19 in some circumstances. There appears to be no evidence efficacy is worse at older ages, primary analysis for the final phase of the study suggests. As many of us look forward to the prospect of life getting back to normal next year, Jessica Cook explains why many millennials are secretly relieved that Christmas might be cancelled.

Taxman could miss out if Arcadia collapses today

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire Arcadia – the owner of brands like Topshop and Miss Selfridge – is poised to go into administration, after denying it was on the brink of collapse and rejecting a £50m loan offer by Fraser Group’s Mike Ashley. Yet taxpayers could miss out on claiming millions of pounds if the firm collapses today. Simon Foy details how. In a strange twist, the future of Green’s empire and its rival Debenhams, another fallen high street star, are bound together. Ben Marlow analyses how SportsDirect owner Ashley has positioned himself as their saviour in a bid to steal Green’s high street crown. Stephen Doig looks back at how Burton was once the everyman brand that brought tailoring to the masses. Click here for a gallery of the Arcadia of yesteryear.

How Halo system saved Grosjean’s life in fireball crash

Crashes like Romain Grosjean’s at the Bahrain Grand Prix are supposed to be a thing of the past in Formula One. Yet on Sunday, the F1 world held its collective breath before images of Grosjean emerging from the fiery wreck of his Haas car confirmed his safety. That he could do so is due to the decades of work. No doubt the Halo — controversially introduced in 2018 — played a part in saving his life. Luke Slater pieces together how the horror crash unfolded — and how the Halo saved Grosjean’s life. Jim White analyses the link between the threat of death and F1’s appeal.

At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines

  • What rules? | PM warns celebrities like Rita Ora to follow measures
  • Illegal parties | Officers tackle large student gatherings – video
  • Covid fines | Double to £1.3m as police ramp up enforcement
  • Turkey sandwiches | What Christmas on campus will look like
  • Covid Christmas | How to make your festive food extra special

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Brexit talks | EU governments are getting impatient over the lack of progress in the Brexit negotiations, Angela Merkel said today. James Crisp has the latest – and subscribers can join him and Brexit Editor Dia Chakravarty, as they survey the final stages of the talks. Here is how.

  • PC Harper | Killer should have life sentence, Attorney General says
  • Missing explorer | Hiker’s boyfriend scours French Pyrenees ‘alone’
  • Sage sexism row | Christmas document says women ‘carry burden’
  • ‘Concreted over’ | 5,000-home plan on landscape linked to Constable
  • ‘Fair enough’ | Maureen Lipman accepts ‘scrapheap’ for ageing actors

Around the world: Ethiopian conflict leaves little hope

Reports of mass atrocities by government forces and forces loyal to Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front have been coming in thick and fast. But almost no one inside Tigray seemed to have any phone battery to take photos or make a phone call. At the same time, local and international journalists have not been allowed independent access to cover the conflict meaning that very little solid information is coming out of the world’s latest war zone. Instead, they have had to work with dozens of accounts of refugees flooding out of Tigray into Eastern Sudan. Africa Correspondent Will Brown has this harrowing story.

Monday interview

Crystal Dunn interview – ‘ I could not stay silent on race war’

US World Cup winner Crystal Dunn tells Molly McElwee about her love for Chelsea, fighting injustice and adopting chickens

Read the full interview

Comment and analysis

  • Ross Clark | It’s wrong to claim only lockdown avoids NHS overflow
  • Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | We’re close to repeating austerity errors
  • Tom Harris | Covid crisis is lesson in how Scottish nationalism works
  • Tim Stanley | The democratic case against fixed foreign aid
  • Sam Brodbeck | Stingy Premium Bonds won’t make good presents

You Are Not Alone: Getting you through lockdown

  • The diet of 2021 | The secret to the ‘green Med diet’ and shedding the pounds
  • New way of life | The Zoom boom means we’ve all got a personal trainer now
  • In praise of pony books | The genre that inspired a generation of girls
  • Business and money briefing

    Caffeine injection | The Issa brothers, the billionaire owners of the UK’s largest petrol forecourt operator, have launched a takeover bid for beleaguered coffee shop chain Caffe Nero. Read on for details.

    • Global demand | Nuclear looks to hydrogen in bid to secure its future
    • Is it worth it? | Vanguard offers savers ‘free drawdown’ – analysis
    • On top of markets | Live stocks and shares updates 24 hours a day

    Sport briefing

    How to make rugby more entertaining | "Like watching two teams of robots going through the paces," was one assessment of Wales v England on Saturday, as rugby union was again the target of criticism. Our experts compile their manifesto for changing the sport, while Maggie Alphonsi selects her team of the Autumn Nations Cup weekend.

    • Gavin Mairs | Rugby union has shot itself in the foot again
    • Raul Jimenez | Surgery on fractured skull after awful clash of heads
    • Klopp rant dissected | Is there merit to Liverpool boss’ argument?

    Tonight’s TV  

    Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me, BBC One, 9pm; Scotland, 10.45pm | Anton Ferdinand presents an important documentary about the way in which the national game engages with racism. Read on for more.

    And finally… for this evening’s downtime

    ‘Why I’m selling Steve McQueen’s watch’ | The Heuer Monaco worn by the ‘King of Cool’ in Le Mans will be auctioned next month and a bidding frenzy has begun. Tracey Llewellyn speaks to Haig Alltounian, the chief mechanic for the film, who reveals how Steve McQueen gave him his watch – and reveals why he is giving it up.

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