The North-East Lockdown
The first story today comes as the North East of England is about to experience a local lockdown for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. Earlier today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that as of midnight tonight, those living in the North East of England will no longer be allowed to meet indoors with members of another household.
In addition to this, restaurants will only be able to offer table service, while restaurants, bars and pubs will not be able to open between the hours of 10pm and 5am.
There are also a number of other restrictions that have been introduced that we will not discuss here, as it would probably take too much time and it is likely only relevant to a small number of our listeners.
This has all been done to try and lower the rising number of cases and prevent a second national lockdown.
A Drive in UK Panto
In other UK news today, it has been announced that a Christmas favourite will be hitting the road this year. As many people know, the best part of Christmas is going to a classic, cheesy, pantomime. At least in my family it is.
However, this year – alongside many sectors of the arts – the pantomime have been left pondering exactly how they will continue to entertain their customers when Christmas comes, providing social distancing is still enforced.
One group think they have found a solution to this. The Car Park Panto aims to bring pantomime to families in a similar style to drive-in cinemas. All attendees will have their tickets scanned on arrival and will be parked 2 meters away from other cars. Sound will be played through their car radios – as is common in drive-in cinemas.
As someone who has already been to a drive-in cinema (and loved it) I can’t wait to see the COVID secure panto. Roll on Christmas!
Challenging Thailand's Monarchy
In our last item today, we will have a look at an international story of a student standing up to Thailand’s monarchy. This was a bold move, as Thailand has incredibly restrictive rules about criticism of the monarchy – that can lead an offender looking at jail time of up to 15 years.
A speech was delivered by the student which outlined a 10-point manifesto that specified reforms to the monarchy. This included a monarchy that is accountable to parliament and a cut-back in spending on the monarchy.
There has, as yet, been a mixed reaction in Thailand. Some more liberal figures have praised her, others have condemned her for hating her country.
The Thai government has claimed that they respect freedom of expression, but that students should do this within the law.