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Live Reporting

Edited by Alice Evans

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all for today

    Our live reporting of the coronavirus pandemic is now finished for the day. Thanks for joining us.

    This live page was brought to you by Alice Evans, Lauren Turner, Mary O'Connor and Sarah Collerton.

    We'll see you again tomorrow for more coverage of the pandemic.

  2. The latest from the UK and around the world

    A woman walking in Nottingham

    We'll be pausing our live coverage in a few minutes, but if you're just joining us, here's a round-up of the main stories we've covered this Wednesday:

    • It's too early to say what rules will be in place this Christmas, environment secretary George Eustice has said - while warning that people "may not be able to get together in the larger groups that they normally would"
    • An apparent loophole in government rules has caused confusion over whether social clubs in England are subject to tier three Covid restrictions on the sale of alcohol. Some clubs are continuing to serve it to members - without a substantial meal - after local councils told them it was allowed
    • Nottinghamshire's move into tier three has been delayed until 00:01 on Friday and will now include the entire county, it's been confirmed. Nottingham city had the highest figures in the UK earlier this month, but its seven-day rate of infection has since dropped
    • Germany is to have a November lockdown, Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced - but schools and shops will stay open. Social contacts will be limited to two households, and bars, catering and leisure facilities will shut
    • People in France are also poised to hear about fresh lockdown measures, with President Emmanuel Macron outlining details at 20:00 (19:00 GMT)
    A graphic showing the number of Covid cases and deaths in the UK
  3. Analysis: Growing urgency to reverse trend in Covid deaths

    Nick Triggle

    Health Correspondent

    Graph showing Covid deaths in the UK

    For the second day in a row more than 300 new Covid deaths have been reported.

    Wednesday’s figure of 310 comes after 367 were reported on Tuesday.

    A week before there were 191. The figures are in line with the current trajectory, as they're doubling every two weeks.

    This is a much more gradual rise than we saw in the spring when the figures were doubling every four days at one point.

    It suggests the UK’s current approach is still slowing the spread of the virus, but will it be enough?

    We are only at the end of October and there are already nearly 10,000 patients in hospital – that is halfway to the peak seen in spring.

    With winter ahead of us and cases continuing to rise, there is a growing sense within government that something must be done to reverse the trend.

  4. Bristol's 'tier 1 plus' label for virus rules rejected

    The Bristol Old Vic

    The UK's central government has rejected the local branding of Covid restrictions in Bristol as "tier one plus" measures.

    The city - currently in tier one - is bringing in Covid marshals, conducting more analytic work, and boosting local contact tracing, to try to curb a recent rise in infections.

    Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: "These actions are being called tier one plus. Any further actions will be based on what we're seeing locally and through discussion with our local partners across the city and central government."

    But a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: "There are three local Covid alert levels which are enshrined in law and we are not considering the introduction of a 'plus' system."

    She added that local leaders can bring in some additional measures, however.

    Meanwhile, a senior council official has warned North Yorkshire's tier one status is "hanging by a thread" and that a decision on tougher restrictions could come within days.

  5. Belgian intensive care 'could be full by next Friday'

    Danai Howard

    BBC News

    ICU ward in Belgium

    Belgium could reach its maximum capacity for Covid-19 patients in intensive care by next Friday if the current rate of infections continues, officials have warned.

    There are currently 911 coronavirus patients in intensive care in Belgium, with the number having been doubling every eight days. On average, 547 people have been admitted to hospital every day over the last week, which is already 85% higher than the week before.

    “At this rate, we will reach 2,000 patients [the maximum capacity] by 6 November,” said Steven van Gucht, the spokesman for Belgium’s coronavirus taskforce.

    It's been widely reported by local media that further restrictions will come into force on Friday in Belgium’s northern Flanders region, but van Gucht has urged people not to wait until then to limit social interactions.

    “What we are doing now will have a huge impact on the expected November peak. It takes at least 10 days before each new measure has an effect on hospitals," he said.

    Belgian authorities have been accused of being slow to introduce the new measures. On Tuesday, Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon defended the decision to introduce the rules on Friday evening, telling Flemish radio: “Let it be clear: nobody is banned from applying the measures right away. It just takes a little time between political decision-making and implementing those things.”

    Belgium is currently the second hardest-hit country in all of Europe, after the Czech Republic. Over the last two weeks, 1,424 new cases have been recorded per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the ECDC.

  6. Family covers home in 100 decorations for charity Halloween display

    While Halloween will be a little different this year, one family has not let coronavirus spoil the occasion.

    The Hargreaves family, who live in Llandaff, near Cardiff, have created a spooky display of Halloween decorations to bring a smile to children's faces during Wales' lockdown and to raise money for charity.

    Rosie Hargreaves, 10, outside her family home in Llandaff, near Cardiff
    Image caption: Rosie, 10, outside her family home in Llandaff
    Danny Hargreaves, who works in TV special effects, with one of his realistic looking decorations
    Image caption: Danny, who works in TV special effects, with one of his decorations

    Danny and Carmela Hargreaves, both 41, and children Harry, 14, and Rosie, 10, spent the weekend installing more than 100 decorations - including gravestones, dragons, ghosts and giant spiders.

    The family want people follow the rules of the firebreak lockdown currently in force across Wales, and only come to visit while out for exercise.

    The Hargreaves family outside their haunted house display
    Image caption: The Hargreaves family outside their haunted house display

    Their display is in aid of the charity Dreams & Wishes, which supports seriously ill children across the UK.

  7. Headlines in Russia: Hospitals struggle as daily Covid deaths rise

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    A driver's documents being checked in Moscow
    Image caption: A driver's documents being checked in Moscow

    For a second day running, Russia has reported its highest daily count of Covid-19 deaths with a total of 346.

    It comes amid reports that the health ministry has banned doctors at state-run hospitals from making unauthorised comments on the pandemic. From now on, doctors and officials must agree comments with the ministry in advance to improve “the efficiency” of public information on Covid-19.

    Russian media reports suggest that hospitals across the country are struggling to cope with the worsening pandemic.

    Five days is the average amount of time patients in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk are having to wait for an ambulance, the popular Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid says. Local authorities point to a shortage of drivers and medics, saying that they hope to cut this to three days.

    In Siberia’s Omsk, two ambulances carrying Covid-19 patients showed up outside the local health ministry having been turned away from the city’s hospitals due to overcrowding, local news site Gorod 55 reports.

    A hospital in another Siberian city, Kuybyshev, is dealing with the problem of overcrowding by putting beds in its corridors, the local website reports. It published photos showing elderly patients curled up in makeshift beds in the hospital’s stairwells.

    Meanwhile, Moscow's mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said it is “premature” to lift current Covid-19 restrictions as he today announced he was extending certain measures - including the wearing of masks and a requirement that 30% of staff work from home - until 29 November.

    Secondary school pupils will continue to study online until 8 November, he said.

  8. Date set for Sunak's spending review

    Rishi Sunak

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced next month's spending review will take place on 25 November.

    The government scrapped its planned multi-year spending review, choosing a one-year review instead, due to the focus on the response to the pandemic. Some local leaders criticised the move, saying local authorities need "long-term financial certainty" as they deal with the effects of Covid-19.

    Sunak, who confirmed the 25 November date in a tweet, will use his review to set departmental resources and capital budgets for 2021-22, and the devolved administrations' block grants for the same period.

    Downing Street has suggested Sunak could use the review to announce extra support to feed families during the holidays.

    Funding for the NHS and schools remains multi-year, along with priority infrastructure projects.

  9. Most coronavirus fines went to under-35s

    A police officer walks past a social distancing sign in Nottingham

    Around of two-thirds of coronavirus fines have been issued to people under the age of 35 and the vast majority of fines went to men, new figures show.

    Police in England and Wales handed out 20,223 fines for breaching coronavirus restrictions between 27 March and 19 October, according to the National Police Chiefs' Council data.

    Of those fines:

    • 78% were issued to men
    • 35% went to 18 to 24-year-olds
    • 18% to those aged 25-29
    • 14% to people aged 30-34

    In England, 64 fines were issued for large gatherings such as illegal raves and parties, carrying a £10,000 penalty. Two were handed out in Wales.

    Provisional figures for England's recently introduced three-tier system show 268 fines have been issued, with 65 handed out for a breach of regulations in tier one, 79 in tier two, and 124 in tier three.

  10. BreakingUK records a further 310 daily Covid deaths

    Another 310 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, the latest government figures show.

    It brings the total number of coronavirus deaths to 45,675, using that measure.

    There have also been a further 24,701 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK as of 09:00 on Wednesday, taking the total number of UK cases to 942,275.

    On Tuesday, the UK recorded its highly daily death figure since May, after 367 people were reported to have died with the virus.

  11. Germany 'to go into lockdown next week'

    People on the street in Frankfurt, Germany

    A broad but limited lockdown in Germany is going to take place from 2 November, reports say. An earlier draft plan, which we reported on, had the start date as two days later.

    Under the proposals, as yet unconfirmed:

    • Schools would remain open
    • Social contacts would be limited to two households and tourism would be halted
    • Cinemas, theatres, leisure centres would be shut
    • Bars would close and restaurants would be limited to takeaways
    • Tattoo and massage parlours would shut but hairdressers would be allowed to stay open
    • Companies badly hit by the lockdown could be reimbursed with up to 75% of their November 2019 takings

    Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers will reconvene on 11 November to reassess the situation, under those proposed measures.

  12. Confusion as social clubs serve alcohol in tier 3 areas

    A server pours a pint

    An apparent loophole in government rules for England has caused confusion over whether social clubs are subject to tier three Covid restrictions on serving alcohol.

    In areas placed in tier three, pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals, and alcohol can only be served as part of a meal.

    But some social clubs are continuing to serve alcohol to members without a substantial meal after their local councils told them it was permitted.

    There are thousands of members clubs across England, including conservative clubs, working men's clubs and sports clubs.

    Councils in Wirral, Preston and Fylde have all advised their local social clubs that the discrepancy exists because they hold club premises certificates and not premises licences.

    The Association of Conservative Clubs, which represents more than 800 clubs, said "the legislation could be amended in the future to close this 'loop hole'".

    The Department for Health and Social Care has been contacted for comment.

  13. Spook-tacular ways to mark Halloween during a pandemic

    Elizabeth Lusty and family
    Image caption: Elizabeth Lusty runs online choirs and is hosting a Halloween-themed session with fancy dress

    Halloween is normally a time for creepy costumes, party games and trick or treating.

    But with a rise in UK coronavirus cases and different rules about what you can and can't do, many of us will be wondering how we can still have a safe 31 October.

    A Halloween pirate ship comes complete with a skeleton crew in Bristol
    Image caption: A Halloween pirate ship comes complete with a skeleton crew in Bristol

    Take a look at our rundown of things to do this Halloween:

    • While trick or treating might be off the cards for many of us, if restrictions allow, why not try 'reverse trick or treating' by dropping off pre-packed sweets on neighbours' doorsteps or a scavenger hunt for Halloween items
    • Put your best costume on for a virtual mass Monster Mash singalong or get some terrifying treats in for a scary movie night
    • Struggling in the costume department? Why not make a face covering part of your outfit - there are plenty of options available online if DIY is not for you
    • If the rules allow, head out to admire the decorated Halloween houses in your local neighbourhood - several areas have already set up their safe trails of the spookiest houses to visit

    You can read more here.

  14. Drug firms make vaccine supply deal

    A scientist working in a lab (file photo)

    Drug companies GSK and Sanofi are to supply 200 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine candidate to a global inoculation scheme.

    The vaccine, going through the first stages of testing, will be supplied to the Covax scheme, which is backed by the World Health Organization.

    Covax, which aims to deliver two billion vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2021, has already signed agreements this year with AstraZeneca and Novavax.

    It aims to discourage national governments from hoarding Covid-19 vaccines and to focus on vaccinating high-risk people first in every country.

    More than 180 nations, including China, have joined the plan, but some, including the US, have opted to stick with their own supply deals.

    GSK and Sanofi hope to have the first results of its trial by December. If it is successful, they will move on to further trials by the end of the year.

  15. Inside one hospital's battle with Covid-19

    Healthcare worker with a patient

    Healthcare workers have been on the frontline of the pandemic for the last nine months, fighting to treat and save as many people infected with Covid-19 as possible.

    With the second wave already here in the UK, the battle isn't over yet - as the BBC's Marie-Louise Connolly found out when she spent a day observing staff at Northern Ireland's Altnagelvin Hospital.

    Many nurses there are working gruelling five-day stretches of 12-hour shifts to ensure colleagues and wards are not left understaffed.

    They are supposed to work one week of four - the next week three. They say that rarely happens.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was talk of staff burnout, post-traumatic stress disorder and coping with depression.

    But despite the tremendous pressure staff are under, the BBC found a strong sense of calm and order, with patients shown huge dignity and kindness.

    You can read more here.

  16. More Boeing job cuts as pandemic losses mount

    Boeing aircraft

    Boeing is to cut another 7,000 jobs as its losses mount in the pandemic.

    The US plane maker, which had already announced deep cuts, said its staff would number just 130,000 by the end of next year - 20% down on the 160,000 it employed before the crisis.

    The continuing pandemic and safety concerns about its 737 Max jet have contributed to a slump in orders.

    The pandemic has caused a huge drop in air travel, pushing major airlines to the brink of bankruptcy and forcing them to cut staff and drop plans for new aircraft.

    As a result, Boeing has slashed production and also cut jobs.

    It posted a loss of $466m (£354m) for the three months to 30 September, its fourth straight quarterly decline.

  17. What's happening with testing in India's capital?

    Shruti Menon

    BBC Reality Check

    Man getting swab test at Delhi testing centre

    India’s capital city is witnessing a fresh spike in coronavirus cases, although overall numbers have been declining in the country since a peak in September.

    On Tuesday, Delhi recorded 4,853 cases, the most detected so far in a single day since the pandemic hit India in March.

    This spike in cases comes after a change in testing strategy, with the Delhi authorities moving to the gold standard PCR tests from less accurate (but faster) rapid antigen tests.

    The city has re-tested about 85% of those who had tested negative in rapid antigen tests in October, but still had symptoms, compared with 10-15% in September.

    Delhi is conducting nearly 60,000 tests a day - a number that’s been more or less constant for some months. The proportion of positive tests is going up steadily, which suggests the city needs a further ramping up of reliable testing.

    Read more on India's testing strategies here.

  18. Wales records highest daily death toll in six months

    First Minister Mark Drakeford

    Wales has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus deaths in more than six months, the Welsh first minister has said.

    Mark Drakeford tweeted: "I am deeply saddened the number of coronavirus deaths in Wales reported over the past 24 hours is 37 - the highest number in more than 6 months."

    There have also been a further 1,414 cases of Covid-19 recorded in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 46,459.

    Public Health Wales said after the latest 37 deaths, the total number had risen to 1,827.

    On Tuesday, the UK as a whole recorded its highest daily death toll since May, after another 367 people died within 28 days of a positive test.

  19. Warning over 'dramatic' rise in Kenya's cases

    Peter Mwai

    BBC Reality Check

    Pupis in classrooms in Kenya
    Image caption: Pupis returned to classrooms in Kenya earlier this month

    The World Health Organization (WHO) says Kenya has witnessed a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in the last month.

    It says the country reported 4,594 new cases in the past week - up 51% on the previous week.

    That's the second-highest number of new weekly cases in the WHO's Africa region, excluding Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia.

    Restrictions in Kenya were eased in late September, allowed bars and restaurants to reopen, and overnight curfew hours to be reduced.

    Teaching in some school classes resumed in mid-October.

    Across the whole of Africa there have been 1.7 million recorded Covid cases, and more than 41,000 deaths.

  20. 'No-one is safe until everyone is safe'

    Kevin Connolly, BBC Europe Correspondent

    Ursula Von Der Leyen (file image)

    The European Commission is calling on member states of the EU to co-ordinate their coronavirus policies as infections continue to rise.

    Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen is proposing leaders of member states co-operate on quarantine rules and travel policies.

    Von Der Leyen says the commission wants member states to agree a European Passenger Locator Form which would allow continent-wide contact tracing.

    She’s also called for common policies on quarantine, self-isolation and travel rules and information sharing about hospital capacity.

    The biggest test for EU solidarity will come when a vaccine becomes available and member states have to decide how to share it between their own populations and those of their neighbours.

    In her call for solidarity, Von Der Leyen said: "No-one is safe until everyone is safe."

    Brussels also wants EU governments to co-ordinate their testing strategies and make more use of rapid antigen tests.

    It comes as Germany and France are set to enter new lockdowns.

    Germany is expected to have a "lockdown light" in November while France is set to announce a four-week lockdown which would be less severe than that in spring.

    Details of the measures to be introduced in each country are expected later.