Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Edited by James Clarke and Holly Wallis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye - and thanks for joining us

    That's it for our live coverage for today. It was edited by James Clarke and Holly Wallis, and written by Jennifer Meierhans, Ella Wills, Lauren Turner and Ashitha Nagesh.

  2. And what's been happening in the UK?

    There have been plenty of coronavirus developments to tell you about today and we are going to be bringing our live page to a close shortly. Here's a recap of what's been going on in the UK:

  3. What's been happening around the world?

    Here's a reminder of the stories we've been covering from around the world:

  4. Government needs to be flexible to tackle variants - Hunt

    Someone having a Covid test

    Closing the UK borders to keep out Covid variants is “not a sustainable long-term strategy”, says former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

    He told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme that the UK should have had more border controls last year and introduced them earlier, but the situation “is more complicated this year”.

    He says the countries which have followed a “zero-Covid strategy”, such as New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea, are now faced with the “terrible dilemma” of whether they keep their borders closed or whether they start to find a way of living with Covid.

    He says the UK government needs to be flexible and when “you have scares like what is happening in south London, you may need to move more countries onto the red list – you may need to do it more quickly”.

    The lesson from what is happening in south London is that “you never know what’s around the corner”, he says, and the government can’t just rely on the vaccine programme, it also needs to make sure other tools work - such as test and trace.

  5. UK's quarantine rules 'not adequate' - Labour

    A man with a suitcase

    A cluster of cases of the South African variant in south London is a result of the government failing to protect the UK’s borders against Covid variants, according to Labour.

    Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds told Radio 4’s PM programme: “There should have been a comprehensive hotel quarantining system introduced some months ago – which is what I’ve been calling for.”

    The UK has a "red list" of countries - from which entry to the UK is banned – but the new outbreak appears to have been triggered by an individual arriving from a country which wasn’t on that list.

    Thomas-Symonds said it was “precisely for this reason that the so-called red list is not adequate to protect our borders”.

    He said he wanted the government to change course and “put it in place now”, although he added whether it would remain in place after 17 May – the earliest date international travel could start under England’s roadmap - would depend on the data at the time.

    He said the worst scenario was a variant entering the country that badly affected the efficacy of the UK’s vaccines, adding that this was why it was “so vital” that the government acted now.

  6. Strike 'possible' over longer job centre opening

    People walk past a job centre

    A return to normal opening hours for job centres puts users and staff "in harm's way", a union is warning.

    Job centres went back to their pre-lockdown hours yesterday, having previously been cut to 10am to 2pm.

    The PCS union says it will not rule out strike action, arguing the extension should be put back until Covid vaccines are "fully rolled out".

    It says staff have dealt successfully with benefits claimants via video link during the pandemic and says "the vast bulk of the interviews now expected to be done face-to-face can still be carried out remotely".

    General Secretary Mark Serwotka says: "This reckless move by ministers is wholly unnecessary and risks putting both claimants and job centre staff in harm's way."

    But the government says putting opening hours back to the normal 9am-5pm will help job centres give "vital support to the most vulnerable" in society. And a spokesman says Covid safety is taken "extremely seriously".

    Read more here.

  7. UK sees 150,000 deaths involving Covid

    Robert Cuffe

    BBC head of statistics

    The UK has seen 150,000 deaths involving coronavirus, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

    These are different to the deaths we hear about every day.

    The government daily figure only counts deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

    This misses deaths that happen, say, 30 days after a positive test or where there was no test.

    So the ONS figures are more comprehensive: they look at death certificates that mention coronavirus as a factor.

    But they take longer to arrive – today’s figures only include deaths registered up to the week of 2 April.

    Covid deaths chart

    It has taken two and a half months to go from 100,000 deaths to 150,000.

    But things look very different compared to mid-January.

    Back then, things were getting worse quickly. We went from 100,000 to 125,000 in three short weeks.

    With the decreases we have seen since then, we can hope to see hundreds, rather than thousands of deaths in the coming weeks.

    Covid deaths chart
  8. Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl release a song about lockdown

    View more on youtube

    One of the biggest names in rock music, Sir Mick Jagger, has just released a song about the lockdown.

    The track, Eazy Sleazy, was written by Rolling Stones singer Sir Mick, and recorded in collaboration with another rock giant, Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters.

    The song begins with the lines: "We took it on the chin, the numbers were so grim" and the record label says Sir Mick goes on to reflect on Zoom calls, "home in these prison walls" and too much TV.

    Sir Mick said: "It’s a song that I wrote about coming out of lockdown, with some much needed optimism.

    "Thanks to Dave Grohl for jumping on drums, bass and guitar, it was a lot of fun working with him. Hope you all enjoy Eazy Sleazy.”

    Grohl added: It’s hard to put into words what recording this song with Sir Mick means to me. It’s beyond a dream come true.

    "Just when I thought life couldn’t get any crazier... and it’s the song of the summer, without a doubt!!”

  9. South Africa suspends Johnson & Johnson vaccine rollout

    South Africa has suspended the rollout of the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine while an investigation into possible blood clots takes place in the United States.

    Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says this is a "precautionary suspension".

    US health authorities are calling for a pause in the use of the jab, after reports of extremely rare blood clotting cases.

    South Africa was the first country in the world to administer the jab, and nearly 300,000 health workers have received it since mid-February.

  10. How many vaccinations have been given in the UK?

    A total of 40,107,877 vaccinations have been given in the UK, according to the government's daily figures.

    That's 32,250,481 first doses and 7,857,396 second doses.

    People aged 45 or over in England will now be invited to get a Covid jab, it was announced earlier.

    If you've not had yours yet, you can use our look-up tool to find out when you will get your vaccine.

  11. All university students in England to return from 17 May 'at the earliest'

    Image caption: About half of students have been studying off campus - and all students will now return to a mix of face-to-face and online classes

    Students on all university courses in England will be able to return from 17 May at the earliest, the government has announced.

    It means a return to campuses for about a million students, who have only been able to study online since the Christmas holidays.

    Since the start of the year, only students on practical, hands-on courses have been allowed in-person teaching.

    Students will be offered Covid tests when they return for face-to-face classes, "no earlier than 17 May".

    University leaders had been lobbying for an earlier return - saying it was unfair to keep restrictions on campuses when shops were open.

    Read the latest here.

  12. BreakingUK records 23 coronavirus deaths

    There have been a further 23 coronavirus-related deaths in the UK, according to government data.

    It means a total of 127,123 people have now died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

    A total of 2,472 new cases were detected.

  13. 'So little margin for error' with London variant outbreak

    Members of the public queue for the COVID-19 testing centre at St John"s Church in Waterloo, south London. Surge testing has begun in the boroughs of Lambeth and Wandsworth in south London
    Image caption: Members of the public queue for a Covid testing centre in south London

    As we've reported, health authorities in the London boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth are urging people to get tested, even if they have no symptoms, after cases of the South African variant were found in the area.

    Experts are concerned that this variant - along with a few others - may be able to get round some of the protection given by vaccines.

    Danny Altmann, a professor of Immunology at Imperial College London, said he was worried by the news of the outbreak.

    "It was always one of my nightmare scenarios, that just as we were being kind of coaxed to put a toe in the water of unlocking, something like this would come along," Prof Altmann told BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

    "That really can scupper our plans if we let it get out of control."

    Prof Altmann said he thought the response had been good - but "there's so, so little margin for error".

    "You only have to miss a handful of cases and have them run riot through London, and then you're back where we were back in January, February 2020 with a whole new outbreak".

    Asked whether he thought the UK's borders were too relaxed, the professor said we need to "be a bit more like the countries like Vietnam and South Korea" who have very tight border restrictions.

    And questioned on whether he thought it seemed strange that people in areas such as Lambeth were still going to the pub, he said: "It does in a way."

  14. Watch: Younger Brazilians fall ill as Covid cases explode

    Video content

    Video caption: Brazil coronavirus: Inside the crisis

    Concern is growing in Brazil about the rising number of young people who are critically ill in hospital with Covid-19.

    Research suggests more than half of patients being treated in intensive care last month were under 40.

    The BBC's Mark Lowen visited Latin America's largest cemetery, a makeshift hospital and a vaccine hub to find out why the handling of the pandemic in Brazil has become a public health disaster.

  15. Is the South Africa variant outbreak in London under control?

    Jim Reed

    BBC health reporter

    A large queue of people lined up waiting to be tested in Brockwell Park, Lambeth
    Image caption: A large queue of people lined up waiting to be tested in Brockwell Park, Lambeth

    Earlier, we brought you the news that surge testing had begun in Wandsworth and Lambeth after an outbreak of the Covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa.

    It appears to have been triggered by an individual who travelled from Africa in February, according to documents seen by the BBC.

    The documents say that in Southwark - which is to the east, the neighbouring borough - they tested sewerage water there and found traces of the South African variant in one particular area. At the moment they don't know if it's related to these other outbreaks but they are sending in targeted surge testing in Southwark.

    The impression I get is that they are quite confident this is probably under control but not certain yet at this stage, which is why they have done this huge rollout of these tests to make sure that they're going to pick up people who are asymptomatic in particular.

  16. Disabled football fans 'should be able to make their own choices'

    An empty Wembley before the Papa John's Trophy final last month
    Image caption: Big games at Wembley have been in front of empty stands throughout the pandemic

    Charities working with disabled people are criticising plans to exclude vulnerable football fans from being able to apply for tickets for the Carabao Cup final.

    It was announced earlier Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will both be allowed 2,000 fans at Wembley for the final on 25 April. But under-18s, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and pregnant women have been asked not to apply.

    Level Playing Field - a charity that campaigns for inclusive matchday experience and equal access for all disabled sports fans - says it is "very disappointed" by the decision.

    And Louise Rubin, head of policy and campaigns at disability equality charity Scope, says: "Disabled people have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic and, as the UK begins to recover from coronavirus and open up again, they should be able to access sport and other social events just in the same way as everyone else.

    "Disabled people should be able to make their own choice about what's right for them, rather than being subject to arbitrary and discriminatory blanket policies."

    The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been approached for a response.

    You can read more here.

  17. Portugal's lockdown easing 'could be halted'


    Portugal is currently in the process of easing out of its lockdown - but, senior officials have been told, this may need to be halted or reversed within two weeks.

    The country is a week into phase two of the government's roadmap for easing the lockdown imposed on 15 January, with all but the largest on-street shops allowed to open since last Monday, and cafes and restaurants open for outdoor dining.

    However, officials were told at an expert briefing that case numbers and the R number could soon breach thresholds the government has said would make it necessary to halt or even reverse course, the BBC's Alison Roberts reports.

    "With this level of growth and a rate close to 71 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the time to reach the line of 120 is between two weeks and one month," Baltazar Nunes, a biostatistician at the National Health Institute (INSA), says. He adds the Algarve, Madeira and Azores regions have already breached this threshold.

    The R rate, he adds, has also shown a "systematic increase" in recent days, with the most recent official figure - for 8 April - being 1.09.

  18. Laptop and tablet target 'nearly met'

    The Department for Education (DfE) pledged to provide 1.3 million laptops and tablets to disadvantaged pupils at the start of the pandemic - and is very close to the target, but has not yet reached it, new data suggests.

    The DfE figures show that a total of 1,295,752 laptops and tablets have been delivered or dispatched to support children to access remote education since the start of the pandemic.

    Overall, 733,331 devices have been sent to councils, academy trusts, schools and colleges across England since the most recent lockdown began on 4 January.

    Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, says: "The government has been promising for months that it would deliver 1.3 million laptops to schools and we are now tantalisingly close to seeing that target achieved.

    "We do not underestimate the scale of the government's logistical operation but the truth is they were slow to react in the first place, slow to get started and progress since has been painfully slow."

    The DfE has said it is in contact with local authorities, schools and colleges to encourage them to order their allocated devices if they have not yet done so.

  19. Pub landlord says staff having to 'police rule-benders'

    The Eagle in Norwich

    A pub landlord says his staff are having to police people who try to bend coronavirus rules by booking extra tables.

    Covid restrictions mean venues can only serve customers sitting outdoors in groups of up to six people or from two households.

    James Linder of The Eagle in Norwich says: "We've had people try to book under different names to try to form large groups - we've had to catch them out, which is not great.

    "With the greatest will in the world, they start mingling between the tables after a couple of drinks and forming one group."

    He says he has to turn tables away which loses money and upsets staff.

    "They don't want to be going in and policing people," he says.

    Trade body UK Hospitality says: "We need people to stick by the rules."

    Read more on this story here.

  20. Scotland: What Covid rules are changing, and when?

    Beach portobello
    Image caption: From Friday people will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six adults from six households in outdoor settings

    The latest announcement on Scotland's journey out of lockdown means people will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six adults from six households in outdoor settings from Friday.

    People will also be permitted to travel across Scotland as long as they do not stay overnight.

    All remaining shops and close-contact services such as nail salons are due to reopen on 26 April.

    Pubs, restaurants and bars will be able to serve people outdoors - in groups of up to six from three households - until 22:00 from that date. Alcohol will be permitted, and there will be no requirement for food to be served.

    There will also be a partial resumption of indoor hospitality - food and non-alcoholic drinks can be served until 20:00 for groups of up to four people from no more than two households. Contact details will still need to be collected.

    Here are dates for when more of the current rules will be relaxed.