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Live Reporting

Edited by James Clarke

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye

    That's all from us for now. Today's updates have been brought to you by Doug Faulkner, Francesca Gillett, Joshua Cheetham, John Hand and James Clarke.

    We'll be back with more coronavirus news tomorrow.

  2. What's been happening in the UK today?

    And before we go here's a reminder of today's main coronavirus headlines in the UK.

    • After yesterday's milestone - announcing no new Covid deaths for the first time since the pandemic began - there's been some more good news with vaccination figures. More than three quarters of all adults have now received a first vaccine dose, and nearly half are fully vaccinated with two
    • The anticipation continues about whether lockdown in England can be fully lifted on 21 June, but today a government scientific adviser says the current data looks "encouraging". Prime Minister Boris Johnson also reiterates there's nothing in the data to suggest lifting lockdown can't go ahead
    • The government has set out its £1.4bn plan to help school children catch up on the learning they missed during lockdowns. Most of the money will be spent on tutoring pupils who need it most. But there's been backlash to the plan from headteachers who say it doesn't go far enough to make up for the lost learning - and the money breaks down to £50 extra per pupil per year
    • Scotland's national clinical director has warned the country is at the beginning of a third wave of Covid and more cases are inevitable as society gradually opens up. "The question is how big that third wave is," he says
    • Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been speaking at an international summit the UK is hosting to discuss and compare countries' vaccine programmes. Giving tips of why he thinks the UK's uptake has been so high, Hancock says encouragement from celebrities - such as David Attenborough and the Queen - has helped.
    Matt Hancock speaking at the summit in Oxford
    Image caption: Matt Hancock has been reflecting on the UK's vaccine rollout at a conference in Oxford
  3. What's the latest around the world?

    An international traveller wearing a mask is seen wearing a face shield before entering Hotel Quarantine at the Intercontinental Hotel on April 08, 2021

    Thanks for joining our rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. We'll be bringing things to a close soon but in case you're just joining us, here are some of the biggest developments of the day around the world:

    • More than 171 million infections and 3.5 million Covid-related deaths have been reported globally, according to data from US-based Johns Hopkins University
    • The US, India and Brazil are continuing to report the highest numbers of cases and deaths
    • The International Labor Organisation (ILO) predicts global job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic will not be recovered until 2023. The UN body says the global recovery will be uneven, partly because of unequal vaccine access
    • Singapore's health ministry says it has approved the use of China's Sinovac vaccine through a special government access route, a day after the World Health Organisation approved it for emergency use. The jab can be stored in a normal fridge, unlike some of its competitors
    • Over in Australia, the state of Victoria is extending its lockdown for another week due to an outbreak in Melbourne of the B.1.617.1 strain - now named the Kappa variant
    • Japan has pledged $800m (£564m) towards the global Covax scheme, on top of the $200m it has already given. During a Japan-hosted summit, Mexico and Poland also joined as new donors to the scheme, which aims to equitably distribute vaccines around the world. The commitments made by various countries today are expected to fill a funding shortfall of $1.7bn.
  4. What a difference a few days makes...

    Carrie and Boris Johnson on their wedding day (left) and Boris Johnson in the Downing Street garden to be interviewed
    Image caption: Carrie and Boris Johnson on their wedding day (left) and Boris Johnson in the Downing Street garden to be interviewed

    In the matter of a few days Boris Johnson has used the Downing Street garden for two very different purposes.

    On Saturday it was the venue for the celebration of his wedding to Carrie while on Wednesday he was meeting members of the media there to talk about the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic and funding for education.

  5. PM: More coming for education

    Video content

    Video caption: PM on catch-up funding: 'There's more coming'

    Speaking in the Downing Street garden earlier, the prime minister said "there's going to be more coming down the track" in terms of money for education.

    Asked if more funds were being made available on top of the £1.4bn announced earlier for Covid catch-up plans Boris Johnson said "of course" but added that today's money was a "huge amount".

    The prime minister says England is engaged in the "biggest tutoring programme anywhere in the world".

    He says there is no doubt "many kids are incredibly resilient... but a lot of them also need help to catch up" and says the funding should "give parents the confidence that their child is going to get particular attention", as well as "find potential in kids that may be missed in the back of the classroom".

  6. Covid hospital admissions hit record low in Wales

    Hospital trolley

    There's some good news from Wales - the number of Covid-19 admissions into the nation's hospitals has hit record low levels.

    There were six confirmed or suspected Covid patients admitted on Tuesday - all in the Cardiff and Vale health board area - a record low during the pandemic.

    Most of Cardiff and Vale's admissions have been patients in the emergency unit who were tested after reporting a Covid symptom.

    They are then flagged as suspected until the majority are ruled out by a test.

    Covid admissions now make up just 1.3% of all hospital admissions in Wales.

  7. Poor leadership hampers Latin America's Covid recovery, says PAHO

    Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization

    The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has said a lack of effective political leadership has hampered efforts to stop the spread of Covid in Latin America, reports Reuters news agency.

    The international health body says despite an overall reduction in cases across the US, Canada and Mexico, infections are still on the rise in the rest of the Americas.

    "Sadly across our region we've seen misinformation about Covid-19 sow doubt on proven health measures, often in the context of political disputes," says PAHO head Carissa Etienne, according to Reuters.

    "By stoking controversy where there is none, our leaders are sending mixed messages to the public and standing in the way of effective measures to control the virus."

    The highest rate of infections has been flagged in Colombia, where new cases have tripled in some regions. Brazil is also seeing a fresh wave of infections and hospitalisations.

    Etienne warns Haiti is now of greatest concern in the continent. She says measures to stop the transmission are also being largely ignored by the population in Haiti, despite a sharp rise in cases and deaths. But Etienne says it is encouraging that Haiti's government has accepted the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  8. Analysis

    Three quarters with first dose is good - but still a long way to go

    Robert Cuffe

    BBC head of statistics

    Three quarters full is still a quarter empty.

    Unfortunately, even with three quarters of adults having received at least one dose, there’s still a way to go.

    The first dose of the vaccine gives reduced protection against what will soon be the main type of coronavirus in the UK.

    That’s the variant first identified in India and now known as either B.1.617.2 or Delta.

    There may be a small proportion of elderly and vulnerable people who are not vaccinated or who don’t get full protection.

    But this is a large country and that’s still a large number of elderly or vulnerable people.

    If this new strain of the virus truly is as infectious as some estimates suggest, it will find those people and we could see large numbers going into hospital.

    Every person fully vaccinated makes it harder for the virus to spread and find them.

    But we don’t know exactly how infectious it is. That’s the key job of the next few weeks – finding out whether the virus we’ll be facing in the summer could cause a big third wave or, hopefully, just a ripple.

  9. What's the latest with vaccine passports?

    A man holding up a NHS vaccination card
    Image caption: NHS vaccination cards remind people to have their second jab - but do not act as a passport

    Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked about vaccine passports, and the government's latest thinking on whether they could be used for mass gatherings such as concerts.

    The government is currently trialling different ways to run large events, to see how social distancing, ventilation and mass testing can be used. Using vaccine passports hasn't yet been trialled but the government hasn't ruled it out.

    Currently, the NHS app (different to the NHS Covid app) offers people proof of their NHS vaccine status, which could be useful for travel.

    Hancock says: "One of the parts of step four is to set out four reviews, one of those is into certification.

    "Being able to certify that you've had a vaccine is going to be necessary for international travel because some countries have already set out that they require proof that you've been vaccinated. And that means being able to prove with authority that you've had one of the jabs, and confidence in which jab, accepted for that proof - which is a matter for each individual country.

    "We've provided the ability to show that through the NHS app, so we're putting that certification in place where we know it will be needed.

    "When it comes to using certification for domestic purposes, that is the review that Michael Gove is leading, and we'll come forward with the conclusions of it soon."

    You can read more about vaccine passports here.

  10. How quickly are vaccines being rolled out around the world?

    Two men carry a container with vaccines

    UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been speaking about the vaccination programme in his country and around the world - but how is the rollout of vaccines going globally?

    According to the latest data, almost two billion doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered, in at least 190 countries.

    But there are vast differences in the pace of progress.

    Some countries have secured and delivered doses to a large proportion of residents - but some are still waiting for their first shipments to arrive.

    China and the US have administered the highest number of doses, with about 664 million and 295 million respectively.

    But while nearly all of Europe and the Americas have begun vaccination campaigns, a few countries in Africa have yet to get started.

    Many poorer countries are relying on deliveries from Covax, a scheme to pool the global vaccine effort and ensure fairer global distribution. It's being led by vaccine alliance Gavi, the World Health Organization, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

    Read our explainer here.

  11. Airline industry body calls for travel restriction easing

    A plane takes off in view of a British Airways aeroplane at Heathrow Airport on February 13, 2021 in London

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association for global airlines, has renewed its calls for government to ease travel restrictions, according to the Reuters news agency.

    The industry body points to an NHS study that shows a low incidence of Covid among incoming passengers to the UK.

    The data reveals a 2.2% positivity rate among 365,895 travellers between February and May of this year. When excluding passengers from Britain's high-risk "red list," this fell to 1.46%.

    "These data tell us that we can do better," says IATA's director general Willie Walsh. "Universal restrictions on people are no longer needed."

  12. Six Scotland players to miss match after positive case

    Che Adams and John McGinn celebrate

    A further six Scotland footballers will miss Wednesday's friendly against the Netherlands due to Covid-19 fears following John Fleck's positive test.

    David Marshall, Stephen O'Donnell, Nathan Patterson, Grant Hanley, John McGinn and Che Adams are not travelling with the squad to Portugal.

    They have all tested negative but have been kept back as a precaution.

    Sheffield United midfielder Fleck is self-isolating at Scotland's training camp in Alicante having tested positive on Tuesday.

  13. Free circus tickets offered to vaccinated Russians

    Damien Sharkov

    BBC Monitoring

    Omsk State Circus building
    Image caption: The Omsk State Circus building is used for a variety of events, including circuses, concerts and a film festival

    A region of Russian Siberia is giving away 1,000 circus tickets to locals who agree to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

    In a bid to encourage more people to get the jab, the health ministry in Russia's Omsk Region has announced residents may claim a free ticket to the Omsk State Circus in exchange for getting their jab at a newly-set-up vaccination site on the circus premises.

    Those who attend a vaccination there will be issued a certificate which can be exchanged at the circus box office for a ticket to the next lion show performance, Interfax news agency reports.

    Tatyana Kazantseva, head doctor at Omsk city clinic Number 10, suggested the move may be popular among Russians who have been reluctant to book a vaccination in a medical setting, adding the new site is well stocked with Russia's Sputnik V and CoviVac vaccines.

    "We are administering jabs in our clinic as well, but not every person wants to go to a medical facility for this, fearing a large congregation of people," she says, according to Interfax.

    "For this reason, organising a medical office such as this in the building of the circus, directly in the centre of the city, will allow many Omsk locals to have their jab done without queuing."

    The facility is one of many vaccination sites opened across Russia at non-medical sites such as shopping centres or sporting venues.

    In recent months Russian government officials have been hard-pressed to offset persistent signs of low public enthusiasm for vaccines.

    Russia's Academy of Sciences suggested last week the current speed of vaccination was "insufficient" - with only 8% of the population fully vaccinated.

  14. BreakingNearly half of all adults are fully vaccinated, latest figures show

    The UK's daily coronavirus figures have been published by the government, showing a further 4,330 new confirmed coronavirus cases - higher than yesterday's 3,165.

    And following yesterday's milestone - the first time the UK announced no new coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began - the figures today show a further 12 people have died.

    Because of reporting lags at weekends, the number of cases and deaths are often lower at the start of the week - and that may partly explain why there appears to be a jump in the numbers between yesterday and today.

    In terms of vaccinations, the figures show more than 26 million people are now fully vaccinated - that's nearly half of the adult population, at 49.5%.

    And more than 39.5 million people have had their first dose - more than 75% of all adults.

  15. Crime in major cities plummets during lockdowns

    A police tape seen at a crime scene in London

    Urban crime around the world fell by more than a third during Covid restrictions, with robberies and theft almost halving, according to new research.

    The study by researchers at the universities of Cambridge and Utrecht looked at crime statistics from 27 cities in 23 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

    Although lockdown measures varied from city to city the researchers found most types of crime fell.

    The exception was homicide - where the average reduction was only 14%. Researchers say this might be down to a number of factors - in many societies a large number of homicides are domestic. For example, in England and Wales, 35% of female homicides are committed by a partner or ex-partner.

    The way criminal gangs operate, and their involvement in homicides, may also be less affected by the restrictions imposed on people’s daily lives in the pandemic.

    But overall, the trend was clear with stricter lockdowns seeing fewer crimes.

    “City living has been dramatically curtailed by Covid-19, and crime is a big part of city life,” says Professor Manuel Eisner, director of the Violence Research Centre at the University of Cambridge.

    “No drinkers spilling into the streets after nights out at bars and pubs. No days spent in shops and cafés or at the racetrack or football match. Some cities even introduced curfews. It choked the opportunism that fuels so much urban crime,” he adds.

  16. Language teaching 'all but collapsed' in pandemic

    languages

    A new report has come out looking at how pupils in Northern Ireland are being taught modern languages such as French, German, Irish and Spanish.

    It found teaching modern languages at primary school "has all but collapsed" due to the pandemic - and NI pupils spend less time on compulsory languages than any other country in Europe.

    The British Council's Language Trends 2021 report is based on responses from more than 120 primary school principals and more than 1,500 year nine pupils.

    Meanwhile, the number of pupils studying French is dropping and Spanish may soon overtake it as the most popular language at both GCSE and A-level.

    Read more here.

  17. Link between cases and deaths 'crucial' in opening up

    Matt Hancock a the Jenner Institute

    Matt Hancock says the government will look at the number of cases and "crucially the link from cases to hospitalisations and deaths" when considering the 21 June roadmap date for further easing restrictions.

    "What really matters and is hardest to judge right now is how much the vaccine has severed that link," he says.

    Asked if the government has considered waiting until the end of July to end restrictions, by which time all adults should have been offered a first dose, the health secretary says we do know the vaccines are effective against the Delta variant after two doses.

    "The second doses now cover the vast majority of those who are likely to end up dying from Covid-19 and the vast majority of those who, without a vaccine, would end up in hospital," he says.

  18. President Duterte calls on Filipinos to get jabs

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

    As Health Secretary Matt Hancock reflects on the UK's high vaccine pickup, over in the Philippines the government there has revealed it's far behind its immunisation targets.

    In light of the new data, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has appealed to the public to get vaccinated, as the country grapples with one of Asia's most severe and long-running outbreaks.

    "This is the most, if not the only... effective way, to defeat the coronavirus pandemic," Duterte says in a televised address.

    "Let us all keep in mind that the vaccine will not only protect you from the virus, it will also protect your loved ones, especially the sick and elderly," he adds.

    John Wong, a data analyst with the government's Covid task force, says in the three months since inoculations began, only 14% of elderly citizens and 8% of people with health conditions have received a jab - short of the government's 21% target.

    In addition, only half of the 21.1 million people eligible for a second dose have come back to receive it.

    The slow roll-out has been attributed to limited supplies, accessibility problems and vaccine hesitancy.

    The Philippines has recorded 1.24 million Covid cases and more than 21,000 deaths since its national outbreak began.

    The government says it expects a steadier supply of vaccines from this month. Nearly 10 million doses of various vaccine brands are due for delivery in June.

  19. UK negotiating with AstraZeneca for variant vaccine

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock says over half a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been released across the world, "mostly to low and middle income countries".

    He describes the UK helping the vaccine to be available at cost with no charge for the intellectual property as "the greatest gift this country can give the world".

    Hancock says the global debate is increasingly turning to how to vaccinate the whole world, including among the G7 health ministers.

    He says the UK has started commercial negotiations with AstraZeneca for a vaccine targeted at variants of concerns - including the variant first identified in South Africa, known as Beta.

  20. Being honest helps to tackle vaccine fake news - Hancock

    A person holds a sign as demonstrators participate in an anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protest, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain
    Image caption: An anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protest was held in London at the weekend

    Matt Hancock has been sharing the UK's experience of dealing with fake news about vaccines.

    He's at the Global Vaccine Confidence Summit, which the UK is hosting and sees countries discuss and compare tips on vaccine rollouts.

    Hancock says the UK has had "some of our best people on the case" to counter myths and lies and ensure people being treated with respect when responding to vaccine hesitancy.

    He says openness and honesty is a "crucial component".

    "Because it's not just been about getting all those positive facts to people but being honest and transparent about the difficult ones too - being upfront and completely transparent, for instance, about side effects, levelling with people that our supply will be lumpy and changing from week to week.

    "And being open, when we haven't known the answer, like for instance we took time to find out the impact of new variants. So we didn't jump on the answers people wanted to hear."