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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 today - but we'll be back with more updates tomorrow morning.

    Today's live page has been brought to you by Jennifer Meierhans, Alexandra Fouché, Jo Couzens, Paul Gribben and James Clarke.

  2. What's been happening today?

    It's been a busy day, but it's time to say goodbye. Here's a summary of what's gone on during the day:

    Chart showing coronavirus situation in the UK
  3. How can I bring my second dose forward?

    Coronavirus jab

    As England opens up first doses of vaccines to everyone aged 18 and older, over-40s and people with underlying health conditions are being contacted to bring their second doses forward.

    The initial advice across the whole of the UK was to offer jabs 12 weeks apart in order to give as many people as possible a first dose.

    Now those who haven't yet had their second dose in some priority groups can have it after eight weeks.

    You can rearrange an appointment yourself, but you must first cancel your original booking online, or by calling 119.

    Second doses are also being brought forward in Scotland to eight weeks and appointments can be rebooked via the NHS Inform website.

    In Northern Ireland, the interval between doses has been reduced from 10 weeks to six weeks for appointments scheduled after 14 June.

    In Wales, the government says vaccination clinics "are accelerating second doses", and that people will be contacted by their local health board in due course.

    Here's everything you need to know about going for your jabs.

    Chart showing numbers of first and second doses given in the UK
  4. Andrew Lloyd Webber rejects Cinderella pilot scheme offer

    Lord Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber has rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's offer to add his new musical Cinderella to a pilot scheme for full-capacity live events.

    The PM said earlier this week he was in talks with the theatre impresario about including the show in the scheme.

    But Lord Lloyd Webber says the theatre industry has been treated as "an afterthought and undervalued" and he would only take part in the scheme if others in the trade were treated equally.

    On Monday, the government confirmed it would not lift all Covid restrictions until at least 19 July - delayed from the proposed date of 21 June.

    Last week, Lord Lloyd Webber said he was determined to open his show to a full house on 25 June, even if he risked being arrested.

    However, after rejecting the option to be one of the official pilot events, he has rowed back on his threat to go to jail and confirmed the show will go ahead with a 50% capacity, the current legal limit.

    Read more here.

  5. WHO says Africa is in full-blown third Covid wave

    A health worker holds a vaccine
    Image caption: Millions of vaccine doses are needed

    Africa is in the middle of a full-blown third Covid wave and there is need for more vaccination, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

    The total infections have crossed the five million mark and at least seven African countries have run out of vaccines.

    Africa remains an area of concern, even though it accounts for only about 5% of new global infections and 2% of deaths, WHO officials say.

    New cases in Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Rwanda have doubled in the past week, WHO emergencies programme head Mike Ryan is quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

    "It's a trajectory that is very, very concerning," he has told reporters at the organisation's headquarters in Geneva.

    "The brutal reality is that in an era of multiple variants, with increased transmissibility, we have left vast swathes of the population, the vulnerable population of Africa, unprotected by vaccines."

    South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt have recorded the most virus cases in the continent.

    Uganda and Namibia are experiencing a deadly third wave, with dozens of fatalities recorded daily.

    A total of 136,030 people have succumbed to the virus in different African countries, according to the WHO.

    The Delta variant is in 14 African countries while the Beta variant, first detected in South Africa, is in 25 countries.

    The WHO says there's no clear timeline on when more vaccines will be available, but there is an urgent need for them.

  6. Music fans holding tickets to postponed shows

    Concert crowd

    UK music fans are sitting on hundreds of thousands of tickets for postponed concerts rather than returning them.

    The latest four-week delay to fully unlocking Covid restrictions has pushed an additional 5,000 gigs into doubt.

    Artists such as Rag'n'Bone Man, Olly Murs and Rudimental had scheduled shows between 21 June and 19 July and face a choice of postponing or scrapping gigs.

    Industry body Live estimates the events scheduled for the next four weeks are worth £500m to the struggling sector.

    It also means fans remain out of pocket to see shows they forked out for many months ago.

    Read BBC business reporter Rebecca Wearn's full report here.

    And a guide to the rules for gigs and festivals is here.

  7. What's the latest on the roadmap for lifting UK lockdown?

    People sitting in deckchairs

    Most existing Covid restrictions in the UK are staying in place for the moment, because of concerns over the Delta variant.

    The government had hoped to "remove all legal limits on social contact" in England from 21 June.

    It's now been put back until 19 July.

    Wales announced earlier it is pausing its programme of lockdown-easing for four weeks.

    In Northern Ireland, a planned easing of restrictions has been pushed back to at least 5 July.

    And in Scotland, the current rules are expected to be extended until mid-July.

    Find a full guide to the restrictions here, while an explanation of the latest rules for weddings is here.

  8. Uefa has 'contingency plan' for Wembley games

    Wembley Stadium
    Image caption: Wembley hosted 22,500 fans - 25% of its capacity - for England's Group D fixture against Croatia

    Uefa says it is "confident" the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 will be held at Wembley as planned - but has a contingency plan amid concerns around England's coronavirus restrictions.

    The Times reported the games could be moved from London to Budapest if VIPs are not given an exemption to England's strict quarantine rules.

    The UK government has postponed lifting all restrictions until 19 July - the final of the tournament is due to take place on 11 July.

    Most countries in Euro 2020 are on the UK government's amber or red list.

    Wembley's capacity is reduced to 22,500 for group fixtures at Euro 2020, but that is set to be expanded to 45,000 - about 50% of full capacity - for games in the knockout stages.

    The matches are being treated as fan pilot events and so are exempt from strict capacity limits.

    Read more on this story here.

  9. A slim, silver lining

    Robert Cuffe

    BBC head of statistics

    Chart showing rise in Covid cases in UK

    Cases are rising in every region and nation of the UK.

    The numbers of people going into hospital are rising in Scotland and every region of England.

    The epidemic is without a doubt growing, and so we should expect to see ever higher numbers of cases and people going into hospital for a while.

    But the case numbers are not growing as quickly as they have been in recent weeks.

    Today’s figure of just over 10,000 is nearly 30% higher than last Friday’s which was, in turn about 30% higher than the week before.

    But the two weeks before that saw numbers rising by nearly 50% each week.

    Slower rises are still rises, and we’ll have to wait and see how this plays through into hospitalisations.

    But any potential slowdown is a hopeful sign – before reversing, you need to hit the brakes.

    Chart showing Covid hospital cases in different regions
  10. Enter Shikari get ready for Download Festival

    BBC Newsbeat

    Enter Shikari

    Like many others, Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds says the past 18 months have been strange.

    Last year, Covid-19 wiped out the UK's summer festival season, and this year only a handful are still taking place.

    This weekend, the band will be back on stage at Download Festival in Donnington Park, Leicestershire.

    "Can you believe it? We've been spending the last three weeks trying to work out how to be a live band again," he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

    "I remember saying halfway through the pandemic, it sort of feels like we're experiencing what the death of a band would be like, by just not being able to play."

    Read the full story here.

  11. Do Kremlin media share the blame for spreading Covid?

    Vitaliy Shevchenko

    BBC Monitoring

    People wearing face masks walk in front of a portrait of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin at the Metro station Biblioteka Lenina in Moscow, Russia, on 18 June 2021

    The recent surge in Covid numbers in Russia may be an example of how careless talk costs lives.

    For months, Russians had been told by officials and Kremlin-controlled media how successful their country had been at battling the coronavirus, while the West was described as failing miserably.

    People in Europe, for instance, were said to be confused and angry because of endless lockdowns. There were reports on Russian TV of violence, rioting and vaccine shortages in the West.

    Time and again, Russian TV described Western vaccines as part of the problem, and claimed that they were causing more deaths. No evidence was offered to back up these claims.

    Meanwhile in Russia, state TV would say, things were getting better: restrictions were being lifted, shopping centres and museums were reopening, students were going back to universities, and vaccination was proceeding apace. Only little mention was made of how many Russians exactly had been vaccinated, or how many had died because of the virus - it had been all but defeated, supposedly.

    Now the rhetoric has changed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday blamed a record number of daily Covid infections in the capital, Moscow, on "nihilism", and state TV is alarmed and broadcasting pro-vaccination appeals.

    But given the past behaviour by both officials and the media, it should perhaps come as no surprise if many in Russia are complacent and distrustful of vaccines.

  12. Nearly 470,000 vaccinations on Thursday

    Nearly 470,000 UK adults received either the first or second dose of a Covid vaccine yesterday.

    The latest government data shows 243,978 first doses were given, taking the total number of people to have received their initial jab to 42,460,632.

    A total of 223,260 people were given a second vaccination, meaning 30,898,467, or 58.7% of adults, have now had both jabs.

  13. BreakingUK reports 10,476 more cases

    There have been a further 10,476 cases of Covid in the UK, the latest government figures show.

    Another 11 deaths within 28 days of a positive test have also been announced.

    Last Friday there were 8,125 cases and 17 deaths reported.

  14. Win-win vaccine arrangement for Israelis and Palestinians

    Yolande Knell

    BBC Middle East correspondent, Jerusalem

    File picture of a woman getting a vaccine against Covid during a vaccination drive in Tubas, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in March 2021

    As we reported earlier, Israel has said it is to send at least a million doses of Covid vaccine to the Palestinian Authority in return for receiving a similar amount back later in the year.

    The deal means Israel will not waste doses that are about to expire, while the Palestinians can accelerate their vaccination programme.

    This appears to be a win-win arrangement for Israelis and Palestinians.

    The first batches have already been received by the Palestinian health ministry. It says they will be used in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and that vaccination centres will now open seven days a week with extended hours.

    Israel, which has led the world with its rapid rollout of Covid vaccines, has faced criticism for not doing more to ensure Palestinians have access.

    It denies having responsibility under international law - but Israeli health officials say there’s a benefit to helping Palestinians get immunised because of mixing of the populations.

  15. Harry Potter publisher makes vaccines compulsory

    Copies of Harry Potter books

    Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury has said vaccines will be compulsory for its staff returning to the office when it reopens.

    Many firms are having to weigh up the necessity of workforce vaccinations.

    The government has announced care home workers in England will be required to have a vaccination or risk losing their jobs.

    Bloomsbury told The Bookseller magazine, which first reported the company's decision, that it had taken both "medical and scientific advice".

    "The simple fact is that this virus is still extremely dangerous."

    The publisher is due to reopen on 19 July and made employees aware of the policy in an email ahead of the second May Bank Holiday weekend.

    Read more on this story here.

  16. MSC Cruises cancels passenger trips after overbooking

    Katie Prescott

    Today business presenter

    MSC cruise ship

    Some passengers due to set sail with cruise company MSC are having their trips cancelled because the delay to easing Covid restrictions means the ships have been overbooked.

    Cruise ships are allowed to hold up to 1,000 guests under the current guidelines.

    But MSC oversold tickets for cruises after 21 June, saying it "had fully expected that most restrictions would be removed".

    Customers who had their trips cancelled yesterday are complaining on social media about the lack of information and about being out of pocket for things such as parking, travel to the ports and hotels.

    One woman told me she paid £1,4000 for her elderly mother to go into respite care for the week.

    Andy Hunt from Essex was due to set sail from Southampton. He says: "Now they've had my money, we had the suitcases out of the garage, got the week booked off, my wife has the week booked off, the dogs are booked into kennels. I'm really, really frustrated it could have been handled so much better."

    MSC says the first 1,000 passengers who booked get priority boarding and those left will be able to rebook or get a refund. You can read more passenger reaction here.

  17. Italy slaps quarantine on UK visitors

    File picture of travellers with their luggage at Fiumicino Airport, Rome

    Italy has brought in a five-day quarantine requirement along with a mandatory Covid test for all arrivals from the UK, amid growing concerns about the spread of the Delta variant.

    Italy is on the amber list for UK travel and had, until today, not required quarantine on arrival as long as visitors presented a negative Covid test result taken in the previous 48 hours.

    Italy reported 37 coronavirus-related deaths yesterday against 52 on Wednesday, while the daily number of new infections fell to 1,325 from 1,400, the health ministry says.

    In contrast, the UK reported 11,007 new cases yesterday.

    Euro 2020 sees Wales due to play Italy in Rome on Sunday so some fans from the UK may already be in the country.

    For others who have bought tickets quarantining on arrival could mean they'd miss the match.

    The travel rules and no official fan zones mean most of the "Red Wall" will follow Euro 2020 at home or in the pub. Meet the Wales fans who will be swapping the stadium for the sofa this year.

  18. Analysis

    England's highest case rates among 16-24s

    Robert Cuffe

    BBC head of statistics

    Rates of coronavirus infection in England are highest in the North West, the Office for National Statistics estimates.

    About 0.55% of people are testing positive there, with the next closest Yorkshire & the Humber at 0.25%.

    No other English region has rates above 0.2%.

    There are possible signs of a decrease in the percentage of children testing positive in school years 7 to 11.

    The highest rates are in the group between school year 12 (16-year-olds) and those aged 24, which sees 0.5% testing positive, and among 25 to 34-year-olds - at 0.4%.

    About 0.2% of younger children would test positive and about 0.1% of older adults would test positive, the ONS says.

  19. Watch: Why US millennials are quitting big cities

    Video content

    Video caption: Why US millennials are quitting big cities

    Smaller cities around the US are offering incentives, sometimes up to $15,000 (£10,800), for young talent to move there.

    And with remote work on the rise during the pandemic, people are freer to relocate.

    Nearly one in four Americans is expected to be a fully remote worker in a few years.

  20. Should all children get a vaccine?

    A child receives a vaccination

    Vaccinating children is routine and widely accepted - measles, mumps, polio, diphtheria, rotavirus, multiple strains of meningitis, whooping cough… the list goes on. All this starts from just a few weeks old.

    So, what about Covid-19?

    Some countries are cracking on. The US is immunising children between 12 and 15. It expects to have enough safety data to go even younger next year.

    But in the UK - the BBC has been told - a decision to vaccinate all 12 to 17-year-olds is unlikely to be recommended by UK experts any time soon.

    There is a scientific question - will vaccinating children save lives? - which is complex as the answer may vary from country to country.

    There is also a moral and ethical dimension if doses destined for children would save more lives if they were given to health workers and vulnerable adults in other countries.

    Read BBC health and science correspondent James Gallagher's full report here.