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Live Reporting

Edited by Martha Buckley

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye

    That's all from your live page team today - the updates have been brought to you by Becky Morton, Doug Faulkner, Francesca Gillett, George Wright, James Clarke, Jenny Matthews, Katie Wright, Martha Buckley, Sinead Wilson and Sophie Williams.

  2. What's happened today?

    A woman wearing a mask on a bus

    It's been a busy day with a big announcement on lockdown in England. Here's a recap of the main Covid news:

    • England's coronavirus rules are set to end in a fortnight, Boris Johnson has confirmed. On 19 July, rules such as the requirement to wear masks, the rule of six and the ban on nightclubs are expected to end. Work-from-home guidance will also go, and venues like sports stadiums and theatres can return to full capacity. The changes still need to be signed off on 12 July, once Johnson has looked at the data. More on what's changing here
    • There's been quite a bit of reaction to the plan. Critics including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer say it's reckless to lift all restrictions and some rules, like the requirement to wear masks, should stay. People who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable have also expressed concern that all rules are going, and they'll feel more at risk. And trade unions say workers in shops and on public transport will be more at risk if people aren't made to wear masks
    • The Duchess of Cambridge is having to self-isolate for 10 days after she came into contact with someone who later tested positive for Covid. Kensington Palace said she does not have any symptoms, but is "following all relevant government guidelines"
    • Former Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Davis, 28, is in hospital with a "horrific" bout of Covid. She has shared a series of videos from her hospital bed, where she has been on painkillers and using an oxygen mask and intravenous drip
    • Captain Sir Tom Moore, who became a household name during the coronavirus lockdown after he fundraised more than £32m for the NHS, has been laid to rest. His ashes have been buried alongside his parents and grandparents at the family grave
    • The number of UK cases has risen by more than 27,000, while a further nine new deaths were announced on Monday.
  3. A round-up from around the world

    People in hospital in Indonesia
    Image caption: Oxygen supplies have been running low in Indonesia for days

    We'll be wrapping up our live page coverage for the day shortly, thanks for joining us. Here's a round-up of the latest developments from around the world.

    • Indonesia is facing an oxygen crisis as hospitals struggle to cope with a surge in cases
    • Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, has been admitted to hospital with Covid-19
    • Malaysians struggling amid a strict lockdown are flying white flags outside their homes as a plea for help
    • Ugandans who violate the pandemic control restrictions may go to jail for up to two months, according to new rules
    • The mortuary in Fiji's largest hospital is now full as cases soar
    • The South African rugby team is in isolation after one of its players tested positive for Covid-19.
  4. Watch: 'Lifting all protections in one go is reckless'

    Video content

    Video caption: Covid-19: 'Lifting all protections at once is reckless' - Keir Starmer

    Labour leader Keir Starmer has responded to the PM's plan for 19 July, saying lifting all restrictions at once, while infection rates are rising, is "reckless".

    He said masks should continue to be mandatory in enclosed places and public transport, and "common sense has to play a part here".

  5. Mortuary at Fiji's largest hospital full as cases surge

    Police patrol a residential area to check people are wearing face masks in Suva on July 3, 2021

    The mortuary at Fiji's largest hospital is now full, the country's health ministry has announced.

    It comes as the country battles a second wave of Covid-19. A new daily high of 522 new infections was recorded on Sunday.

    The Colonial War Memorial Hospital in the only public hospital in the capital Suva. It is now being devoted to caring for Covid patients.

    "Due to the mortuary now being utilised to full capacity, the concerned relatives are kindly requested to make immediate arrangements for the uplifting of the deceased from the mortuary, and the performance of final funeral rites for your loved ones," the ministry said in a statement.

    Thirty people are known to have died of the coronavirus in Fiji, which has a population of about 900,000.

  6. London mayor doesn't want confusion over mask rules

    A woman wearing a mask on a Tube

    The requirement to wear a mask on public transport in England looks likely to end on 19 July - despite some opposition to the idea.

    But asked if there were circumstances in which he would continue to wear a face covering, Boris Johnson said it would "depend on the circumstances".

    "Clearly there's a big difference between travelling on a crowded Tube train and sitting, late at night, in a virtually empty carriage on the main railway line," he said.

    And Health Secretary Sajid Javid has told the Commons it would be "sensible" to wear a mask on a "very crowded" London Underground train.

    Before the PM's briefing, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he wanted the public to have a clear message over using face masks on public transport.

    He told the BBC: “In London, (there) are some trains that we are responsible for, so what I wouldn’t want to do is have confusion where TfL (Transport for London) has one set of rules, and the government has other.

    “The government knows my view; I was somebody who was advocating for wearing face masks last year in March and April.

    “It was only a few months later, the government finally listened to our requests.

    “I want people returning to the tubes and buses as soon as possible, I want the West End to be busy and thriving.

    "One way to do that is to give people confidence in public transport."

  7. 'If the UK lets the virus rip, what's the plan to stop new variants emerging?'

    Philippa Whitford

    The Scottish National Party's health spokeswoman has said she is surprised that the UK government - which is in charge of England's lockdown rules - is planning to end all measures.

    Scotland is in charge of its own Covid rules and aims to lift all major legal lockdown restrictions by 9 August. The Scottish government has already said it may continue to require masks in certain settings even after this date - something that's not happening in England.

    "If the health secretary is going to just let it rip, how does he plan to avoid generating yet another UK variant with even greater vaccine resistance?" asked the SNP's Dr Philippa Whitford on video call in the Commons earlier.

    Sajid Javid, the new health secretary, had just set out the plan to lift all rules on 19 July.

    She said Javid "appears to be completely ignoring the risk of long Covid which is already affecting over a million people including children", adding: "How does he plan to avoid soaring cases of long Covid in unvaccinated young adults and children, does he consider them to be collateral damage or just a price worth paying?"

    Javid accused her of "scaremongering" and "political point scoring", adding: "If anything, the only part of the UK where cases could be described as ripping would be in Scotland, where the case rate is higher than any other part of the UK, in fact I think they have seven of the 10 highest hotspots in terms of number of cases throughout Europe."

  8. Stadiums to have full capacity in time for start of Premier League

    A packed crowd in a sports stadium

    From 19 July, theatres and sports stadiums in England will be able to be full once again, as the limits on capacity are set to be removed.

    The move still needs to be confirmed on 12 July, but it means there could be full stadiums for the start of the Premier League season in August.

    However, the PM said some venues may choose to make use of the NHS vaccine passport service should they wish - which asks attendees to prove their vaccine status.

    Wimbledon has already seen an increase of crowds this week, with Centre Court at 75% capacity.

    There will also be hope for full stadiums during England's Test series against India starting on 4 August, as well as at Glorious Goodwood at the end of July.

    Read more on the sport side of things here.

  9. 'I almost can't believe it' - entertainment industry relieved

    Festival goers

    Entertainment bosses have welcomed the news that all limits on the numbers of people who can go to nightclubs, theatres and gig venues will be lifted at step four of the government roadmap, which is likely to be on 19 July.

    Philippa Child, head of entertainment union Bectu, said the PM's announcement was “welcome news for theatres, venues and events that have been forced to close for over a year", but said the cultural sector still faces some "confusion".

    Mark Davyd, chief executive of the Music Venue Trust, described the announcement as "hugely important and provides the opportunity to revive live music".

    "It does not, however, change the central mission or the importance of the word 'safely'," he stressed.

    View more on twitter

    Michael Kill, who is in charge of the Night Time Industries Association, said: "To hear the Prime Minister say that we need to learn to live with this virus is a long overdue step, and will be a relief to our sector."

    And Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre, described the announcement as “a lifeline for our industry [and] essential for the survival of theatres across the country”.

  10. Summary: What else did we learn from the PM’s press conference?

    Downing Street press conference

    There was lots of detail on what life might look like in England after 19 July in the PM's press conference - but here's some of the other main points:

    • There could be 50,000 new cases a day in the UK by 19 July
    • Patrick Vallance warned Covid deaths are increasing and we should expect that to continue as cases rise - the link between infections, hospital admissions and deaths has been "weakened but not completely broken"
    • The government is aiming for everyone over 18 to be double-jabbed by mid-September
    • The PM said easing restrictions over summer had the advantage of the "firebreak" of the school holidays and avoiding the colder autumn and winter months where the virus has an edge
    • People will still need to self-isolate if they test positive for the virus or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace
    • But the government is looking at a different regime for fully-vaccinated contacts and children - more details will be set out on the removal of bubbles and contact isolation for pupils on Tuesday
    • An update on removing the need for fully-vaccinated travellers to isolate on their return from amber-list countries will be made by the transport secretary this week
    • Large-scale events will not legally require certification showing attendees' Covid status
  11. Watch: 'If we can't reopen now, when can we?'

    The prime minister has finished setting out details on the plans for easing Covid restrictions in England from 19 July.

    He said that date was the right time for this, because of the arrival of summer and the school holidays, which will make it more difficult for the virus to spread.

    Video content

    Video caption: Boris Johnson: 'If we can't reopen in next few weeks, when will we?'
  12. Analysis

    'A move not without risk'

    Nick Triggle

    Health Correspondent

    No country in the world has attempted to lift restrictions like this in the face of rapidly rising cases driven by the new, more infectious Delta variant.

    Some say it would be better to wait until autumn when all adults will have had the chance of a second dose.

    That sounds good in principle, but the bulk of scientific opinion seems to be backing a summer lifting.

    Unlocking was always going to drive up infections.

    And the problem with trying to delay that is you risk seeing a surge in cases at a much worse time.

    By the autumn, schools will be back – and we can see the huge disruption the rise in cases in recent weeks has had.

    People will also be outdoors more in the summer months, which could help flatten the peak.

    But, perhaps most importantly, you risk running into the flu season.

    That is when the NHS is under most pressure, while a Covid infection followed by flu in quick succession puts the vulnerable even more at risk.

    The move is not without risk. The government is banking on the wall of immunity built up by the vaccination programme stemming these rises soon.

  13. 'We will never sacrifice freedom again, will we?'

    Susan Hulme

    Parliamentary correspondent

    Sir Desmond Swayne, a Conservative, aims to hold ministers’ feet to the fire on making sure restrictions are never re-imposed.

    He asks the Commons: “We will never again sacrifice freedom of association, free enterprise and, indeed, freedom of worship in order to manage hospital admissions ever again, will we?”

    Sajid Javid replies: “I take it from that he’s pleased with today’s announcements”.

  14. Relief for pubs and restaurants - and staff can continue to wear masks if they like

    A pub worker wearing a mask and cleaning the bar

    The lifting of Covid restrictions will allow hospitality businesses to “rebuild and recover”, according to an industry body.

    Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, the boss of Hospitality UK Kate Nicholls said: “The reaction of the industry will be one primarily of relief.

    “To have some certainty brought to the debate - and to have an ability to plan in advance.

    "It allows the sector to be able to look ahead with a degree of confidence that they are turning a corner.

    "We’ll be able to move towards a more viable proposition and start to trade more freely again … to be able to rebuild and recover.”

    Asked about the safety of customers and staff, Ms Nicholls said: “The bedrock of good infection control... is ventilation, hygiene and sanitation. Those are the measures and the key signals we’ll be giving.”

    And asked whether staff would be free to continue wearing face masks, Ms Nicholls said: “That will continue to be the prevailing view going forward. This is not about discouraging anybody.”

  15. Caroline Lucas criticises the ending of mask requirements

    Susan Hulme

    Parliamentary correspondent

    Meanwhile, in the Commons, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas questions the ending of the requirement for people in England to wear masks, since it’s against the law to endanger others by driving at 100mph down the motorway.

    “Why, when other health and safety measures aren’t left to individuals to decide, he thinks that’s an appropriate approach to Covid?" she says in the Commons.

    "Failing to mandate mask-wearing in stuffy, crowded places like public transport - where people are often pressed together for longer than 15 minutes - risks high costs.

    "Allowing people to choose whether or not to put others at risk is both reckless and unfair."

  16. Flexible working for head-office staff at retailer

    People walk past a John Lewis store

    Bosses at John Lewis and Waitrose confirm they will introduce flexible working for their staff at head office, despite the end of the work-from-home recommendation from 19 July.

    Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations for the John Lewis Partnership, says: "If restrictions are lifted on 19 July we won't tell our head office partners where to work.

    "The pandemic has forced us all to rethink the norm of five days in an office.

    "We will continue to support and enable our partners as they figure out how and where they work best for the type of work they do."

  17. Starmer: Reckless to ease all restrictions when cases going up

    Labour leader Keir Starmer has been reacting to the PM's press conference.

    He says today's announcement is "all about headlines, not public health", and the PM is acting for "party management" reasons and not in the public interest.

    "We need a proper plan," he says, because "to throw off all protections at the same time when the infection rate is going up is reckless".

    Asked what he would do differently, Starmer says he would continue with mask-wearing, and focus on improving ventilation and paying people a proper amount when they need to isolate.

    The PM has not seen the data, he adds, and as a result of that he is "describing what he wants to see" and not "what he can see".

  18. What will change from step four of England's roadmap?

    The prime minister has just finished his press conference, where he gave further details of plans for the final step of England’s roadmap out of lockdown.

    This is due to take place on 19 July - although this will only be confirmed on 12 July.

    From step four:

    • Face masks will no longer be legally required
    • The 1m-plus social distancing rule will end
    • All legal restrictions on numbers meeting indoors and outdoors will be removed
    • All businesses, including nightclubs, can reopen
    • Table service rules at bars and restaurants and venue check-in requirements will be scrapped
    • The limit on the number of named visitors to care homes will be lifted
    • Capacity limits for concerts, theatres and sports events will also be removed
    • Guidance instructing people to work from home where possible will be lifted
    • Council powers to enforce rules will expire
  19. Unanswered questions remain

    Iain Watson

    Political correspondent

    Some big questions remained unaswered today

    Parents in England whose kids are at home because someone in their class tested positive want to know when regular testing might replace isolation, but we have to await an update from the edication secretary tomorrow

    We don't yet know if double-vaccinated people will be released from an obligation to self-isolate if they were in contact with an infected person so long as they take daily tests.

    And an update on travel won't come until later on the week - while many have put holidays abroad on hold.

    But above all else, there was no clear answer on how many lives are at risk from a mix of fewer restrictions and rising cases - and what level of mortality is acceptable.

    No10 has said there will be fresh modelling/data before a final decision to lift restrictions is taken next week, but it seems unlikely that the PM will backtrack now.

  20. PM: Support England 'enthusiastically but responsibly'

    Bloomberg's Tim Ross asks whether the prime minister is worried about the Euro 2020 football matches triggering "superspreader" events.

    Boris Johnson says his advice is to support England "enthusiastically but in a responsible way".

    He adds that there are testing requirements for matches at Wembley.

    Sir Patrick Vallance says most spreading happens indoors in crowded spaces, which is also where most superspreading events have occurred.

    Ross asks the advisers how many excess deaths these relaxations are likely to cause.

    Vallance says the models done at the start of the roadmap are available, with more modelling due next week which will be made public.

    He says the modelling has been very accurate in terms of timings.