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Live Reporting

Edited by John Hand and Daniel Coles

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for joining us

    We're bringing our live page to a close now.

    We will be back with all the latest reaction as coronavirus restrictions are eased in England and Scotland on Monday. It promises to be a landmark day in this pandemic.

    Today's coverage has been written by Emma Harrison and Lauren Turner.

    It was edited by Dan Coles and John Hand.

  2. What's been happening today?

    Westminster Bridge

    Thanks for joining us this Friday for our coronavirus live page coverage.

    Here's a reminder of the main headlines from today:

    • The UK has reported more than 50,000 daily coronavirus cases for the first time since mid-January
    • There were 51,870 new cases, along with 49 deaths within 28 days of a positive test
    • England's chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty has warned the number of hospital admissions could hit "scary" numbers - admissions have been doubling roughly every three weeks
    • Office for National Statistics data suggests one in 95 people in England had Covid last week - with the figures at one in 90 in Scotland, one in 290 in Northern Ireland and one in 360 in Wales
    • Public Health England says there is a rise in winter vomiting virus - even though we are now in summer
    • There were 154 norovirus outbreaks reported in the past five weeks, compared to an average of 53 in the same time period in the previous five years
    • Fears are growing about a large number of workers - and medical staff in particular - having to self-isolate when the Covid restrictions ease
    • There have been new calls for the government to review its plans not to ease self-isolation rules for the fully-vaccinated before 16 August
    • Younger adults admitted to hospital with Covid are almost as likely to suffer from complications as those aged over 50, a study has found
  3. Government warned of 100,000 cases a day

    Just a reminder that Health Secretary Sajid Javid had previously warned that case numbers could reach 50,000 a day by 19 July - as they now have.

    And earlier this week, he said that the daily coronavirus cases in the UK could reach 100,000 later this summer.

    But he said he did not think this would put "unsustainable pressure on the NHS".

    That's because vaccinations have created a "protective wall" meaning we can "withstand a summer wave", he added.

    Central estimates from modellers advising the government also show that Covid deaths are expected to be between 100 and 200 per day at the peak, although there is a large amount of uncertainty over that.

  4. Find out how many cases are in your area

    Signs for a test site

    As we mentioned, today's figure of 51,870 cases is the highest since 15 January. On that day - which was also a Friday - there were 55,761 cases reported in the UK.

    The highest number of cases recorded in the UK since the pandemic started was also in January. It came on 8 January, when there were 68,053 cases.

    You can use our look-up tool here to find out how many cases there are in your area now.

  5. Analysis

    Does 50,000 cases a day matter?

    James Gallagher

    Health and science correspondent, BBC News

    File image of someone having a Covid test in their car

    Passing 50,000 cases a day feels like a worrying landmark - but is it?

    We were last at those levels around the peak of the second wave in January when it took a tough lockdown to prevent hospitals buckling.

    But now more fuel is being thrown on the fire as restrictions ease in England and Scotland on Monday, and in Wales from Saturday.

    Cases will go even higher. How high? Nobody knows for sure.

    Letting this happen is possible only because vaccines have transformed the danger posed by a summer wave. Without them, we’d be debating locking down.

    Yet vaccines have not eliminated the Covid threat.

    Letting the virus spread could still put pressure on hospitals, leave people with long Covid and be hugely disruptive as large numbers of people need to isolate.

    Reaching 50,000 daily cases doesn’t mean the same as it did six months ago - but it doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing.

  6. More than 87% of UK adults have now had one dose of vaccine

    A further 61,681 people have had a first coronavirus vaccine, today's figures show. And another 201,893 have now had their second dose.

    In total, 87.6% of adults in the UK have had one dose and 67.5% have had two.

    All the latest on the statistics from the government can be found here.

  7. How do cases compare to a month ago?

    Cases in the UK have been sharply rising, with figures topping 40,000 on Wednesday - having been over 30,000 every day the previous week.

    One week ago, last Friday, figures were at 35,707.

    And if we go back just a month ago to 16 June, daily UK cases were 9,055.

    If you’re interested in seeing how other countries have fared since easing restrictions, we’ve got a feature on that here.

  8. BreakingUK reports 51,870 new coronavirus cases

    File image of people at King's Cross station

    The UK has reported more than 50,000 daily coronavirus cases for the first time since mid-January.

    There were 51,870 cases recorded, the highest since 15 January, and 49 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

    The milestone came just days before the easing of restrictions in England and Scotland on Monday. Wales is also making changes to its coronavirus rules as of tomorrow - all the details on what you can do in each nation can be found in our explainer here.

    It comes as separate Office for National Statistics data estimates 1% of people in the UK had coronavirus last week. The more infectious Delta variant accounts for almost every case.

  9. Lewis Hamilton urges racegoers to wear masks

    Lewis Hamilton

    The British Grand Prix returned today and will see thousands of Formula 1 fans descend on Silverstone over the course of the weekend.

    Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has posted on his Instagram to urge spectators to wear masks and stay safe.

    "It was so nice to see everyone today. So refreshing to see people and the energy already is so uplifting," he wrote.

    "Can I please ask you to wear your masks, be safe. I know of people getting Covid and being ill even with double jabs.

    "So please please stay safe this weekend. Wearing a mask is a small sacrifice to stay healthy and keep others around us healthy."

    Follow the story from BBC Sport here

    Fans
    Image caption: Formula 1 fans watching the British Grand Prix at Silverstone
  10. What's changing on 19 July?

    Man wearing a face mask

    Just a reminder about those big changes coming up after the weekend. Easing of restrictions are being made in both England and Scotland on Monday.

    Wales also sees changes on Saturday and Northern Ireland is set to ease rules on 26 July.

    Here's some of the things that will be changing in England:

    Meanwhile, in Scotland, all areas will be in Covid protection level 0 on 19 July. Here are some of the changes:

    • Up to eight people from up to four households can meet indoors at home
    • Up to 10 people from up to four households can meet in a public indoor space
    • Up to 15 people from up to 15 households can meet outdoors - whether in a private garden or public place (children aged 12 and under not counted)
    • Up to 200 people can attend weddings and funerals
    • But masks will remain compulsory on public transport and in shops "for some time"

    For a full list of the changes across the UK, you can read our explainer here.

  11. Figures rising ahead of easing of restrictions

    People walking in central London

    We're expecting the UK's latest daily coronavirus figures in the next hour or so.

    Thursday's showed there were 48,553 new cases - the highest reported since 15 January - and 63 deaths.

    Today's could break the 50,000 case barrier as the numbers have been rising sharply in recent weeks.

    And that would come just three days before England and Scotland are due to further ease coronavirus restrictions - more on that here.

    England's chief medical officer has warned that the UK is "not out of the woods" yet and people need to act with caution as the restrictions end. He warned that Covid hospitalisations were doubling every three weeks and could hit "scary numbers" in future.

    We'll bring you the latest on the figures when we have them.

  12. Health staff in Sunderland asked to postpone holidays

    Health bosses in Sunderland have asked staff to postpone holidays as the local trust is "under extreme pressure" due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

    Staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, an area which has one of the highest infection rates in the country, are seeing hospital cases double week-on-week.

    Bosses told staff earlier this week there were 80 patients receiving treatment - while there were just two exactly a month previously.

    In the internal memo, they asked for staff to work additional shifts, with a £250 bonus for staff who could work an extra week of overtime spread over the next six weeks.

    Dr Shaz Wahid, medical director at the trust, said: "We are seeing increasing numbers of patients accessing our services and rising admissions due to the current high numbers of Covid-19 in our local community.

    "Understandably, this has had an impact on our workforce as well as the wider public.

  13. Australia travel ban prevents woman's return from UK

    Donna and her mother Doreen

    A woman who travelled to Britain from Australia to see her dying father says she is stuck in the UK.

    Donna Lewis flew from Queensland to North Lincolnshire in February to help her mother with her father's care.

    After he died in May, aged 88, she arranged return flights to Australia but these were cancelled when the country imposed new Covid restrictions.

    Mrs Lewis said she had since been quoted £7,500 for a one-way ticket on a September flight.

    Australia halved the number of international arrivals it would accept after Covid outbreaks put half the population in lockdown and it is only allowing 3,000 citizens a week to return.

    Read more

  14. Contact tracing app 'one of best tools'

    NHS contact tracing app on a smartphone

    The NHS contact tracing app remains "one of the best tools" to tackle coronavirus, Downing Street has insisted.

    The prime minister's spokesman told a press briefing that, as cases go up, you'd expect the number of people asked to isolate to increase as well.

    But he wouldn't be drawn on possible exemptions for specific industries - adding that everything was kept "under review". The government is continuing to look at self-isolation requirements for NHS workers who might get pinged by the app while at work.

    On the possibility of tweaking the app's sensitivity, the spokesman said that the matter is also being kept under review.

    And he downplayed the possibility of getting pinged through a wall if one of your neighbours tests positive - as was reported by the Daily Telegraph.

    He said it was "highly unlikely" as the app uses low energy Bluetooth, and the government is confident that that's not contributing to a "large number of individuals being asked to self-isolate".

  15. Warnings grow about staff forced to self-isolate

    Waiter

    As we've heard, some businesses and unions are concerned there will be a surge in staff having to self-isolate when restrictions in England and Scotland are eased further on Monday.

    UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls says the industry is facing "significant staffing challenges", with up to as many as a fifth of staff isolating at any one time.

    "Without better intervention, operators will continue to be forced to reduce their operating hours or to close venues completely, missing the opportunity to begin on their road to recovery," she says.

    "We urge the government to move quicker on this issue to prevent the summer being cancelled, and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes."

    Hugh Osmond, the founder of Punch Taverns, is calling for those pinged on the NHS app to be allowed to go back to work if they get a PCR test that is negative.

    "It is absolute chaos, and clearly the app really isn't fit for purpose because people are getting pinged all over the place, and the vast majority do not ever test positive, let alone be ill," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme earlier.

    Read more

  16. First cruise ship since pandemic started to visit Scotland

    A cruise ship docked at Lerwick

    The first cruise ship to visit Scotland since the Covid pandemic began is set to arrive in Lerwick Harbour, Sheltand, next week.

    It comes after the Scottish government lifted a virus-related ban and the reopening of the country's ports to cruise ships on UK-only sailings.

    Domestic voyages to and from English ports have been operating since mid-May.

    Operated by Noble Caledonia, the MS Island Sky will berth at Victoria Pier on Monday with 66 passengers on board.

    The vessel, which is operating at half its capacity, will complete a full circumnavigation of the UK.

    Last year was expected to be a record year for Shetland with about 100 visits booked.

    But only two cruise ships docked in February before the pandemic forced Scotland into lockdown.

    Steve Matheson, Shetland Islands manager for VisitScotland, welcomed the return of cruise ships and said they would provide a financial boost for local bus operators, tour guides, attractions and retailers.

  17. R number roughly unchanged in England

    The coronavirus reproduction number - or R number - in England remains unchanged from last week and is between 1.2 and 1.4, latest government figures show.

    Last week, it was between 1.2 and 1.5.

    The R number represents the average number of people each person with Covid-19 will go on to infect.

    If the figure is above 1, it means an outbreak is growing, and when it is below 1, it is shrinking.

    The current R number means that for every 10 people infected, another 12 to 14 other people will go on to get the virus.

  18. What's the situation around the world?

    As England prepares to ease restrictions on Monday, Covid-19 continues to spread around the world, with about 190 million confirmed cases so far and more than four million deaths.

    The US, India and Brazil have seen the highest number of confirmed cases, followed by France, Russia, Turkey and the UK.

    Cases - and deaths - have been rising in many countries as the graph below shows.

    Coronavirus cases graph
    Covid cases around the world

    The UK currently has the highest number of daily cases in Europe, looking at the weekly average.

    Europe cases graphic

    You can read more here about the situation around the world in terms of Covid cases and deaths.

    And this page has more detailed information about the vaccination rollout in different countries.

  19. Man gives gran post-lockdown surprise with dinosaur outfit

    Something to make you smile on a Friday lunchtime?

    Samuel Hutchinson had not seen his grandparents in more than a year because of the pandemic - so he planned an unusual surprise.

    The 32-year-old, from South Derbyshire, decided to visit his grandparents in Southampton, but dressed as a dinosaur.

    His grandmother's face "lit up" when he arrived in his Tyrannosaurus rex suit, he says.

    A video of a supermarket trip he took with his grandmother Mary Jackson, while dressed in the T-rex costume (him not her), has since become a hit on social media - take a look at the video below.

    Video content

    Video caption: Man gives gran post-lockdown surprise with dinosaur outfit
  20. Downing Street won't change self-isolation date

    An isolation notification

    Downing Street is refusing to back down amid calls for the relaxation of the self-isolation requirement for the fully-vaccinated to be brought forward.

    Currently, from 16 August those who have had two vaccines will no longer have to self-isolate if they get notified they've been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for coronavirus.

    National newspapers, business owners and some MPs have asked why that rule will be suitable in a month's time but not now - but the government has previously explained that its modelling is based on the current wave of infections peaking in the next few weeks, if self-isolation guidelines stay as they are.

    Asked if the date was unchanged, a No 10 spokesman said: "It is as the health secretary set out in the House last week."