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Live Reporting

Edited by Suzanne Leigh

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's it from us

    Thanks for joining us for today's coverage.

    The posts were written by Hazel Shearing, Hamish Mackay and George Wright.

    They were edited by Suzanne Leigh and Emma Owen.

  2. The latest headlines from the UK

    And here are the UK's developments:

    • Health Secretary Sajid Javid says he has tested positive for Covid-19 and is suffering "very mild" symptoms.
    • One of his predecessors, Jeremy Hunt, has warned lockdown restrictions may have to be reintroduced if cases continue to rise over the summer and into the autumn.
    • Travellers and tourism groups have criticised the government after it was announced that people coming to England and Wales from France will still have to quarantine for 10 days.
    • Free flu vaccines will be offered this winter to children aged two to 16 in England, as well as people aged 50 and over or in "at-risk" groups, amid the double threat of Covid and influenza.
    • A further 41 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, and a further 54,674 have tested positive.
  3. Round-up from around the world

    Pilgrims arrive at Mecca

    We'll be closing the live page for the day shortly - thanks for joining us. Here is a round-up of the latest developments from around the world:

    • US President Joe Biden has warned that the spread of Covid-19 misinformation on social media is "killing people"
    • In Japan, an Olympic Games-related organiser has become the first person to test positive for Covid in the athletes' village
    • Greece has banned music in restaurants and bars and restricted movement on the popular holiday island of Mykonos
    • Residents of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, are facing tighter restrictions after daily cases topped 100 for the second time
    • Pilgrims have been arriving in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for a scaled down hajj
  4. BreakingUK records 41 daily deaths

    A further 41 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, according to the government's coronavirus dashboard.

    The UK has also recorded a further 54,674 cases - up on yesterday, which saw the UK record more than 50,000 cases for the first time since January.

    According to the latest figures, nearly 88% of UK adults have had their first dose of a vaccine, and nearly 68% are fully vaccinated.

  5. Thailand facing more restrictions as cases hit record highs

    Hunsa Jaicheun (30), a recovered COVID-19 patient turned volunteer for the response team of Zendai, reacts to the camera on July 16, 2021 in Bangkok

    Thailand is planning greater restrictions on movement amid record numbers of new cases and deaths, despite partial lockdowns in Bangkok and nine other provinces this week.

    The government has reported 10,082 new coronavirus cases and 141 additional deaths, both daily records.

    "From the current situation we predict that if we don't introduce more measures there will be more infections and deaths in large numbers for the next three to four months," said Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

    Thailand has already imposed a nationwide ban on public gatherings which carries a maximum penalty of a two-year jail term or a fine of up to 40,000 baht (£885), or both, according to the official Royal Gazette.

    The country has recorded 391,989 cases and 3,240 deaths since the pandemic started.

    Meanwhile in Vietnam, the government will also impose restrictions on movement in 16 southern provinces for two weeks from Monday.

    Vietnam reported 3,718 new infections on Saturday, the highest daily increase of the pandemic.

  6. How can I prove I've had both jabs?

    Nightclub

    England's nightclubs can reopen from Monday for the first time in well over a year. But clubs and large events are being asked to require customers to use the NHS Covid pass to prove they are fully vaccinated.

    People in England who are eligible can request an NHS Covid pass via the NHS website or, if registered with a GP, the NHS app. (This is a different thing to the NHS Covid-19 app, which is used for contact tracing).

    Once logged in, you can request the NHS Covid Pass. The system generates a QR code, which lasts for 28 days.

    Over-16s in Scotland can request a paper copy of their coronavirus vaccination status via the NHS inform website or by calling 0808 196 8565.

    You can download the NHS Covid Pass in Wales, or you can request a paper copy by calling 0300 303 5667, at least five days after your final dose.

    An official vaccine certificate will be launched in Northern Ireland later in July, but there is a temporary system in place until then.

  7. Four more deaths in Scotland

    Scotland has reported a further four deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test.

    There have been a further 2,317 confirmed cases, according to the latest figures from the Scottish government.

    Saturday's figures also show 517 people were in hospital on Friday with recently confirmed Covid-19 and 49 were in intensive care.

    Overall, 3,970,026 people have now received the first dose of vaccine in Scotland and 2,954,776 have had their second dose.

  8. Pilgrims mark second downsized hajj of the pandemic

    Pilgrims have been arriving in the holy city of Mecca for a scaled down hajj.

    Saudi Arabia is permitting just 60,000 fully vaccinated residents to Islam's holiest site this year.

    In 2019, before the pandemic, some 2.5 million people visited the Grand Mosque for hajj.

    Hajj
    Hajj
    Hajj
    Hajj
    Hajj
  9. Family's plea to allow dying father to see expat daughter

    Soutar family
    Image caption: The Soutar family have appealed for dad Iain to be quickly reunited with both of his daughters

    The family of a cancer patient with days to live have pleaded that his expat daughter be allowed to fly home to Scotland immediately to say goodbye.

    Iain Soutar, from Milngavie, is receiving palliative care after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

    His Dubai-based daughter Laura is quarantining in Majorca after the Scottish government refused to exempt her from self-isolating in Scotland.

    The United Arab Emirates has been designated by the Scottish and UK governments as a red list country for international travel, meaning anyone returning - regardless of their vaccination status - must self-isolate for 10 days in a government-approved quarantine hotel.

    Laura hoped the government would allow her to speed up the process by flying in via the Balearic Islands, which are on the green list.

    If she completes her 10-day isolation in Majorca, she would not arrive in Scotland until Tuesday and says the delay has been unbearable given her father's deteriorating condition.

    The Scottish government said it sympathised with the Soutars, but that the isolation rules had to be strict to reduce the risk of importing new strains.

    The family fear Laura's return could be too late to give her dad "a final hug".

    Her sister, Rebecca, said: "My dad wants his daughter home so that we can have a hug and say goodbye."

  10. Lifeguards prepare for a busy summer on UK's beaches

    Angel Foster, a 19-year-old lifeguard on Margate beach, says she is expecting larger crowds than usual this year, as more people are staying in the UK for their holidays.

    "As a lifeguard service we've really increased our training and we've also increased what to do with people management of larger crowds," she says.

    "I personally am really excited to see more people on the beach enjoying themselves, and a return to normality."

    Video content

    Video caption: RNLI: Lifeguards expecting 'busiest ever summer' on UK beaches
  11. London Tube line suspended after workers 'pinged'

    The Metropolitan Tube line in London has been suspended after control room staff were told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app.

    There will be no service on the line for the rest of the day, the London Underground said.

    The Piccadilly and District lines will also be affected until 21:00 BST.

    Richard Jones, London Underground's head of network operations, said: "We apologise to customers for the disruption. London Underground tickets will be accepted on local bus services."

  12. French wedding plans a 'shambles'

    Deborah

    Deborah, a lecturer in further education from London, says her wedding plans are a "shambles" after changes to the rules for travel to France.

    Fully jabbed travellers returning to England and Wales from France will still have to quarantine from Monday - a change announced as France tightened its rules for UK travellers who are not fully vaccinated, requiring a negative test in the 24 hours before arrival from Sunday, rather than the 48 hours allowed previously.

    Deborah was supposed to marry her fiance in 2020, but the pandemic meant they postponed their wedding to 7 August at a venue in France, where their families live. The couple have both had two doses of vaccine.

    "If we go ahead, we’ll probably have to isolate on return," she tells the BBC.

    But she says they would lose out on money if they cancel altogether.

    "We can’t just halt everything. We don’t know what to do," she says.

    "It’s all so worrisome. I can’t see a way out of it. Everything is a shambles."

  13. Live music banned on Mykonos as cases rise

    Panoramic view of Agios Stefanos beach in Mykonos island, Greece, on July 29, 2020

    Greece has banned music in restaurants and bars and restricted movement on the popular holiday island of Mykonos.

    A night-time curfew from between 1am and 6am has also been introduced.

    The new rules, which will be in place until 26 July, come after a "worrying" spike in cases, officials said.

    Deputy civil protection minister Nikos Hardalias said on Thursday that active cases on the island had quadrupled to more than 300 in just a week.

    He warned on Saturday that organisers of private parties of more than 20 people risk fines of up to 200,000 euros (£171,000).

  14. What is the Beta variant?

    The spread of the Beta variant of coronavirus has been cited as the reason for requiring travellers, fully vaccinated or not, to isolate on their return from France to England and Wales.

    Earlier, Sage member Prof John Edmunds warned on the Today programme the Beta variant may evade vaccines.

    So, what do we know about this particular variant?

    You might have seen it called the South Africa variant before. It's also known as B.1.351.

    It's been identified in at least 20 other countries, including the UK.

    Like the Gamma variant, it has a key mutation, called E484K, that may help the virus evade antibodies - key parts of the immune system which help bodies fight off infection.

    The most common variant seen in the UK at the moment is the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), also referred to as the India variant.

    Read more about the different variants here.

    Chart about coronavirus variants
  15. 'I don't have a choice now. I'm getting on the Eurostar'

    Fully vaccinated travellers returning to England and Wales from France will still have to quarantine from Monday.

    From 19 July, adults who have been double jabbed in the UK arriving from other amber list countries will not need to isolate for 10 days.

    But the government said the easing would not apply to France due to "persistent" cases of the Beta variant, first identified in South Africa.

    So how do those heading off to France feel about it?

    Video content

    Video caption: Covid-19: 'I don't have a choice now. I'm getting on the Eurostar'
  16. Hunt says restrictions may have to be brought back

    Jeremy Hunt

    The health secretary's positive test result comes hours after one of his predecessors warned the government may have to reimpose lockdown restrictions if Covid cases continue to rise over the summer and into the autumn.

    Jeremy Hunt, who is now chairman of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, told the Today programme earlier that the NHS was facing a "very serious" situation.

    "The warning light on the NHS dashboard is not flashing amber, it is flashing red," he said.

    He said hospital admissions were "doubling every two weeks" and that at the start of September "we are almost certainly" going to see daily infections surpass the previous daily record in January.

    "If they are still going up as the schools are coming back I think we are going to have to reconsider some very difficult decisions," he added.

    "How we behave over the next few weeks will have a material difference."

  17. Javid's symptoms 'mild'

    In a video posted on Twitter, the health secretary says his positive result came from a lateral flow test, which he took after "feeling a bit groggy last night".

    Sajid Javid says he is self isolating at home with his family and is waiting for the result of a PCR test.

    "I'm grateful that I have had two jabs of the vaccine and so far my symptoms are very mild," he says.

    He urges other people to get vaccinated if they haven't done so already.

  18. Which countries have vaccinated the most?

    A man disinfects a wall

    More than 3.5 billion coronavirus jabs have now been given worldwide.

    In terms of numbers of people, China has vaccinated by far the most, at 1.4 billion.

    But the United Arab Emirates has given the most doses per 100 people at 163.7 - meaning a sizeable majority of the population has received two jabs.

    The UK has given 121.9 jabs per 100 people - more than 81 million.

    India has given second highest number of jabs - 391 million - but that amounts to just 28.4 doses per 100 people.

    Read more here: Coronavirus cases, deaths, vaccinations by country

  19. Tate Modern and The Oval open pop-up clinics

    Tate Modern

    Shopping centres, sporting events and parks are being used in a late push to get people vaccinated ahead of Covid-19 restrictions easing on Monday.

    A Primark store in Bristol, the Tate Modern in London, The Oval cricket ground and The Open golf tournament in Kent are all part of the NHS "Grab a Jab" drive.

    The pop-up clinics are available to anyone aged 18 and over.

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid is urging people to take up what he calls a "life-saving" opportunity.

    Parks in south-west London and Greenwich are also involved in the vaccination drive, which is primarily aimed at people yet to have their first jab.

    You can read more on this story here.