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Live Reporting

Edited by Lauren Turner

All times stated are UK

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  1. The day's main coronavirus headlines

    Woman in supermarket

    We're wrapping up our live page coverage for the day - thanks for joining us. Here is a round-up of the latest Covid developments:

    • A record 618,903 people in England and Wales were "pinged" by the NHS Covid app in the week to 14 July
    • Supermarkets have warned the rising number of retail workers being forced to self-isolate is beginning to affect the availability of some products
    • A list of workers able to skip self-isolation if fully vaccinated will be revealed later today, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says
    • The UK has reported a further 39,906 cases in the last 24 hours and another 84 deaths within 28 days of a positive test

    We will be back with more tomorrow.

    Our coverage today has been brought to you by Vanessa Barford, Francesca Gillett, Hamish Mackay, Lauren Turner, Sophie Williams and George Wright.

  2. How many in youngest age group have been vaccinated?

    Many young adults are still to get their first vaccine - despite the fact all over-18s are now eligible - prompting calls for more to do so.

    Almost 90% of all UK adults have had a first dose and about 70% are fully vaccinated.

    But about 34% of 18 to 29-year-olds in England - about three million people - haven't been vaccinated at all. In Scotland, about 30% are not yet vaccinated.

    Under-30s only became eligible for the Covid vaccine in June.


    Half of all under-30s in England - more than four million people - received a first dose in the three weeks after the vaccination programme was opened to those in their 20s.

    The vaccination rate is still climbing for this group in England and Scotland.

    Read more here.

  3. Government must produce clear list of workers that can avoid self-isolating, Labour says

    Labour has said the government must produce a "clear, unambiguous list" of those workers who could avoid self-isolating.

    Shadow Business Minister Seema Malhotra said it made sense to exempt "certain fully vaccinated professionals" - like those in the emergency services - from self-isolation rules through a targeted test scheme.

    However, she said the government had made a mess of its own policy and "is undermining the effectiveness of the rule change".

    "If ministers don't know or can't decide what the plan is, how can employers possibly be expected to understand what's required of them?" she added.

  4. Bring forward the date to end isolation for jabbed, says professor

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Someone walking past some graffiti saying: 'stay home'

    The government is planning to lift the rule to self-isolate for people who are fully vaccinated on 16 August.

    Not everyone will be double-jabbed by then - especially younger people - so it means many people will still be required to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone with Covid.

    But Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, says ministers should bring forward this date.

    Two-thirds of adults in the UK have now had both jabs, he points out - and the Office for National Statistics antibody study found "40-50%" of un-vaccinated people were showing signs of having had the virus and so had a "degree of immunity".

    Prof Hunter told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme: "Given the damage this policy is doing, I can't see any public health reason why we shouldn't actually stop requiring quarantining of casual contacts.

    "The emphasis is on casual. Clearly if your husband, partner or children you live with have Covid, then that's a totally different issue and I think we need to continue."

    He added: "If you haven't been vaccinated and you haven't had a double vaccine, then the risks are higher and I can see some value in continuing with (self-isolating)."

  5. WHO urges strong measures as Indonesia mulls easing them

    A family member visits his relative's grave at a cemetery for Covid victims in Jakarta
    Image caption: A family member visits his relative's grave at a cemetery for Covid victims in Jakarta

    The World Health Organization has urged Indonesia to retain existing Covid restrictions and even to expand them across the country, pointing to a steep rise in deaths and infections.

    The agency issued the warning two days after President Joko Widodo pledged to gradually ease the measures because of falling case numbers in some regions.

    But epidemiologists have questioned the Indonesian leader's plan, saying there's a lack of testing outside the capital, Jakarta.

    This week, daily deaths hit record highs of more than 1,300 - among the highest tolls in the world.

    Indonesia's daily positivity rate, the proportion of people tested who are infected, has averaged 30% over the past week even as cases numbers have dropped. A level above 20% meant "very high" transmissibility, the WHO said.

    "Indonesia is currently facing a very high transmission level, and it is indicative of the utmost importance of implementing stringent public health and social measures, especially movement restrictions, throughout the country," it said.

    Earlier in the week, Indonesia's medical association said the healthcare system was at risk of collapse due to rising hospital admissions coupled with the deaths of medical staff due to Covid.

  6. Watch: Labour MP suspended for day after calling PM a liar

    Video content

    Video caption: Dawn Butler suspended from Commons for calling PM a liar

    Labour MP Dawn Butler has been ordered to leave the House of Commons for the rest of the day after she refused to withdraw accusations that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lied during the pandemic.

    She said it was dangerous to lie during a pandemic and that Boris Johnson had "lied to the House and the country over and over again".

    Acting Deputy Speaker Judith Cummins asked the MP to "reflect on her words and perhaps correct the record".

    Ms Butler replied: "At the end of the day, the prime minister has lied to this House time and time again and it's funny that we get in trouble in this place for calling out the lie, rather than the person lying".

    The acting deputy speaker again asked the MP to withdraw her remarks but she replied: "I have reflected on my words and somebody needs to tell the truth in this House that the prime minister has lied".

    It is considered not within the boundaries of parliamentary etiquette to call another member a liar.

  7. Analysis

    A tiny sign that this summer wave could be tamed

    Nick Triggle

    Health Correspondent

    Just shy of 40,000 new infections have been confirmed in the UK government’s daily Covid update.

    That is significant – it is the first time since the rise in infection rates took off that we have seen a dip in cases compared to the same day a week ago. Last Thursday 48,500 cases were reported.

    We should be careful about reading too much into this. It is just one day and the impact of the lifting of most restrictions in England and Scotland on 19 July has yet to take effect.

    But nonetheless it offers further evidence that cases will peak somewhere around the expected levels as the virus hits the wall of immunity built up by natural infection and vaccination.

    The hope of government scientists was always that by this stage we would be seeing the first signs of a plateau. In recent weeks infection rates have not been growing as quickly as they were at the end of June.

    And now we have the first sign that growth may have stopped. We should expect that to be temporary. The modelling suggests we will soon get a further rise from the 19 July relaxing and further mixing that ensues.

    But it is at least a tiny sign that this summer wave could be tamed, before there is a threat of the NHS being overwhelmed to the extent that restrictions may have to be reintroduced.

  8. Lagarde: Covid could pose threat to euro zone recovery

    Christine Lagarde

    A fresh wave of Covid could pose a risk to the euro zone's economic recovery, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde said.

    Her warning comes after the bank hinted at an even longer period of monetary support.

    The Delta variant of the coronavirus is becoming dominant in Europe, leading to a surge in cases in many countries.

    "The reopening of large parts of the economy is supporting a vigorous bounce-back in the services sector," said Lagarde. "But the Delta variant of the coronavirus could dampen this recovery in services, especially in tourism and hospitality."

    She added that ECB forecasts from June had included an assumption that some measures to contain the pandemic would continue through the third and fourth quarters of this year.

  9. Theatre and concert hall decision in NI delayed

    Theatre stock photo

    A decision on whether to reopen theatres and concert halls has been delayed by the Northern Ireland Executive until next week.

    Venues were expected to reopen on 26 July but minsters want more time to consider the health implications.

    Ministers however have agreed to relax some restrictions considered low risk.

    From Monday, 15 people from unlimited households can meet outdoors and close contact services can open without the need for pre-booked appointments.

    Ministers will meet again on Monday to decide if theatres can reopen.

    If given the go-ahead, those measures would come into effect immediately.

    The executive will also decide on Monday if the current limit on indoor gatherings can be increased from six to 10 people, from no more than three households.

    A decision on the reopening of MoT test centres is also due to be taken at that meeting.

    Read more here.

  10. No need to stockpile, British Retail Consortium chief says

    Woman shops for pasta

    British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson has said there is no need for the public to be stockpiling due to fears that firms could grind to a halt because of the high numbers of staff isolating.

    "I don't think there's any need for members of the public to be stockpiling what they buy. There's plenty of food in the country," Dickinson said.

    "What we're seeing is pockets of issues in specific places where case numbers are particularly high and the most important thing is that the government acts now before the situation does get more serious, so that we don't see more empty shelves in more places."

    Supermarkets have warned the rising number of retail workers being forced to self-isolate is beginning to affect the availability of some products.

    The Co-op said it was "running low on some products", while Iceland said shops might have to be shut.

    Sainsbury's said it "might not always" have the exact products people wanted, but downplayed fears of shortages saying the problem was not widespread.

    Iceland also urged shoppers not to panic buy, saying it was not necessary.

    Read more here: Supermarkets say shortages are not widespread

  11. Covid deaths up by 50% in a week

    We have a bit more from the government coronavirus figures.

    They show a total of 325,223 people tested positive for coronavirus in the last seven days, up 63,391 - or 24.2% - on the week before.

    Meanwhile, 387 people have died within 28 days of a positive test in the last week, up by 130 - or 50.6% - on the previous seven days.

  12. BreakingUK reports 39,906 new cases

    The UK has reported 39,906 new positive Covid cases in the last 24 hours.

    And there have been 84 further deaths, within 28 days of a positive test.

  13. Infections among those aged 20-29 at highest level on record

    Katharine Da Costa

    BBC health correspondent

    Covid infections among people aged 20-29 are at the highest level on record across any age group since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Public Health England.

    In the week to 18 July, the seven-day case rate among this age group was 1154.7 per 100,000 population.

    The lowest case rates were in people aged 80 and above, with a seven-day rate of 60.6 per 100,000 population.

    Cases have increased across all regions in England with the highest seven-day average in the North East at 951.7 per 100,000 people compared to the lowest at 423.1 in the South East.

    Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, urged everyone in their 20s to come forward for two doses of the vaccine.

    “It is vital we all remain cautious," she said. "Remember that meeting outside is safer than inside, get two doses of the vaccine as soon as you can, isolate if you are told to by NHS Test and Trace and if you show symptoms stay home and get a PCR test.

    "We all still have a part to play, Covid-19 has not gone away.

    “Thanks to the vaccine, hospital admissions and deaths are not growing as quickly as previous waves. However, they are on the rise and we continue to closely monitor the data.”

  14. Hunt warns government risks losing 'social consent'

    Jeremy Hunt

    Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government risks "losing social consent" for isolation if it does not immediately bring forward the relaxation of quarantine rules for the fully vaccinated.

    It comes after a record 618,903 alerts were sent to users of the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales in the week to 14 July.

    Hunt, a Conservative MP who chairs the Health and Social Care Committee, said ministers must bring forward the scheduled end of isolation for all fully vaccinated contacts who test negative from 16 August.

    Without ending that requirement and replacing it with testing "we risk losing social consent for this very, very important weapon against the virus", he said.

  15. Who has to self-isolate, and what if I'm pinged?

    Graphic shows a man's silhouette inside a smartphone outline, with lines linking him to other silhouettes

    Self-isolation is still one of the main tools being used to try and stop Covid spreading. At the moment, you must self-isolate for 10 days if you have symptoms, test positive for Covid, live with someone who tests positive or has symptoms, or are told to isolate by contact-tracers.

    You must also isolate if you arrive in the UK from a red list country, or from an amber list country and are not fully vaccinated.

    If you are "pinged" by the NHS Covid app saying you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus, you're advised - but not legally obliged - to self-isolate for 10 days.

    Some fully vaccinated critical workers in England - including health and care staff - will be able to leave isolation to go to work, even if they are traced as a contact of someone with Covid.

    However, the UK government has not yet confirmed which workers are included in this exemption. A list is expected to be published later today.

  16. Cocktail bar closes after all staff asked to isolate

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    The owner of a chain of cocktail bars says he had to close one of them because staff left their phones together - and they were all pinged by the NHS Covid app.

    Martin Greenhow runs Mojo, which has branches in Leeds, Harrogate, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

    He tells Radio 5 Live how the Liverpool bar had to shut for a week after every member of staff was alerted by the NHS app and asked to self-isolate. The closure has cost him tens of thousands of pounds.

    “We test all our staff on a daily basis," he says. "I don’t instruct them to ignore the ping, I give them the option. It’s at their discretion.

    "We will be as altruistic as we can, but fundamentally if a business runs out of money it runs out of all opportunity to do that.

    “We ask them to behave in a grown-up, adult manner, which I think the government should expect the entire country to do and stop trying to nanny them.”

    He adds his business is also being affected by staff shortages in the supply chain, which he says are "bringing the country to a grinding halt".

  17. Does Japan have Covid under control?

    Australian athletes at the Games
    Image caption: Athletes have already arrived in Tokyo for the Olympics

    With the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics due to start on Friday, more than 80 people associated with the Games have tested positive.

    The head of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee has not ruled out cancelling the games in the light of rising infections.

    The BBC Reality Check team has been looking into whether Japan has Covid under control.

    You can read what they found here.

  18. First dose walk-in clinics open on Isle of Man

    First Covid vaccination doses are now being offered without an appointment on the Isle of Man.

    The first of three walk-in clinics is open between 09:00 and 12:00 BST at the Douglas vaccination hub.

    A government spokesman said doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab would be offered to anyone aged 18 and over on a "first-come, first-served basis".

    About 89% of adults on the island have already received their first jab, while about 78% have now been given both.

    Read more about the vaccine drive here.

  19. Indian newspaper group critical of government handling of Covid raided

    Ethirajan Anbarasan

    Anbarasan Ethirajan, South Asia editor, BBC World Service

    Security personnel stand guard at the residence of Sudhir Agrawal, Managing Director of the Hindi-language Dainik Bhaskar daily newspaper which was raided by Indian tax authorities

    Tax officials in India have raided the offices of a prominent newspaper group, Dainik Bhaskar, which has often challenged the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The authorities say they are investigating alleged tax evasion.

    The Press Club of India says it deplores such intimidation and calls the raid an attempt to deter the independent media.

    Dainik Bhaskar publishes newspapers in Hindi and several other Indian languages across a dozen states.

    The editor of the group says staff members' mobile phones were seized when the tax authorities raided several locations.

    In the past few months, it carried a series of reports on the devastation caused by the pandemic. The publication repeatedly questioned the government's Covid death statistics, and reported that the corpses of suspected coronavirus victims were floating in the river Ganges.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has long been accused of attempting to stifle critical reporting, an accusation it denies.

  20. Dorset Police warn of call waits due to Covid staff shortages

    Stock image

    More than a third of a police force's control room staff are off work because they either have Covid-19 or have been told to self-isolate.

    Dorset Police said it came at a time when 999 calls had increased 21% since last week and 101 calls were up by 11%.

    A spokesperson said many of those affected were able to work from home and respond to non-urgent calls.

    But they said callers to 101 "may have to wait some time" to speak to someone as 999 calls were being prioritised.

    About 35% of control room staff are not working due to the issues. The BBC has asked the force how many workers that equates to.

    Read more here.