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Live Reporting

Joshua Nevett, Gareth Evans, Kevin Ponniah, Claudia Allen, Georgina Rannard, Alex Kleiderman, Jennifer Scott, Kate Whannel, Paulin Kola, Saira Asher, Andreas Illmer, Gavin Stamp and Lucy Webster

All times stated are UK

  1. New York mayor considering ‘shelter in place’ order

    New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio says he is considering issuing a “shelter in place” order like that already in place in California’s Bay Area.

    Such an order would mandate that all city residents stay in their homes and avoid contact with others except for essential purposes.

    De Blasio’s comments were contradicted by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a Tuesday press briefing. Cuomo said he had no plans to "contain New York City".

    A few people walk in an unusually empty Times Square in New York City during the during the coronavirus outbreak
    Image caption: Many New York City landmarks, like Times Square, have been unusually empty in recent days
  2. 'Humanitarian corridor' in Hungary

    By Nick Thorpe, BBC News Budapest

    Thousands of people were left stranded on the border with Austria at Nickelsdorf
    Image caption: Thousands of people were left stranded on the border with Austria at Nickelsdorf

    Thousands of people stranded in Austria after Hungary closed its borders have begun to cross into Hungary, after the Budapest government opened a "humanitarian corridor" in a one-off move.

    Some 3,500 Romanians were stuck at the Hegyeshalom crossing in a 20km (12-mile) tailback.

    Hungary closed its border at midnight on Monday and a state of emergency came into force in Romania on Tuesday.

    Romania has appealed to tourists and business people to return home urgently but says the three to five million Romanians who live in the EU should stay put.

  3. Where are the cases in Europe?

    Cases of coronavirus continue to increase across Europe.

    In Spain, the number of confirmed cases rose by 2,000 on Tuesday as the country closed its borders and maintained a partial lockdown on 47 million people.

    Italy - the worst-affected part of Europe - France and Germany also remain particularly hard hit.

    Here's our map showing the current situation.

    Map showing cases of coronavirus infection in Europe
  4. BreakingBelgium to go into lockdown from Wednesday

    Everyone in Belgium must quarantine themselves from Wednesday 12:00 (11:00 GMT), the country's Prime Minister Sophie Willems has announced.

    The measures will last until at least 5 April.

    Gatherings will be banned - people can only leave their homes in an emergency, or to go to food shops, pharmacies, the post office, and banks. But outdoor exercise and walks will be allowed - with people being asked to keep a distance of at least 1.5m from one another.

  5. What about the UK opposition?

    John McDonnell

    In response to measures announced today, Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell said more was needed.

    "The key is what support will individuals and families get. I'm saying to him we need urgent action to support families and individuals."

    He called for statutory sick pay to be increased and for financial support for those losing their jobs.

    He also stressed that there was a need to help those who are renting their homes.

  6. How is business - and the unions - reacting to the UK measures?

    UK shoppers

    UK business groups have welcomed the government's multi-billion pound support package, but said urgency was required to stop firms having to lay off staff.

    The British Chambers of Commerce said "cash was king" for its members and many of them could not wait a week if they were to avoid having to make "difficult decisions".

    The New West End Company, which represents 600 retailers in central London, said the loan guarantees, cash grants and business-rate holidays promised would "alleviate" the immediate cash flow and liquidity crunch facing operators.

    But the GMB union called for more direct financial help for workers to pay their bills if they have to self-isolate.

  7. UK emergency legislation published

    A Border Force official

    The British government has published its Coronavirus Bill.

    Among others, measures include allowing retired NHS staff back into work without affecting their pensions, allowing doctors to discharge patients with minimal paperwork.

    Changes to councils’ duties under the Care Act allow them to prioritise people with the greatest care needs and make the best use people working in social care.

    The bill formalises many of the proposals described in the prime minister and chancellor's press conference.

    A government spokesperson said that other measures in the legislation include:

    • Allowing police and immigration officers to support and enforce public health measures, including powers to detain people and put them in appropriate isolation facilities
    • Making arrangements for statutory sick pay for those self-isolating without symptoms from day one
    • Allowing small businesses to reclaim statutory sick pay payments from the government
    • Allowing more phone or video hearings for court cases to stop the spread of the virus in courts
    • Enabling Border Force to temporarily suspend operations at airports or other transport hubs if there are insufficient resources to maintain border security
  8. Cases and deaths in France rise

    Key landmarks and buildings across France, including the Eiffel Tower, are closed

    French authorities report a further 27 deaths, bringing the total to 175 - and what's more, 7% are in people aged under-65.

    The country now has a total of 7,730 cases - an increase of 17% in past 24 hours - with 699 people in intensive care.

    On Monday President Emmanuel Macron announced a nationwide lockdown, enforced by thousands of police officers on the streets.

  9. Live-streamed funerals 'are changing how we grieve'

    As the coronavirus escalates and people are told to avoid large gatherings, the US's health protection agency CDC has urged mourners to drastically change the way they say goodbye to their loved ones - by live-streaming their funerals.

    But even before this directive, funeral homes both within and outside of the US had already started offering to live-stream their services, to help their clients avoid putting their living friends and relatives at risk.

    Grief counsellor Lianna Champ tells the BBC that the crisis is changing the way we grieve.

    Read the full story here

    Candle lit at funeral
  10. Readers' questions: Is it safe to order takeaway food?

    Question from Ian Hepworth

    BBC Online Health Editor Michelle Roberts responds:

    There is no need to avoid food from your local take-away, despite fears on social media.

    If you have a coronavirus question you want the BBC to answer, get in touch:

    Your questions answered logo
  11. Finland changes overnight

    Tom Bateman

    BBC News, in Helsinki

    Things seemed pretty normal in Finland, until yesterday.Before this week, the Finnish government's coronavirus strategy looked a lot like the UK's: keeping schools open, and making recommendations around hygiene, rather than enforcing them.That's all changed. Finland has now seen 319 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 47 from Monday, and almost three times the number recorded a week ago.The government has declared a state of emergency, announcing a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people and an effective shutdown of the country's borders this week.

    picture shows incoming traffic to Finland at the Nuijamaa border station between Finland and Russia in Lappeenranta, Finland on March 17, 2020
    Image caption: Finland's border with Russia, at the Nuijamaa border station, is among the crossing points that will close

    This isn't a lockdown like we've seen in other parts of Europe.And some people are seeing the lighter side. A common joke is that social isolation is something Finns (who are stereotypically private and reserved) do anyway.

  12. What could the US learn from Hong Kong?

    Helier Cheung

    BBC News, Washington DC

    Karin Huster

    Karin Huster, a nurse and emergency field co-ordinator for Doctors Without Borders, has spent a month in Hong Kong working on coronavirus training for vulnerable groups. She's just returned home to Washington State - one of the worst-hit in the US.

    She says there are certain lessons people in the US could learn from Hong Kongers.

    "What stood out for me the most was that deep individual sense of responsibility," she says. People were much more willing to physically distance themselves to help contain the virus, which was "in stark contrast to here [in Seattle]".

    "I think in America, people are so individualistic, it's going to be a little harder for us to sacrifice our 'freedom'".

    She noticed people in Hong Kong generally practised good personal hygiene by frequently washing hands and using disinfectant hand gels in restaurants, while public surfaces such as lift buttons were disinfected much more regularly - lessons they had learned from the 2003 Sars outbreak.

  13. Financial relief coming for Canadians, says Trudeau

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising “money in the pockets of Canadians” financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and its mitigation measures.

    Parliament might be recalled in order to pass legislative measures to deliver aid to Canadians, he said.

    He told Canadians they all had a responsibility to help save lives over the coming weeks.

    “As much as possible, stay home,” Mr Trudeau said.

    Mr Trudeau also praised his provincial counterparts in Ontario, who on Tuesday declared a state of emergency.

    Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, has banned public events of over 50 people until 31 March.

    There are approximately 440 cases of the virus currently confirmed Canadawide. Five deaths have been linked to the disease across the country.

    Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to news media outside his home in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada March 16
  14. Italy death toll jumps, but rate of infections slows

    The latest figures from Italy, Europe's worst-hit country, report a further 345 deaths in the past 24 hours. It's an increase of 16%.

    The virus has now killed 2,503 people there - 2,060 people are in intensive care, from among a total of 31,506 cases, up from 27,980. However, this was the slowest rate of increase since Italy identified the presence of the virus.

    An ambulance arrives at a hospital Rome, Italy
  15. An unprecedented package with glaring omissions

    Dharshini David

    Economics Correspondent

    This is an unprecedented package for unprecedented times.

    We shouldn't dismiss this and it is just a first step.

    But there are glaring omissions - most notably the help for the self employed, the freelancers and people working in the gig economy. The big question is - what is going to be done for those people.

    And what about benefits and sick pay? We hear about some businesses who are saying to workers that if they isolate they have to do it on unpaid leave.

    It will also take time for these measures to be put into action.

  16. PM: We only have a few weeks to build thousands of ventilators

    Asked about the government's plea to businesses to start building ventilators, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says all businesses want "an end to suffering".

    "That is why they are working incredibly hard in the next few weeks - and we really only have a few weeks - to build literally thousands of ventilators," he says.

    "British industry [is] responding to this challenge with incredible energy."

  17. Will UK schools close over coronavirus?

    Children at school

    On school closures, Mr Johnson says the issue is under “continuous review”.

    Even though the government has the power to force schools to shut their doors, the current advice is for them to remain open.

    Click here for details on the government’s current policy and what might happen to upcoming exams.

  18. Johnson: Confident in 'farm to fork' supply

    Boris Johnson

    Boris Johnson has already urged shoppers to be sensible when buying food, but he is asked again if supplies will last.

    He says: "We are absolutely confident our supply chains are working, and will work, and we will get farm to fork food supplies.

    "Therefore people should have no reason to stockpile or panic buy."

  19. What help is the UK promising for business?

    Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson at Downing Street news conference on 17 March 2020

    As we've been reporting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have pledged further action on top of measures announced in last week's Budget to help families and business affected by the coronavirus outbbreak.

    Among the new help just announced is:

    • Government backed and guaranteed loans of £330bn to support companies
    • A potential support package specifically for airlines and airports
    • A three-month mortgage payment holiday for homeowners
    • £10,000 cash grants for smaller firms
    • An extension of the business rate holiday announced in the Budget
  20. Boris Johnson: We must do more, and faster

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: 'We must act like any wartime government'

    Here's a snippet from Boris Johnson's press conference.

    In his opening remarks, he said the government will do whatever it takes to support the UK economy in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.