Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Ashitha Nagesh, Vanessa Buschschluter, Joshua Cheetham, Kate Whannel, Paul Seddon, Matt Cannon, Vanessa Barford, Gary Rose, Jim Todd, Andreas Illmer, Saira Asher, Owen Amos, Krutika Pathi and Yvette Tan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye for now

    We're pausing our live coverage for now, but we'll be back in the morning.

    A lot has happened today. To re-cap, here are some of the main headlines.

    • More than one million people worldwide have now tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University in the US. The number of cases has doubled from last week
    • Of those, more than 51,000 people have died. However, more than 200,000 have recovered after testing positive
    • The World Bank has launched a $1.9bn emergency fund to help 25 countries deal with the outbreak - starting with India, which is on a three-week lockdown
    • In the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock set a goal of 100,000 tests in England per day by the end of the month. His pledge came just before people across the country clapped and cheered for NHS staff and other key workers
    • And in the US, the new weekly unemployment claims hit a record high of 6.6 million. President Donald Trump also issued strict new guidelines to care homes, to "protect elderly Americans" and the authorities in New York City ask anyone leaving their home to wear a facemask
    • The latest data from Italy suggests the outbreak there is stabilising. Positive cases rose by 3.1% compared to 3.8% the previous day. But the daily number of deaths has increased again slightly, rising to 760 from 727 reported on Wednesday
    Pharmacy in New Delhi, India, with social distancing markers for people in the queue
    Image caption: Social distancing measures at a pharmacy in New Delhi
  2. Pence says face mask advisory coming soon

    Vice-president Mike Pence says a face mask advisory will be rolled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the next few days.

    So far, Los Angeles and New York City have both ordered residents to wear masks whenever they go out in public.

    But the federal government has so far not made that recommendations for the entire nation.

    "Just remember its not a substitute," for other social distance measures, Dr Deborah Birx quickly chimes in, adding that hand-washing and social distancing are also extremely important safety measures.

  3. Face mask debate continues

    US coronavirus taskforce co-ordinator Dr Deborah Birx says the government is still debating whether to update federal guidelines to require all Americans to wear masks in public.

    But she warns against getting a "false sense of protection by wearing a mask", adding that there are a number of ways people can get infected.

    This false sense of security, she says "worries us and it's why we're still debating the mask".

    Dr Birx says that washing hands and staying more than 2m (6ft) apart is at this point more important that wearing a mask.

    A mask, she says, is "not a substitute" for social-distancing and other mitigation mandates that are already in place.

  4. White House talks economic relief

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    On the day that the US reported 6.6 million new unemployment filings last week – doubling the record set the previous week and dwarfing any earlier mark – the White House chose to lead its daily briefing on the economic aid being directed to stanch the economic bleeding.

    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who helped craft the $2.2tn (£1.8tn) economic aid package Congress passed last week, said government efforts focused on three areas:

    • a $350bn programme of forgivable loans to small businesses
    • expanded coverage and increased payments to unemployed workers
    • more than $6tn in financial liquidity for the US financial system once the peak of the outbreak has passed

    "We want American businesses to be kept intact," Mnuchin said. "We want you to have a business you can reopen when it’s appropriate."

    Mnuchin’s assurances come after the New York Times reported numerous financial institutions were confused about the small-business loan process and unsure whether they would be able to handle what is expected to be a huge demand for the funds.

    The latest economic indicators suggest many US businesses are teetering on the brink, shedding payroll simply to stay financially afloat. Congress rushed to pass an aid package to address the crisis.

    The question now is whether the administration can get the help out the door in time.

  5. White House slams PPE 'black market'

    White House economic aide Peter Navarro says a "black market" on personal protective equipment (PPE) has sprung up, which has been driving up prices on needed medical equipment.

    He claims that "domestic sources here are being exported" overseas.

    Earlier today, US officials announced that the FBI had seized half a million pieces of medical protective gear from brokers hoarding them, and had re-distributed the gear to healthcare workers in New York and New Jersey.

    Mr Navarro pledges that US law enforcement will "crack down unmercifully" on "hoarders and brokers trying to make money off the misery".

    He calls on anyone with PPE inventory to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and not buyers outside of the US.

  6. How to understand the death toll

    Each day, news of more deaths is a huge source of alarm to people across the country. But what are the death figures really telling us? And how bad is it going to get?

    Read the full story here

    Woman in mask
  7. Read the letter from Trump's doctor

    Before briefly leaving the podium moments ago, President Trump talked about taking another coronavirus test.

    The result from Mr Trump's doctor has just been passed around the White House briefing room.

    It is at least the second test that the White House says the president has taken.

    A letter from Trump's doctor
  8. The young doctors being asked to play god

    In a hospital in Queens, New York City - the worst-affected area in the US city with the most cases - doctors are being forced to make decisions they would never normally be faced with.

    The BBC's North America editor Jon Sopel spoke to one young doctor at Elmhurst hospital - unofficially the first Covid-19 hospital in the country. She described a desperate shortage of ventilators, a relentless stream of severely ill and critical patients, and staff being forced to perform procedures they hadn't been trained for.

    And while the situation is dire now, the peak of the outbreak in the US is still weeks away.

    Read the full story here about how US doctors are fighting on the frontline of the coronavirus.

    Ambulance at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens
  9. Trump issues new guidelines

    Mr Trump is introducing new guidelines to "protect elderly Americans".

    He says nursing homes should immediately ban "all medically unnecessary personnel", noting that many such facilities have already done this.

    He also calls on elderly care homes to "assign the same staff to care for the same group of residents" to limit the spread of infection.

    Mr Trump also says care homes should create separate areas for sick and non-sick patients, adding that these measures may be extended into the future and even after the virus is fought back.

  10. Trump: 'I'll be right back'

    Mr Trump excuses himself from the briefing room, but not before saying that he took a quick coronavirus test earlier today.

    "I took it, it took me literally a minute to take it," he says, adding that it took 14 minutes to come back negative.

  11. NYC tells residents to wear facemasks

    A person wears a DIY mask in the Bushwick neighborhood on April 2, 2020 in New York City

    New York City has asked anyone leaving their home to wear a face mask.

    A new bulletin from city health officials advises that infected people can spread the Covid-19 for days before they even begin to show symptoms.

    "A face covering can help prevent you from spreading Covid-19 to other people, so you should wear one whenever you leave the home," the guidance says, adding that any cloth or scarf will do.

    But the letter asks the public not to use surgical and healthcare worker masks, as those are required by actual first responders such as nurses, doctors and paramedics.

  12. Emergency loans for UK firms revamped after criticism

    The emergency loans scheme for UK businesses struggling to survive amid the coronavirus pandemic is being revamped following strong criticism.

    The Treasury says it had received more than 130,000 loan enquires from firms but fewer than 1,000 had been approved.

    Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, says the changes to the scheme would make it easier for firms to access loans.

    Labour welcomed the measures but accused the government of being "behind the curve" when implementing support measures.

  13. US Treasury Secretary: 'Cheques are nearly in the mail'

    "If we have your information, you’ll get in two weeks," says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, denying reports that it may take months for Americans to receive the money Congress dolled out in their massive $2.2tr stimulus package.

    If the government does not have your information, he says, people will need to go to a website to register their details.

    Elderly citizens, who already receive social security payments from the government, will not have to re-register, he says.

    Asked when those without a bank account will receive their cheques, the treasury secretary says it will take longer than for other people.

    But, he adds, the money must come quickly - and "quickly is a matter of weeks, not months".

  14. BreakingUS aircraft carrier commander removed from post

    The captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Brett Crozier, has been removed from his post after he complained that the US navy was not doing enough to prevent coronavirus from spreading rampantly through the aircraft carrier.

    Capt Crozier had written a letter to his bosses saying that urgent action needed to be taken to prevent American troops from dying outside of wartime.

    "He exercised extremely poor judgement" said Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

    He also told reporters that Capt Crozier was being fired for allegedly leaking the letter to the media.

    He said the letter "created the impression the Navy was not responding to his questions".

    "It creates the perception the Navy is not on the job; the government is not on the job. That's just not true."

    Uninfected members of the ship's 4,000 crew are being quarantined in Guam after the governor of the US island territory said they could stay as long as they had no interactions with locals.

  15. White House briefing begins

    President Donald Trump is leading the coronavirus taskforce briefing in Washington, which has just begun.

    He's joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who Mr Trump says will give more details on how Americans can receive the $1,200 cheques as part of the coronavirus congressional bailout.

    According to reports, federal officials are expected to advise that Americans throughout the country begin wearing face masks whenever they go out in public until the crisis is over.

  16. Coral Princess cruise ship to dock in Florida

    The coronavirus-hit Coral Princess cruise ship is going to dock in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, its owner has said.

    The ship has been stuck at sea since 19 March after being banned from docking in Buenos Aires. There are 1,898 people on the ship, 12 of whom have tested positive for Covid-19.

    Three of the Princess Cruises' other ships have had outbreaks on board too, including the Diamond Princess in Japan. On 12 March the company cancelled all new cruises for 60 days.

    Two other virus-hit cruises arrived in Fort Lauderdale earlier today - the Zaandam, which has people with confirmed and suspected coronavirus on board, and its sister ship the Rotterdam, which is carrying asymptomatic passengers who were originally on the Zaandam.

    Andrew Rae, whose parents Morven and Ian are still on board the Zaandam, told the BBC: "We're not entirely out of the woods yet. When they tell me they've got a flight booked and they're on their way home I'll be a lot happier."

    Morven and Ian Rae
    Image caption: Morven and Ian Rae are on the Zaandam, which docked in Fort Lauderdale earlier today
  17. World Bank announces $1.9bn emergency funding

    World Bank building

    The World Bank says it has launched a $1.9bn (£1.5bn) emergency fund to help 25 countries with their response to the coronavirus pandemic. It said it was moving quickly on projects in 40 other nations.

    India will receive the largest amount of funding - $1bn - to improve screening, tracing and laboratory diagnostics. The money will also go towards procuring personal protective equipment and to setting up isolation wards.

    The bank said funding would go to countries on nearly every continent. Other beneficiaries include Pakistan, which will receive $200m, and Afghanistan which will get over $100m.

    In addition, the World Bank said it was working to redeploy $1.7bn of existing funds and was prepared to spend up to $160bn over the next 15 months to help fight the pandemic.

  18. White House briefing due to begin soon

    The White House coronavirus taskforce briefing is due to start in the coming hour. President Donald Trump has been regularly appearing alongside health officials.

    Critics have accused Mr Trump of using the briefings to boost his poll numbers at a time when campaign rallies, like all mass gatherings, are banned.

    Here's what else is happening around the country

    • Around 90% of Americans are under some form of lockdown orders requiring them to stay in their homes to control the rate of coronavirus infections
    • Democrats will delay choosing their candidate to take on Mr Trump until August, over fears that the pandemic will still be a threat to the convention, which had been scheduled for mid-July
    • The mayor of LA has ordered all of the city's four million residents to wear masks outside their home, while federal officials say they are also mulling new face masks orders for the entire country
    • Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden's team are planning to sort out a phone call with Mr Trump to discuss the coronavirus crisis, after the president floated the idea
  19. 'Players will have to share burden'

    Premier League football

    The Professional Footballers' Association has said it "fully accepts that players will have to be flexible and share the financial burden" of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The trade union for professional association footballers in England and Wales says its members must act "in order to secure the long-term future of their own club and indeed the wider game".

    The statement came after UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the "first thing" Premier League footballers could do to help is "take a pay cut".

    Speaking at the government's daily briefing, Mr Hancock added: "Everybody needs to play their part in this national effort and that means Premier League footballers."

    On Wednesday, Premier League clubs were accused by Julian Knight, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, of living in a "moral vacuum" after some clubs furloughed non-playing staff while preserving the wages of highly-paid players.

  20. I still hear of PPE shortages, says nursing chief

    BBC Question Time

    There's a question about whether the UK was too late in ordering personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS workers.

    Donna Kinnair, chief executive at the Royal College of Nursing, says they have been urging the government "for weeks" to make this a priority.

    She says she has been assured "we do have enough" but adds she is concerned about how new supplies will be replenished.

    She adds that she is still hearing reports of shortages on the front line.