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Live Reporting

Edited by Rob Corp

All times stated are UK

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  1. We're pausing our live coverage


    We're bringing our rolling coverage of the pandemic to a close until tomorrow morning. Thank you for joining us.

    It's been a busy day. To recap, here are some of the top headlines.

    • The World Health Organization (WHO) recorded the highest daily increase in total cases - 183,000 added in 24 hours
    • Most of these cases came from Brazil, followed by the US and India
    • WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a lack of global solidarity and leadership was an even greater threat than the virus itself
    • Officials in South Korea said the country was going through a "second wave" of infections, although new cases are falling
    • France has now reopened its cinemas, swimming pools and holiday centres. At the same time, all pupils up to the age of 15 have gone back to school
    • The number of total confirmed cases worldwide has now exceeded nine million, according to the count kept by the US-based Johns Hopkins University

    Today's live page reporters were: Vicky Baker, Henri Astier, Alexandra Fouche, Ashitha Nagesh, Hamish Mackay, Mary O’Connor, Max Matza, Emma Harrison and Gavin Stamp. The editors were Thomas Poole and Rob Corp.

  2. The latest from the UK

    Matt Hancock during briefing on Monday 22 June

    Before we sign off our live coverage for the day, here are the main UK headlines.

    • People in England who have been "shielding" - that is, people who are most vulnerable to the virus - will have more freedom to go outside and see other people from 6 July
    • England's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said there were children staying home from school to shield who would be better off in the classroom
    • Next summer's GCSEs and A-levels could delayed until later in the summer to allow for more teaching time, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said. This would be to allow schools to catch up some of the time lost since lockdown
    • The government is also now reviewing whether the 2m rule on social distancing in England should be reduced to 1m
    • Another 15 Covid-related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours - the lowest figure since 15 March.
    • The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has also fallen below 1,000 for the first time since the peak of the virus
    • Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the virus is "in retreat" in the UK
  3. English councils urge plan for vulnerable after shielding

    The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils, has called for a "plan" for vulnerable households affected by news of an end to shielding for people in England from 1 August.

    From 6 July, the 2.2 million people who have been self-isolating at home will be able to meet up outdoors, in a group, with up to five others and form "support bubbles" with other households.

    Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA's community wellbeing board, said the UK government's announcement provided "much-need clarity" for those who've been shielding, adding that "clear communication" was "vital" for people to adjust to the changes and councils' ability to support them.

    But he said a "plan is needed" to help people who can't afford access to priority supermarket delivery slots when the provision of emergency food parcels finishes and to support those whose "wellbeing has suffered as a result of prolonged isolation".

  4. Mexico resumes sending farm workers to Canada

    Mexican labourers plant crops

    Mexico has announced a deal to resume sending temporary farm workers to Canada to help with summer planting and harvesting.

    Canada and Mexico "reached an agreement to improve sanitary conditions of the nationals who work on farms", the Mexican foreign ministry said.

    Canada relies on about 60,000 temporary migrant labourers - mostly from Latin America and the Caribbean - to help with chronic employment shortages in the agricultural industry.

    Last week, Mexico said it would hit the "pause button" on sending about 5,000 workers to Canada after at least two of its nationals died after contracting Covid-19 on farms.

  5. Hindu festival to go ahead without crowds

    Rath Yatra in Puri, Odisha, 2017
    Image caption: The Rath Yatra in Puri in 2017 - before social distancing

    India's Supreme Court will allow an annual Hindu festival to go ahead in the city of Puri, in Odisha state, on Tuesday - but in a "restricted manner".

    The Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra festival had previously been banned because of the coronavirus. But central and state governments argued that it should go ahead without public participation, saying it could be broadcast on TV instead.

    Since the Supreme Court's decision, officials in Puri shut the city down, imposing a curfew that will stay in place until Wednesday. This is so the festival can go ahead without the public taking part.

    The festival involves a procession with Hindu idols in large chariots. It usually attracts huge crowds.

  6. Djokovic must 'feel responsibility' over coronavirus at Adria Tour

    Grigor Dimitrov (centre) sat with Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic during the first Adria Tour event in Belgrade last week
    Image caption: Grigor Dimitrov (centre) sat with Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic during the first Adria Tour event in Belgrade last week

    As professional tennis tours have been put on pause until at least August, a number of domestic and regional exhibition tournaments between players based in the same part of the world have sprung up.

    But the Balkans-based Adria Tour event set up by world number one Novak Djokovic has drawn criticism after two players tested positive for Covid-19.

    The latest critic is British men's number one Dan Evans, who says Djokovic should "feel some responsibility" after players Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric tested positive for the virus.

    Dimitrov played Coric on Saturday in the second leg of the world number one's event in Zadar, Croatia - where players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules after a lockdown easing there.

    Evans, 30, thinks Djokovic - who is awaiting the results of his Covid test - has some questions to answer.

    "Put it this way, I don't think you should be having a players' party and then dancing all over each other," Evans said.

    "He should feel some responsibility in his event and how it's transpired."

    The first leg of the tour in Serbia concluded with players dancing close together in a Belgrade nightclub.

    Meanwhile, Britain's Sir Andy Murray says it has been a "lesson for us all" to take the situation "extremely seriously".

    Organisers said Sunday's final in Zadar has been cancelled "as a precaution" and insisted epidemiological measures in each nation where matches were played were "strictly followed" at all times.

  7. Netherlands reports no new virus deaths in last 24 hours

    Lockdown easing in Amsterdam

    Health officials in the Netherlands have announced there were no new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours - the first time the country's daily death toll has been zero since the beginning of March.

    There were, however, 69 new infections.

    The Netherlands started easing its lockdown on 13 May, and officials said it would continue to be eased in phases until 1 September.

    The country's total death toll is 6,090, and there have been 49,658 cases.

  8. White House denies ordering testing slowdown

    White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany has denied that President Trump ordered a slowdown of virus testing.

    It comes after Trump commented during a rally in Oklahoma over the weekend that the "bad part" of testing is that "you're going to find more cases".

    "So I said to my people, slow the testing down please."

    But the White House on Monday denied that Trump's comments reflected an actual presidential order.

    “Any suggestion that testing has been curtailed is not rooted in fact,” McEnany said on Monday. “It was a comment that he made in jest,” she added.

    View more on twitter

    On a call to state governors on Monday, Vice-President Mike Pence defended Trump's remark as "a passing observation".

    But in an interview on Monday, Trump declined to say that he had not ordered testing to be slowed.

    "If it did slow down - frankly, I think we’re way ahead of ourselves, if you want to know the truth,” he told Scripps television.

    “We’ve done too good of a job. The reason we have more cases is because we do more testing.”

  9. Americans fined for sneaking into Canada's Banff National Park

    Banff National Park
    Image caption: Banff National Park previously received around 4m visitors per year

    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Alberta, has fined six American nationals who were found sneaking into Banff National Park.

    Non-essential travel between the US and Canada is prohibited until 21 July, but some Americans have been allowed to cross the border as long as they are en route to the US state of Alaska, - a more than 1,000 mile (1,600km) drive from Canada's southern border.

    But to be allowed into Canada, Americans must promise to remain in their cars as much as possible, avoid hotels and shops and forgo any unnecessary stops.

    The C$1,200 fines ($880, £700) were issued near the Lake Louise area of the park to Americans who had stopped to hike.

  10. Children in UK 'traumatised' by coronavirus

    Ashitha Nagesh

    BBC News, London

    Child painting a rainbow

    Children across the UK are developing mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress, because of the pandemic, a charity has warned.

    As well as anxiety about their loved ones' health, many children are facing social isolation and hunger, the Childhood Trust says.

    Children in poverty who don't have the internet at home are effectively shut out of online lessons while schools are closed. Few are able to access therapy.

    Teachers warn this will lead to entrenched inequalities between them and classmates from more affluent families.

    Read the full story here.

  11. French death toll rises by 23

    Eiffel Tower with sign about protective masks

    Another 23 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours in France, bringing the country's total death toll up to 29,663.

    The French health ministry also says the number of people in hospital has gone down by 130, and is now 9,693.

    Schools in the country reopened today for pupils up to the age of 15.

    Earlier this month, President Emmanuel Macron declared France had won its "first victory" against the coronavirus, before announcing the greatest lifting of lockdown measures in the country so far.

  12. The people who are still shielding at home

    Composite image

    As we heard earlier, the 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable people in England who have been self-isolating at home from coronavirus for the past three months will no longer need to do this from 1 August.

    From 6 July, they will be able to meet up to six people outdoors and form "support bubbles" with other households.

    At the beginning of lockdown, the BBC's Joe Lee spoke to some of those shielding to see how they felt about avoiding all close contact for 12 weeks.

    He's now gone back to ask how they feel about the prospect of rejoining the wider world - with some varying responses.

    Michael Winehouse

    Michael Winehouse, a charity fundraiser who has cystic fibrosis, has been shielding at home with his wife and their four-year-old son.

    He said shielding had "certainly worked" for people with his condition, but now the "novelty" had worn off, he was looking forward to doing normal things like doing a shop or seeing family and friends.

    "I can't live inside forever", he says, "I'm just going to have to risk assess every situation, avoid those places where bugs are likely to linger."

    You can read Joe's full piece here.

  13. Next summer's GCSEs and A-levels could be delayed

    Sean Coughlan

    BBC News, education correspondent

    Pupils taking exams

    Next year's A-levels and GCSEs in England could be pushed back later into the summer to allow more teaching time, says Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

    This would allow schools to catch up some of the time lost since the lockdown.

    Mr Williamson told MPs he would be consulting the exam regulator Ofqual about extra time to deliver courses.

    It follows a similar proposal announced for exams in Scotland.

    England's education secretary, speaking in the House of Commons, said he wanted to find a way to "add more teaching time".

  14. BreakingMore than nine million cases worldwide, says Johns Hopkins

    The total number of cases worldwide has now exceeded nine million, according to the count kept by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

    It says the exact number of global infections is 9,003,042.

    A total of 469,122 people have now died.

  15. Shielding advice in Wales 'has not changed'

    Advice in Wales asking people vulnerable to coronavirus to self-isolate has not changed, the Welsh Government has said.

    It issued the statement after UK ministers announced the tapering of the precautions in England, where people will no longer need to shield from 1 August.

    From 6 July, people in England will be able to meet up to six people outdoors and form 'support bubbles' with other households.

    But in Wales, shielding advice remains in place until 16 August.

    The advice includes people who have received organ transplants, those on immuno-suppressant drugs, and pregnant women.

    You can read more here.

  16. Reality Check

    What happened after Germany eased its lockdown?

    The R number refers to the reproduction rate of the virus.

    If the R is below 1, the spread of infection is slowing but if it’s above 1 it’s speeding up.

    Across the UK, the R is between 0.7–0.9 and the number is falling day to day by between 2-4%, according to the latest government data.

    In Germany, where the lockdown was eased earlier than in the UK, the R number has jumped to 2.88 as of Sunday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the country’s leading public health body.

    As recently as Friday, Germany’s R number was estimated to be as low as 1.06, but it increased significantly after an outbreak at a meat processing plant in the north-west of the country led to more than 1,500 workers being infected with Covid-19.

    However, the RKI has cautioned that the jump in the R rate does not show an imminent threat of a second wave nationwide and is instead “mainly related to local outbreaks”.

    “Since case numbers in Germany are generally low, these local outbreaks have a relatively strong influence on the value of the reproduction number,” the RKI said in a statement.

    Read more about how the R number is calculated here.

  17. Reality Check

    How many people shielding are in work?

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked at today's Downing Street briefing about what employment protections would be in place for people shielding who might not be able to return to work.

    An estimated 627,000 “clinical extremely vulnerable” people normally work, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

    Almost 40% of these individuals are working from home and another 40% are furloughed or receiving self-employment support.

    Most of the people furloughed say they would not be able to work from home.

    However, 17% of those people who normally work have said they have stopped working and not receiving support from job retention schemes.

    A small amount of people - 5% - said they were currently working outside of the home.

    It does not tell us what financial support those not receiving job retention payments are getting.

    The estimates are based on surveys conducted between 28 May and 3 June.

  18. Analysis: Shielding announcement also about economy

    Iain Watson

    Political correspondent

    The pausing of shielding in England from 1 August will affect more than two million people.

    And it was interesting that, if shielding needs to be resumed, Dr Jenny Harries felt it was likely to be imposed in a more targeted form – with very few children asked to shield in future.

    "Only" 36 children had been admitted to an intensive care unit with Covid-19.

    But while the topic of today’s press conference was health-related, this was also about the economy and getting people back in to employment.

    From 1 August those who are shielding and can’t work from home will be able to return to work if their business is "covid secure".

    Good news for many.

    But for those who are anxious about returning, then it’s likely they will no longer be eligible for the statutory sick pay they have been given since April.

    Giving people the confidence to return to work is still a challenge for the government.

    As is getting parents to send children back to school.

    The health secretary also underlined that to get the economy moving, infrastructure projects will be "accelerated".

    And at this time of year, minds turn to holidays and not just work.

    So Matt Hancock sought to reassure us that the government was "working very intensively" on "travel corridors" - though the quarantine policy as a whole was unlikely to be withdrawn.

  19. What we learnt from today's UK government briefing

    In case you missed today's government coronavirus briefing, here is a quick round-up of the key points:

    • The 2.2 million people who have been self-isolating in England during the pandemic will no longer need to shield from 1 August. From 6 July, they will be able to meet up to six people outdoors and form "support bubbles" with other households
    • England's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said there were children who were staying home from school because they are shielding who would would be better off in the classroom. She added children with asthma which is under control should be in school as they are at "very low risk" from Covid-19 and are at "very significant risk of getting left behind in their education"
    • Another 15 Covid-related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, the lowest figure since 15 March - although there tends to be a reporting lag over the weekend
    • Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the virus is "in retreat" in the UK, with a number of "firsts" in today's statistics. For the first time since the peak, the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has fallen below 1,000 and there are fewer than 5,000 patients in hospital with the disease
    • The government will set out where "travel corridors" might be established before the 29 June deadline for reviewing the quarantine policy - which requires people arriving in the UK to quarantine for 14 days. Mr Hancock said any decisions will be based on "epidemiological advice"
  20. Is north-east England suffering more?

    The last question is about the risk of infection hotspots in the north-east of England and whether economic deprivation or care home policies in the region have contributed to the large number of cases in places such as Bishop Auckland, Blythe Valley and North West Durham.

    In response, Hancock says those living in the region have made "enormous sacrifices" in recent months and the result is that the R number is under one there and cases are falling.

    He says the government will look into regional anomalies and stresses that the levelling-up agenda that the Conservatives emphasised at the last election is even more important going forward, with what he describes as the "more even distribution of opportunity of wealth and health".

    Harries says people in the North East should be "careful and cautious" as they go forward, but not anxious.