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Live Reporting

Edited by Alex Therrien

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's it from us for now

    We're pausing our live page coverage for today. We'll be back tomorrow. Thanks for joining us.

    Here are some of the people who contributed to today's rolling coverage: George Bowden, Francesca Gillett, Victoria Lindrea, Yaroslav Lukov, Vanessa Buschschluter, Sarah Collerton, Doug Faulkner, Henri Astier and Alex Therrien.

  2. Light tribute to Britons lost to coronavirus

    Downing Street lit up

    Buildings across the UK have been lit up with blue lights in honour of those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

    A candle was lit outside 10 Downing Street, while the Archbishop of Canterbury also lit a candle of remembrance at Canterbury Cathedral ahead of the NHS's 72nd anniversary on Sunday.

    Britons have also been encouraged to put a light in their windows, while a round of applause in recognition of health workers will be held on Sunday.

    London Eye lit up blue
    Windsor Castle
  3. Texas records new daily high of cases

    A sign posted "Maximum Tests Reached Today" in English and Spanish is seen at Delmar Stadium at a Covid-19 testing site amid the coronavirus pandemic in Houston, Texas, USA, 03 July 2020
    Image caption: Some testing sites in Texas are struggling to keep up with demand

    Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Texas rose by 8,258 on Saturday - the highest 24-hour increase since the start of the pandemic, the Texas health department said.

    The number of people being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals also reached a record high on Saturday in the Lone Star State with 238 more people now in hospital, bringing the total to 7,890.

    For months, Texas had had a relatively low number of cases.

    Watch this video to find out more about why cases surged.

    Video content

    Video caption: Why Texas is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases
  4. Bolivia's mining minister tests positive for Covid-19

    Health workers carry out a door-to-door visit to check for possible cases of COVID-19, within the coronavirus pandemic, on July 4, 2020, in El Alto, Bolivia.
    Image caption: Health workers in Bolivia have been carrying out door-to-door checks to curb the spread of the virus

    Bolivia's mining minster, Jorge Fernando Oropeza, has tested positive for coronavirus - becoming the second member of the cabinet to become infected.

    On Thursday, cabinet chief Yerko Núñez announced he was isolating at home after a positive test.

    Bolivia has just under 37,000 cases of coronavirus, a figure which is much lower than those of its neighbours, Brazil and Peru, which are the worst-affected in Latin America with more than 1.5 million cases and almost 300,000 cases respectively.

    And while lockdown measures seem to have had some success in keeping cases down, on Saturday hundreds of people protested against the measures in the central city of Cochabamba.

    Local media report that four officers have been injured and 15 vehicles destroyed in clashes between the protesters and police.

  5. Newcastle's famous nightlife resumes

    Newcastle - a city known country-wide for its nightlife - has welcomed back weekend revelers, with safety measures in place of course.

    Three women walk in the centre of Newcastle
    A man gives thumbs up as he stands outside a pub with bouncers
    Police talk to customers outside a bar in Newcastle
    A bouncer temperature checks a man
  6. Trump: 'We're on the way to a tremendous victory'

    President Donald Trump at Fourth of July celebrations at Mount Rushmore on 3 July, 2020

    President Trump has said that the US is on its way to a "tremendous victory" over Covid-19.

    The US has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases anywhere in the world, as well as the highest death toll worldwide with close to 130,000 fatalities.

    In his message to Americans on US Independence Day, he again blamed China for the virus and said that the US was coming back.

    "Our country will be greater than ever before," he said a day after the US registered a record 57,562 new cases, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

    Celebrations for this year's Independence Day were subdued with many events cancelled to prevent a further spread of the virus.

    View more on twitter
  7. It's not just pubs and hairdressers open in England

    Although pints and haircuts led the headlines in England today as lockdown measures were eased, people were also able to enjoy some other familiar activities that had been out of reach since March.

    Women play bingo at Mecca Bingo in Luton
    Image caption: It wasn't just pubs and restaurants that reopened in England on Saturday, in Luton fans of bingo took to the tables once again
    A man views  "The Finding of Moses" by Orazio Gentileschi, part of an exhibition at London's National Gallery
    Image caption: As museums and galleries reopened, small numbers ventured out to enoy their favourite masterpiece in world famous haunts such as London's National Gallery
    Cinema-goers at Showcase Cinema in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Dartford,
    Image caption: Families were once again able to enjoy the silver screen as cinemas opened their doors and cameras rolled
    A child plays on a climbing frame at a playground in Wallington
    Image caption: And children returned to the playground with a spring in their step - despite the cloudy July weather.
  8. WHO: Record 24-hour increase in cases worldwide

    Health professionals talk to a Yanomami child amidst the coronavirus pandemic at the 4 Special Border Platoon on July 01, 2020 in Alto Alegre, Brazil.
    Image caption: Brazil is one of the countries where new infections are on the rise

    There has been a record daily increase in new coronavirus cases across the globe, according to figures compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The WHO said on Saturday that the number of cases recorded within the previous 24 hours was 212,326 - considerably higher than the previous daily record of 189,077 recorded on 28 June.

    The US, Brazil and India accounted for most of the new cases.

    Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day, according to the WHO tally.

  9. PM's father defends lockdown trip to Greece

    Chris Mason

    Political correspondent

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: UK PM's father says he hopes for 'air bridge' with Greece

    The other day, the prime minister's dad, Stanley Johnson, was criticised for going to Greece, despite his son's government advising against all but essential foreign travel.

    Mr Johnson Snr defended his trip on the grounds he was "on essential business" to ensure a property he rents out was "Covid-proof" before holidays restart.

    When asked about his dad's behaviour yesterday, the prime minister said: "I think you really ought to raise that with him."

    Well, set reporters a challenge and we'll often do our best to rise to it.

    And Stanley Johnson has been tracked down in Greece.

    He said "let's open up this air bridge as quick as we can", adding: "People are longing to get here. This is a country that's got everything. I'm not going to say whether my actions were correct or not".

    Mr Johnson said he planned to return to the UK on 10 July, the day from which it will no longer be necessary for those returning from Greece to quarantine for a fortnight on arrival back into England.

  10. WHO suspends trials of hydroxychloroquine

    Hydroxychloroquine

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is suspending its trials of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

    Some early studies suggested that the drug might be able to shorten the duration of symptoms experienced by coronavirus patients and it was praised by US President Donald Trump and Brazil's leader, Jair Bolsonaro, who both said they took it as a preventative measure.

    However, the WHO said in a statement released on Saturday that its trials showed that hydroxychloroquine "produced little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized Covid-19 patients".

    The WHO said its decision would not affect trials of the drug on patients who are not in hospital, but that investigators would stop those on hospitalised patients "with immediate effect".

    Read more about coronavirus and hydroxychloroquine here.

  11. Here's your evening round-up

    With their newly-shorn locks and a pint at their elbow, many have been celebrating the easing of lockdown measures across England on Saturday.

    Here's what you may have missed if you're only joining us now.

  12. In pictures: People gather as pubs reopen in central London

    Drinkers in Soho, London, as coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased across England. PA Photo.
    Image caption: Roads in Soho were closed to traffic so people could stand outside
    A police officer stands at an elevated position to watch people drinking after the reopening of commercial activities, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
    Image caption: A police officer stands at an elevated position to watch over the crowds
    People sit and drink at the Borough Market after the reopening of commercial activities following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
    Image caption: Across the river at Borough Market, by London Bridge, the street was also busy
    Visitors drink at The Terrace beer garden at Alexandra Palace on July 4, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The UK Government announced that pubs, hotels and restaurants can open from Saturday, July 4th providing they follow guidelines on social distancing and sanitising.
    Image caption: Visitors drink at The Terrace beer garden at Alexandra Palace in north London
    Friends from Bromley enjoy the vibe at Camden Town Brewerys pop-up beer garden on July 4, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The UK Government announced that Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants can open from Saturday, July 4th providing they follow guidelines on social distancing and sanitising
    Image caption: And at Camden Town Brewery's pop-up beer garden, also in north London, a group waves a flag to get the bartender's attention
  13. Scots told to 'think carefully' over English pub trips

    Members of staff wearing PPE at The Victoria in Whitley Bay, as pubs and bars have reopened following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England.
    Image caption: Pubs in England reopened on Saturday - with precautions - as lockdown restrictions are eased

    People living in Scotland - where pubs are staying closed - have been warned to "think carefully" before crossing the border to visit newly-reopened pubs in England.

    Scotland's national clinical director, Prof Jason Leitch, said there was no law against it, but "that seems to me like maybe not the right thing to do".

    He urged Scots to wait until beer gardens opened in Scotland on Monday.

    One pub across the border in England, in Berwick-upon-Tweed, claimed 70% of its bookings were from Scotland.

    Publican Marc McDonald told BBC Scotland people had travelled from as far afield as Glasgow and Edinburgh to drink at The Meadow House.

    Read the full story here.

  14. Face mask exemption cards and other falsehoods

    Picture of one of the fake "face mask exemption cards"

    The BBC's Reality Check team has examined dodgy information circulating on social media. Here are just two of the claims it found to be fake or misleading:

    • Cards for sale in the US purporting to give the carrier an exemption from wearing a face mask in public are fraudulent. "These cards do not carry the force of law," a statement from the US government warns.
    • A graphic shared on social media which claims that face masks could suppress the body's immune system is not based on evidence. The World Health Organization is clear in its advice that wearing face masks properly worn is safe.

    Read more about the claims making the rounds on social media here.

  15. Many pubs not reopening - but estimates vary

    Street artists perform for costumers outside the Golden Lion pub in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, as it reopens following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England.
    Image caption: Street artists perform outside the Golden Lion pub in Todmorden, West Yorkshire

    We've been hearing and seeing a lot today from the pubs in England that have reopened, in the latest step to ease lockdown rules.

    But many stayed shut - although exactly how many is uncertain.

    The Night-Time Industries Association said earlier that a third of all bars, pubs and restaurants would remain closed.

    And now, the national chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale said he's "seen figures of up to 50% of pubs actually not opening today".

    Nik Antona said pubs were "opening up under uncertain circumstances. They don't know if they're going to get their customers back".

    "What you are finding is, some of the pubs haven't even bothered opening today - they want to see what's going to happen," he added,

    Meanwhile, official figures yesterday showed just one in three pubs, bars and restaurants in Newcastle City Council planned to reopen today.

    That goes down to one in five in Sunderland, according to the city's council.

  16. 'Everyone's just happy to be getting out of the house'

    At a pub in Newcastle, punters were enjoying their first "proper pint" in more than three months.

    "The atmosphere is a bit different... that was expected. But everyone's having a good time," one customer told the BBC's Fiona Trott.

    "The regulations are good and everyone is sticking with them, by the looks of things," said his companion.

    "I think everyone's just happy to be socialising again and getting out of the house."

    It's a very different sort of Saturday evening from pre-lockdown expectations. Customers are expected to book a table in advance, to register their details on arrival and to stay no more than three hours.

    And with only a third of the city's licensed premises currently open, many are fully booked and turning customers away.

    Customers drink inside The Ancoats Lad in Manchester
    Image caption: Many pubs reopened across England on Saturday, as the government eased lockdown measures
  17. Theme park 'at quarter of usual capacity'

    Katie Prescott, Business correspondent

    People enjoy a ride at the Chessington World of Adventures in Chessington, Britain, 04 July 2020. Pubs, restaurants, places of worship, hairdressers and other businesses are reopening their doors across the UK today on "Super Saturday" after more than three months of lockdown

    “I feel a bit lost,” one lady told us. “I’ve had my own company for such a long time - it’s just strange to be out even with this small number of people.”

    The general consensus here at Chessington World of Adventures is that the new restrictions haven’t really spoiled the experience.

    Kids bounce with excitement as they munch burgers and chips, and the whoosh of the rollercoasters provide a rattling metronome to the scene. A lot is closed.

    The queues are long because of the new restrictions, but the crowds aren’t here.

    As the company predicted this morning, they are at a quarter of their usual capacity.

    The company says it is happy with that at this stage. It will be waiting to see over the coming months - hoping that number changes.

    I had a go on the runaway mine train. Socially distanced, with gaps between carriages, but nonetheless it did feel like the fun has started to come back.

  18. Government sending out 'mixed signals', Starmer says

    Sir Keir Starmer
    Image caption: Sir Keir said the lockdown easing was "a big test" for the government

    The leader of the opposition has attacked the UK government for having its messaging "all over the place" as the coronavirus lockdown measures in England are relaxed.

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Boris Johnson's government of sending out conflicting signals, as many hospitality venues, as well as hairdressers, theme parks and cinemas, work to reopen safely.

    "You have had some government messaging saying go out and have a drink - other messaging saying be responsible, be cautious," Sir Keir told TimesRadio.

    "The messaging, I think, has been very poor over the last few weeks."

    Sir Keir added: "Today is a massive day, and it is a real test.

    "My message, really, to the government is, this is a big test for you. "We are supporting you in easing restrictions, but you absolutely have to be on top of the risks.

    "And that means that things like test, track and trace really have to work. And there has to be a much better way of dealing with local outbreaks."

  19. Street pastors: No hugs, but we are happy to listen

    Tammy McAllister

    BBC News

    As venues like pubs and bars reopen, it's not just police who will be patrolling the streets.

    In Cheltenham, street pastor Maria Perry will also be on hand to help pub-goers get home safely.

    She said: "You don't know how people will react, whether they will be over-keen to get back and celebrate because the pubs are open or if other people wouldn't think it was the right time.

    "As a street pastor, myself and the rest of the team will be only too happy to meet anyone who would want to talk to us - we are happy to listen.

    "We are non-judgemental, because who am I to judge people? We would love to see people to come up and greet us."

    She added that normally people would often come up for a hug on their night out, but due to social distancing this was one thing they would be unable to do.

    Ms Perry and her team will be in the town centre for two hours, from 20:00 BST.

    Cheltenham Street Pastors
  20. Further 67 coronavirus deaths recorded in UK

    A further 67 people have died in the UK after testing positive for the virus, the Department of Health and Social Care has said.

    It takes the total number of people who have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community to 44,198.

    The DoH added that from today it will no longer be tweeting out a table showing the figures, but will instead direct people to its website.