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Live Reporting

Lauren Turner

All times stated are UK

  1. We're pausing live coverage until Friday

    We're pausing our live coverage here now. We'll be back tomorrow - see you then.

    Today's live page was brought to you by: Owen Amos, Yvette Tan, Andreas Illmer, Anna Jones, Mal Siret, Joshua Cheetham, Jo Couzens, Paulin Kola, Dulcie Lee, Ashitha Nagesh, Lauren Turner, Jennifer Scott, Justin Parkinson, and Max Matza.

  2. The global picture this evening

    A woman in Tehran covers her face in a Bazaar, as cases surge in Iran

    Thanks for joining us today, particularly if you're reading this from a country or city that's currently in lockdown.

    We'll be pausing this live page shortly - but before we go, here are the day's main global headlines.

    • The charity Oxfam has warned that 12,000 people a day could die from hunger caused by the Covid-19 pandemic - more than the virus itself. It identified 10 countries as potential hotspots, including Yemen, DR Congo and Afghanistan
    • Despite cases continuing to surge in a number of US states, President Trump says schools in the country should reopen this autumn as scheduled
    • Japanese capital Tokyo reported a record 224 new infections in 24 hours, well above the previous record of 206 cases on 17 April. However, officials say that a new state of emergency won't be necessary
    • Nigeria has reversed its decision to reopen schools because cases of the virus are still rising. Education minister Adamu Adamu says they'll only reopen when it's safe to do so
    • Iran’s health ministry says another 221 people with Covid-19 have died - the country's highest single-day figure since its outbreak began in February. The official death toll has now reached 12,305
    • The number of confirmed infections in India has risen to over 750,000 after almost 25,000 new cases were recorded in 24 hours - the highest daily increase since the country's outbreak began
    • There have now been more than 12.1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 550,000 deaths worldwide, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University
  3. What happened in the UK today?

    It's been a busy day, with further lockdown easing announced in England, Wales and Scotland. Here are the main stories:

    • In England, pools, gyms, beauticians, nail bars, tanning salons and tattooists will be able to open their doors again, and team sports - starting with cricket - will be allowed to resume. Outdoor performances will also be able to go ahead with limited audiences. Read all the details here
    • Two of the UK's biggest High Street retailers, John Lewis and Boots, announced 5,300 job cuts, as the chancellor warned he wouldn't be able to protect "every single job"
    • People in Scotland will be able to visit other households indoors and stay overnight as the country enters the next phase of lockdown easing. Read more about the changes here
    • In Wales, all state schools will be fully reopened by September- but parents will not be fined if they do not send their kids back
    • A further 85 deaths have been announced for the 24 hours up to 17:00 BST on 8 July, taking the UK coronavirus deaths total to 44,602
    • People in "high-contact" professions, such as taxi drivers, pharmacists and cleaners will be tested for coronavirus even if they don't have symptoms, as part of a pilot in England
    • Two reports charting coronavirus cases in England show the number of people in the community with the disease is falling
    • The BBC is to go ahead with a plan to end free TV licences for most over-75s, after a two-month delay because of the coronavirus pandemic
    Graphic showing what is reopening in England and when
  4. Watch: Will comedy survive?

    Video content

    Video caption: How stand-up comedians went online to survive lockdown

    With many theatres and live entertainment venues in the UK still closed because of coronavirus, comedians, performers and entertainers have taken to online platforms.

    In the video above, comedians tell the BBC how they're adjusting to this "new normal".

    It comes as comedy clubs call for a slice of the government's £1.5bn emergency arts funding, with a warning that hundreds face closure within the next year.

    Comedy was not mentioned when the government announced its bailout package for the arts on Sunday.

  5. China dismisses Nigerian virus lawsuit as 'frivolous'

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Coronavirus test
    Image caption: The lawsuit accuses China of failing to promptly inform the WHO about the virus

    An attempt by Nigerian lawyers to get compensation from China for the coronavirus pandemic has been described by Chinese authorities as "frivolous."

    The group of 11 lawyers is demanding $200bn (£158bn) in damages for the "loss of lives, economic strangulation, trauma, hardship, social disorientation, mental torture and disruption of normal daily existence of people in Nigeria".

    But the Chinese embassy in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, said the case lacked basis in international law.

    A group of Chinese doctors
    Image caption: China has sent medical teams to Nigeria to assist with relief efforts

    "Covid-19 has caught the whole world by surprise. China, like other countries, is a victim. Confronted by an unknown virus, we have acted responsibly to protect people's life and health and safeguard global public health," it said in statement on Twitter.

    The lawyers are trying to persuade Nigeria's government to institute state action against China through the International Court of Justice. Their case is yet to be heard at Nigeria's High Court.

  6. Which beauty treatments will still be banned?

    A woman cleans in a beauty salon

    Beauticians, nail salons and tattooists can reopen in England from Monday - but Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said there will be restrictions on "particularly high-risk services".

    The government confirms those which will not be allowed include:

    • Face waxing, sugaring or threading services
    • Facial treatments
    • Advanced facial technical (electrical or mechanical)
    • Eyelash treatments
    • Make-up application
    • Dermarolling
    • Dermaplaning
    • Microblading
    • Electrolysis on the face
    • Eyebrow treatments

    Read more on the details here.

  7. China executes man over virus roadblock murders

    A security man checks a car driver's wrist with a temperature gun

    A 23-year-old man has been executed in China for killing two government workers at a health checkpoint in February.

    Ma Jianguo stabbed the pair to death at a village in Yunan province in February, after he tried to remove a roadblock set up by local authorities.

    In a statement, the Supreme People's Court of China said he had recently finished a five-year prison sentence for assault.

    It's the first confirmed death penalty in China related to the country's efforts to contain coronavirus.

  8. SA doctor causes alarm over graves dug for virus victims

    Andrew Harding

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    In an apocalyptic warning, a South African health official suggested that half a million graves were being dug in the province of Gauteng to help cemeteries cope with the wave of coronavirus deaths.

    Dr Bandile Masuku, head of the province's health authorities, made the announcement during a television interview, but his office quickly explained that the actual number was far smaller.

    So why mention that figure at all? The general assumption is that he was deliberately seeking to spread alarm in a country where the virus has been slow to spread, and where the public has, as a result, begun to drop its guard.

    In recent days, the infection rate around Johannesburg has been rising sharply, and hospitals here, and in other big municipalities, are already struggling - with reports of oxygen shortages, a lack of beds, and personal protective equipment.

    South Africa has had months to prepare for this storm. Those preparations are now being tested, and in some places, are being ruthlessly exposed.

  9. Life in Arizona - the epicentre of the epicentre

    Sophie Long

    BBC News, Arizona

    Anti-lockdown protests in Phoenix, Arizona
    Image caption: Protesters marched against coronavirus restrictions in Phoenix on 4 July

    At a small vigil outside the state capital in Phoenix, Kristin Urquiza arranges flowers around a picture of her father Mark.

    He died last week after contracting coronavirus. Like so many others, he died alone without his wife or daughter by his side.

    Kristin tells me her grief is mixed with rage. She blames the Governor of Arizona Doug Ducey for her dad’s death. Not only did he lift the lockdown too quickly, she says, but he made people feel it was safe to go out.

    Others think individuals should take responsibility. When the bars and clubs reopened here people partied pre-pandemic style. Jimmy Flores was one of them - he says he thought he was an invincible fit and healthy 30-year-old. That was before he spent eight days in hospital on oxygen after contracting coronavirus at a party.

    During a brief break from an overflowing ER, Dr Murtaza Akkter tells me how frustrating it was to watch young people laughing, drinking and hugging outside bars as he drove home after a busy shift.

    The bars and clubs are now closed again. The cases of coronavirus are still climbing.

  10. 'Leave coal out of Covid-19 recovery' - UN chief

    Coal-fired power plant in Datteln, western Germany

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged countries not to turn to fossil fuels while rebuilding their economies after the coronavirus pandemic.

    Speaking at a virtual summit for clean energy today, Guterres said some countries were using their economic recovery packages to support fossil fuel companies that were already struggling financially.

    Others are jump-starting coal-fired power plants, including developing countries who argue that coal is necessary for growth.

    "Coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans," Guterres said.

    The EU and South Korea have already pledged to make their recovery programmes environmentally-friendly.

  11. Watch: Buy tickets and get to your local gallery

    Video content

    Video caption: Culture secretary: 'support the places we all love'

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden urges people to "make the most of this summer safely" as he announces further easing of lockdown in England.

  12. What is reopening in England - and when?

    Gyms, pools, nail bars and outdoor performances are set to return in England, after the government announced another easing of lockdown.

    Let's take a look at what is reopening and when:

    Graphic showing that outdoor performances, outdoor pools, and some grassroots sport are returning from 11 July
    Graphic showing that beauticians, tattoo parlours, spas, and tanning salons will reopen from 13 July
    Graphic showing indoor gyms, sports facilities and pools to reopen from 25 July
  13. UK man admits selling fake cures to France and the US

    Frank Ludlow and image of fake kits

    A man has pleaded guilty to selling fake coronavirus cure kits to people in France and the United States.

    Frank Ludlow, 59, was caught by City of London Police. He had been trying to send dozens of parcels of fake remedies in a post office near his West Sussex home.

    Judge William Mousley said father-of-two Ludlow contacted national governments and "took advantage of an international crisis".

    Read more here.

  14. Slovakia considers options after jump in cases

    Rob Cameron

    BBC Prague Correspondent

    Cyclist in Bratislava

    Slovakia's prime minister Igor Matovic has said his country might have to reintroduce restrictions, after the country recorded the single biggest daily increase in Covid-19 infections since 22 April.

    Matovic said epidemiologists would meet on Monday to discuss the matter.

    The number of new infections recorded on Wednesday was 53, bringing the total to 1,851. Some 1,477 people have recovered from the virus, and 28 have died.

    Slovakia has so far been credited with some of the lowest infection rates in Europe, as well as what were some of the strictest measures.

  15. 'We don't want to look like a hospital' - restaurant owner

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Helen Wong with Gordon Ramsey

    Helen Wong, owner of the Sweet Mandarin restaurant in Manchester, tells BBC Radio 5 Live that Rishi Sunak's support is "highly welcome".

    On the chancellor's Eat Out to Help Out scheme, she says: "It’s going to change the mindset.

    "It’s going to incentivise people to come out and break that psychological fear of actually meeting people.”

    Helen has brought in booths and reduced the number of tables in her restaurant from 30 to 10 but says there are still other issues.

    "We’re literally masked up, visored up, we don’t want to look like a hospital but still we need to keep the team safe," she says. "It’s getting that balance of enjoying your experience out and dining out but also keeping safety at the forefront.”

    The secret to success, she adds, is adapting: "If you’re not going to adapt, you’re not going to survive, no matter what size you are.”

  16. Analysis: Getting used to the new normal

    Jessica Parker

    BBC political correspondent

    The “un-lockdown” goes on in England. And, yes, it will be welcome news for those who run, as well as use places like gyms, swimming pools and beauticians.

    But, as ever, the new normal means new complications. Businesses obviously want to get customers through the door but government guidance talks about limiting the numbers and spacing out equipment.

    Gym users will be expected to play their part too, cleaning machines after use. Many, of course, will be more than happy to do so. And for those who breach the rules, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden suggested officials would uphold the relevant standards.

    But in truth can every leisure space in England really be policed? Common sense will prevail say ministers, with the majority ready to do what is asked.

    Meanwhile, business owners will be examining the guidance closely, hoping that the new normal will allow their firms to be viable.

  17. Uni will run in-house testing service

    Oxford

    Oxford University says it will run an in-house Covid-19 testing service for students and staff from September.

    The university said its testing system - based at sites in the city centre and Headington - would "protect our local community" and ease the burden on local NHS facilities.

    It also says research and teaching spaces will be "adapted to ensure social distancing and appropriate ventilation" for the start of term.

    Libraries will operate social distancing, with a seat-finder app planned to help students.

    Face coverings will be required during face-to-face teaching and in indoor shared spaces - and cleaning will be "significantly enhanced", it added.

  18. Bergamo hospital marks no Covid-19 cases in intensive care

    BBC OS

    Staff at Bergamo Hospital

    The city of Bergamo in northern Italy was one of the worst-hit areas by Covid-19 in the country.

    But now, after 137 days, the intensive care unit in the city's main hospital, Papa Giovanni XXIII, has no positive Covid-19 cases.

    Dr Luca Lorini is the head of the intensive care unit and emergency department at the hospital.

    He's been speaking to BBC OS on World Service radio.

    "When we started, in the first week, we didn't expect so many patients. But it was clear at the end of the first week that a lot of patients in the region were infected with Covid-19.

    "We worked so hard in March, April and May. We used more than 100% of our capability, starting early in the morning trying to find materials, beds, ventilators. It was three months of very hard work.

    "But at the end of April I observed a downward curve, so we have been expecting this."

    Dr Lorini says that the ICU now has just 72 patients, none of them Covid-positive, and looks like it did before the coronavirus pandemic.

    "It's incredible because you don't have to use so much protection. So you feel free. You can drink coffee... the atmosphere is much more comfortable."

    However, he says they still need to be alert for a possible second wave.

    "We have to prepare for the future, because we don't know what will happen. No science, no doctor, nobody knows."

  19. Outdoor concerts, plays and opera get go-ahead

    The Minack Theatre in Cornwall
    Image caption: The Minack Theatre in Cornwall was cited as one venue that can reopen

    If you're just joining us, here's a reminder about open-air gigs, festivals and theatre shows in England. They can resume from this weekend, as long as they have "a limited and socially distanced audience", the government says.

    Outdoor performances can go ahead from Saturday 11 July.

    A number of small indoor test events will also take place to help plan how and when venues can begin to reopen.

    Read more here.

  20. Watch: Gyms to reopen in two weeks

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus lockdown: Gyms to reopen from July 25

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has just finished announcing another major easing of England's lockdown.

    Read the key points in full here.