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Live Reporting

Edited by Lauren Turner

All times stated are UK

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  1. Today's team

    Today our coverage has been brought to you by our journalists in London, Washington DC, Singapore and Sydney.

    They are: Yvette Tan, Krutika Pathi, Yaroslav Lukov, Frances Mao, Saira Asher, Andreas Illmer, Anna Jones, Sophie Williams, Hazel Shearing, Katie Wright, Patrick Jackson, Paul Kirby, Georgina Rannard, Lauren Turner, Joseph Lee, Ashitha Nagesh and Max Matza.

  2. We're pausing our live coverage

    Boy wearing mask with Disney characters on it in India

    Thank you for joining us for our rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today - particularly if you're in a city or country that's currently in lockdown.

    We're pausing our live page until tomorrow morning (UK time). But to sum up, here are the main headlines from today.

    • The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US has now passed four million - an increase of more than one million in just 15 days. The total US death toll is also now higher than 144,000
    • US President Donald Trump cancelled the part of the Republican National Convention that was due to be held in Jacksonville, Florida next month, blaming the "flare up" of the virus in the state
    • India, meanwhile, recorded 49,310 new cases of the virus - its highest number of cases reported in a 24-hour period
    • In Japan, questions are being raised over whether the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be able to go ahead in 2021. Protesters say next year is still too soon to be able to hold the Games safely, while some athletes have pulled out
    • People flying into Germany from high-risk countries will now have to take a coronavirus test at the airport, or face going into quarantine for 14 days
    • South Africa is closing its public schools for a month in a bid to curb the spread of the virus there
    • The Czech Republic is making the wearing of face coverings to indoor events mandatory from midnight. The country currently has more than 5,000 people infected with the virus, the highest number since the start of the pandemic
    • Disney has postponed the release of its live-action remake of Mulan because of the pandemic. The new Star Wars and Avatar films have also had their release dates pushed back
    • Bolivia has postponed its election until October over fears the virus could peak there in August or early September
    • There are now more than 15.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, and there have been almost 635,000 deaths
  3. UK evening round-up

    Shoppers wearing face masks
    Image caption: Many shoppers were prepared for the new rules on face coverings

    We're wrapping up today's live page coverage shortly, but if you want to catch up on the day's events, here is what has been happening in the UK.

  4. The day England's shoppers donned their face masks

    Hazel Shearing & Alex Kleiderman

    BBC News

    Sign asking people to wear face masks

    "Oh, better put our masks on," a woman says to her friend outside a homeware shop in Camberwell, south London, fishing around in her bag. He shrugs and follows her inside, opting to go without.

    It's the first day that face coverings have been compulsory for customers in England's shops. But this short exchange sums up the dilemma for some shopkeepers and shoppers.

    Susan Green, 57, in Liverpool, said: "I think it is a little bit late to have introduced this and lots of people I've seen this morning are not even wearing one.

    "It won't put me off coming to the shops because I'll be out anyway, but it does seem a bit unnecessary."

    Read the full story here

  5. Watch: We took 'every single piece of advice', says UK PM

    Video content

    Video caption: Boris Johnson: There maybe things we could have done differently
  6. UK sees surge in wild swimming - and rows over trespass

    Claire Marshall

    Environment correspondent, BBC News

    Toby Robinson
    Image caption: Team GB open water swimmer Toby Robinson has been training in the River Soar

    Figures suggest that more people than ever are heading to Britain's rivers with the easing of lockdown - renewing calls for better public rights of access.

    It comes as MPs are to consider proposals aimed at opening up the waterways to all. But after recent incidences of overcrowding and littering, there are fears more people on rivers could "cause chaos".

    The Canal & Rivers Trust, British Canoeing, the Outdoor Swimming Society and the Angling Trust all report a surge in interest during lockdown and after the easing of restrictions began.

    Unlike in Scotland, there is currently no "right to roam" equivalent on waterways in England and Wales.

    The vast majority of rivers in England and Wales - around 95% - are in private hands and access is limited. If you swim, fish or paddle without the right permission, you are breaking the law.

    "The Crown owns the water you swim in, while the person who owns the property up to the bank is also said to own the bed of the river up to the middle," says Nick Hayes, author of The Book of Trespass.

    Read more

  7. Seven charts on the state of the pandemic

    There have been more than 15 million people infected with coronavirus since the pandemic began, and the number of cases is still rising fast in many parts of the world.

    Graph showing the rise in coronavirus cases worldwide

    In parts of the world badly affected during the early stages of the pandemic, including European countries such as Italy, France and the UK, the daily death toll has fallen dramatically.

    Graph showing the daily death toll over time in European countries

    But in other places, such as parts of South America, India and South Africa, the death rate is rising fast.

    Graph showing daily death tolls over time in countries where it is rising

    The US has seen the world's highest number of daily cases and deaths in recent days, as infections spiked in a number of states once coronavirus restrictions were relaxed.

    Graph showing the increase in infections and deaths in the US

    Among the worst-affected states at the moment are Florida and Louisiana, with high rates of infection in Texas, Arizona, Nevada and across the southern US.

    Map showing states by rate of infection

    The US is not the only country to see coronavirus rise again. Israel, Australia and Japan have seen a second rise in cases after measures against coronavirus appeared to have got the infection under control, while Iran has also seen cases increase sharply.

    Graph showing countries with a second rise in case numbers
  8. Here's a bit more from the PM's interview...

    Boris Johnson

    Although he admitted there were "open questions" about the government's early response to the virus, Boris Johnson denied that they had been too slow to act.

    "If you look at the timing of every single piece of advice that we got from our advisers, from Sage, you will find that whenever they said that we needed to take a particular step, actually, we stuck to that advice like glue," he told the BBC.

    The prime minister also warned that the UK is vulnerable to a second surge, particularly in the winter.

    "Collectively, this country has done an incredible thing to get the disease down to the levels it's at. But we all know that it can come back," he said.

    "And we can see what's happening in other countries - I won't name them - but you can see the resurgence that's happening. We know that we're vulnerable there.

    "So that's why we're getting on now with our preparations for the winter... a massive flu vaccination programme, stockpiling PPE, making sure that we ramp up Test and Trace, and making sure that people get tested if they have symptoms."

  9. McDonald's announces US-wide mask policy

    A McDonald's thats closed for indoor dining in Miami
    Image caption: A McDonald's that is closed for indoor dining in Miami

    McDonald's has announced that anyone entering one of their 14,000 restaurants in the US will be required to wear a mask starting on 1 August.

    The fast-food chain joins other major businesses, like Walmart and Starbucks, that have announced new rules mandating masks.

    In a statement, McDonald's said that nearly 82% of its restaurants are in regions that require masks.

    Experts agree that wearing masks helps to prevent the spread of Covid-19. McDonald's said they were taking steps to also assist customers who refuse or are unable to wear a mask.

    "In those situations where a customer declines to wear a face covering, we’ll put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way," the statement said.

  10. Did Sweden's strategy succeed or fail?

    Maddy Savage

    BBC News, Stockholm

    People on the beach at Lake Storsjon
    Image caption: Restricted from travel abroad due to the infection rate, Swedes are holidaying at home

    Brightly coloured beach towels line the shores of Lake Storsjon, two hours north of Stockholm.

    Staycations are popular here this summer, thanks to a slew of travel restrictions imposed on Sweden by other countries, due to its coronavirus infection rate.

    More than 5,500 people have died with Covid-19 in this country of just 10 million. It is one of the highest death rates relative to population size in Europe, and by far the worst among the Nordic nations. Unlike Sweden, the rest all chose to lock down early in the pandemic.

    "Maybe we should have taken some more care of each other," says Dan Eklund, 31, visiting the lake on his friend's boat.

    Sweden has largely relied on voluntary social distancing guidelines since the start of the pandemic, including working from home where possible and avoiding public transport.

    The unusual strategy has attracted global criticism. But according to clinical epidemiologist Helena Nordenstedt, there's no consensus in Sweden's scientific community that the strategy as a whole has failed.

    Read more.

  11. 'PM's comments an enormous understatement' - acting Lib Dem leader

    Sir Ed Davey

    Reaction to the prime minister's interview with the BBC is continuing to come in.

    Sir Ed Davey, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said: "At last Boris Johnson has admitted what we have all known for some time - this government made fundamental mistakes in their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

    "However, to try and minimise this as there were some things they could have done differently is not only an enormous understatement, but it is an insult to all those who tragically lost loved ones to the virus.

    "This interview has given people more questions than answers. With no remorse for the catastrophic mistakes such as the failure to protect our care homes or a refusal to put a comprehensive plan in place for a second wave, it is clear the prime minster has learnt nothing over the course of the last few months."

  12. Debunking false claims about 'deadly masks'

    Woman wearing mask

    Face coverings are now compulsory for customers in shops and supermarkets in England.

    Globally, the wearing of face coverings and masks has been polarising opinion over the past few weeks - and has become particularly politicised in the US.

    So why are some people hesitant to wear masks, and is there actually any truth in their claims?

    The BBC's anti-disinformation team has been investigating false and misleading claims about the health risks of face masks and coverings being shared on social media. Read the full story here.

  13. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention push for schools to reopen

    Children at a California summer school earlier this month
    Image caption: Children at a California summer school earlier this month

    The latest guidance on schools and childcare from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasises the urgency of getting children back into classrooms in the autumn.

    The document comes two weeks after President Trump criticised the previous CDC guidance on schools as "very tough and expensive".

    "It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall," CDC Director Robert Redfield, a Trump appointee, said in a statement announcing the updates.

    Critics - including many teachers - say it is too early to commit to in-person learning as infections continue to rise across the US.

    “I am comfortable with that," Trump said earlier this week when asked about his 14-year-old son and his school-aged grandchildren returning to classrooms.

    “I would like to see the schools open 100 percent. And we’ll do it safely. We’ll do it carefully,” he said.

    Despite Trump's efforts, the Maryland private school attended by his son Barron has said they will not fully open in September due to virus concerns.

  14. 'The government admits it was too slow' - shadow health secretary

    We reported earlier about Boris Johnson's interview with the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg.

    Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has now responded, saying that the prime minister "has finally admitted the government mishandled its response to the coronavirus".

    "This finally puts to bed the prime minister's previous claim his government 'took the right decisions at the right time'," Ashworth added.

    "It was too slow to acknowledge the threat of the virus, too slow to enter lockdown, and too slow to take this crisis seriously.

    "The threat of a second wave is still very real. It is imperative the government learns the lessons of its mistakes so we can help to save lives."

  15. Questions over Zambian airline's 'virus buster' badge claim

    Peter Mwai

    BBC Reality Check

    A major privately run airline in Zambia has been using unproven badges whose manufacturers claim that they can offer protection against viruses.

    A video posted by Mahogany Air on their Facebook page shows cabin crew wearing the badges.

    Mahogany Air claims without any basis that the badges have “air-purifying virus buster technology that purifies the air around any passenger or crew member wearing it".

    The airline’s CEO, Jim Belemu, told the BBC he believed the badges worked and would offer additional protection but there's no evidence these badges can ward off viruses and bacteria, and some health authorities have issued warnings about them.

    Similar devices are being sold around the world and at one time were worn by members of the Russian parliament. Some countries have banned them. In Africa, the president of South Sudan and other senior officials were seen using the badges although a government official told the BBC they later stopped wearing them.

    The substance released by such cards or badges - the bleaching agent chlorine dioxide - is potentially harmful. In April, the US Food and Drug Administration said chlorine dioxide products had not been shown to be safe and effective for any use, including against Covid-19.The agency says the substance, which is a powerful bleaching agent, can cause “serious and potentially life-threatening side effects".

  16. What's the latest from the US?

    Mobile testing in Miami, Florida

    If you're joining us from the US, good morning.

    To help you catch up, here are the main headlines from your side of the pond.

    • The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US has now surpassed four million, with more than 144,000 deaths
    • This means the number of cases in the country rose from three million to four million in the space of 15 days
    • Yesterday, five states broke records for numbers of new confirmed cases, while two states broke records for their daily death tolls
    • Cases are continuing to surge in the "Sun Belt" Southern states, with hospitals in states such as Florida and Georgia reporting being too full to accept new patients
    • Speaking to NBC's Today show, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx described Florida, California and Texas as "three New Yorks" in terms of the severity of the outbreaks there. New York was the epicentre of the US outbreak at the start of the pandemic
    • President Donald Trump has cancelled the pre-election Republican party convention in Jacksonville, Florida, in response to a surge in cases in the state. Part of the convention will still go ahead in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 24 August - where Trump will be formally nominated as the party's presidential candidate
    • Coronavirus continues to be highly politicised. Today, US media is reporting that some of the new guidance on reopening schools from public health body the CDC was actually written by White House officials rather than experts
  17. BreakingBoris Johnson says 'lessons to be learned' over handling of virus

    Laura Kuenssberg interviewing Boris Johnson

    The prime minister says the UK government didn't understand coronavirus in the "first few weeks and months" and has acknowledged there were things the government "could have done differently" in its handling of the virus.

    Speaking to the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Boris Johnson said there were "lessons to be learned" about how the virus was managed in the early stages.

    "We didn't understand (the virus) in the way that we would have liked in the first few weeks and months.

    "The single thing that we didn't see at the beginning was the extent to which it was being transmitted asymptomatically from person to person.

    "I think it's fair to say that there are things that we need to learn about how we handled it in the early stages."

    The prime minister also said there were "very open questions" over whether lockdown came too late - a marked change from ministers' previous insistence that the right decisions were taken at the right time.

    Asked whether there was a delay in implementing a lockdown which ultimately cost lives, he said: "Maybe there were things we could have done differently and of course there will be time to understand what exactly we could have done, or done differently."

    Read the full story here

  18. Tokyo Olympics: 'Cancellation is our only option'

    BBC OS

    Tokyo 2020

    Dozens of protesters have been gathering outside Japan's National Stadium in the capital Tokyo today, the day that the Tokyo Olympics were due to begin. They've now been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    But protesters say that's too soon for the Games to be held safely.

    BBC OS on World Service radio has been hearing from people in Japan.

    Tomomi Morisawa lives in the city of Sapporo on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. She has started a petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled altogether.

    "We have Covid-19. Will it come to an end in a year? No. Postponing is not an option. Cancellation is our only option."

    Masao Ohkushi lives in Tokyo. He had tickets for the Games and says he's disappointed by the postponement.

    "In my opinion Tokyo is safe, but some other countries or cities are not," he said. "I'm expecting that the virus will become weaker than now next year. But people are so afraid about the virus now so it's hard to get rid of this mindset.

    "It's not only Tokyo's problem. We, all over the world, need to fix this."

  19. Records broken across the US

    Five states - Alabama, Hawaii, Indiana, Missouri and New Mexico - set new records for single-day infections on Thursday.

    Meanwhile, Florida and Tennessee each set new state records for most coronavirus-related deaths in a 24-hour period.

    The US recorded a total of 68,663 new cases on Thursday and 1,114 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The pace of infections across the US is increasing, experts say.

    It took the US 15 days to jump from 3m to 4m - a milestone the country passed on Thursday.

    It previously took 45 days to go from 1m to 2m infections, the Washington Post reports, and the leap from 2m cases to 3m took 27 days.

  20. BreakingUK death toll rises by 123

    Another 123 deaths have been reported in hospitals, care homes and the community in the UK, according to coronavirus.data.gov.uk.

    It brings the total number of deaths following a positive Covid-19 test result to 45,677.

    There were also a further 770 cases confirmed through testing.

    The daily death toll figures continue to be published by Public Health England on the coronavirus dashboard, but the government has launched a review into them over concerns that the figures from England may include some people who died months after a positive test.