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Live Reporting

Edited by Julian Joyce

All times stated are UK

  1. We're pausing this page for now...


    Thank you for joining our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today, particularly if you're reading this from a country or city in lockdown.

    We're pausing this page until tomorrow morning - but before we go, here's a summary of today's main developments:

    • People travelling back to the UK from Spain must now go into quarantine for 14 days. In response to criticism, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government "could not apologise" for the decision
    • The measures come after a surge in infections in parts of Spain, with more than 900 new cases reported in the country on Friday
    • Meanwhile the UK recorded 747 new cases of the virus and 14 deaths in the last 24 hours. However in Scotland, the daily death toll was zero for the tenth day in a row
    • About 500 workers at a German farm have been placed in quarantine after 174 people tested positive for the virus
    • Iran confirmed another 2,333 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, continuing a surge in infections that began in mid-May - weeks after the country began relaxing lockdown measures. Another 216 people in the country have died in the last 24 hours
    • In the US, Florida has now overtaken New York with the second-highest overall number of cases, after recording 9,300 cases in 24 hours. California still has the highest number of cases, while New York - the epicentre at the start of the outbreak - still has the highest death toll
    • This weekend, Vietnam confirmed its first locally-transmitted cases in 100 days. In response, the government is reinstating social distancing measures. The single-party communist state has been praised for its swift and effective response to the pandemic, which has kept its death toll at zero
    • North Korea has locked down the city of Kaesong near the South Korean border over fears that a defector who returned last week was infected with coronavirus. If confirmed, this would be the first official Covid-19 infection in North Korea
  2. Fall in UK cases and deaths stall

    We reported earlier that the UK has had 747 new cases of coronavirus and 14 deaths in the last 24 hours.

    If you look at these daily figures plotted over time, you can see that the fall in our daily death toll and new cases have both stalled.

  3. Grant Shapps tweets from holiday in Spain

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, currently in Spain on holiday, says he held a video call with UK airlines and the British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott "in order to ensure close coordination". Here's his tweet:

    View more on twitter
  4. Spain travel rules: What are my rights?

    Stock image of people on a beach

    The government's decision to impose a 14-day quarantine on travellers arriving in the UK from Spain has caused a great deal of "uncertainty and confusion", as one holiday firm has put it.

    Here are some of the questions it raises:

    • Why is the Foreign Office advice different from that of the Department of Transport?
    • What about if I'm not there but plan to go? Can I get a refund?
    • What are the quarantine rules for when I return?
    • What are my rights with my employer if I have to self-isolate?

    Our business reporter has some of the answers.

  5. Spain quarantine reaction: 'We're still going'

    DAN CHADDERTON and family

    More reaction now from UK holidaymakers in Spain who will now have to quarantine for 14 days on their return.

    Dan Chadderton, 49, from Sale, Cheshire, flew from Manchester to Spain on Saturday morning with his wife Gabby, 51, and daughters Anna, 16, and Eliza, 11.

    He and his family have been "looking at the news all the time" from their holiday spot south of Alicante, after colleagues told him about the rule change on Saturday evening.

    He adds it's a stress he could have done without.

    "I'm particularly upset as I work for a travel company - March, April and May were hell - was never furloughed, and really needed this break."

    But Rachael Gillespie, 48, of Llandough, Penarth, still intends to travel to Quesada, Murcia, on Monday morning with her partner and two daughters.

    RACHAEL GILLESPIE and daughters

    "I'm not ignoring the potential risk but we're staying in a family villa, have a family car and both my partner and I are fortunate to be able to work from home when we return," she says.

    "I know there's a question over insurance and some people think I'm mad, but when you see the crowds in UK destinations like north Wales or the Lake District, where exactly is the safest place to holiday right now?"

    Read more from other holidaymakers affected by the move - including one who found out about the rule changes three minutes after landing in Spain.

  6. Florida now 'second worst' virus state


    Florida has registered another 9,300 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, and has now overtaken New York to become the second-worst-hit state in the US.

    In recent weeks, Florida has recorded an average of more than 10,000 new cases a day. With a total of 423,855 infections, the sunshine state is now only behind California, which is leading the country with 448,497 confirmed cases.

    But New York - which was the epicentre at the start of the outbreak - still has the highest overall death toll, with more than 32,000 recorded deaths.

    Despite the surge in Florida, the state's governor Ron DeSantis has repeatedly said he won't mandate mask-wearing, and that schools must reopen in August as scheduled.

  7. UK approaches 299,426 positive cases

    The latest figure for coronavirus cases in the UK - 747 in the past 24 hours - brings the UK's total number of people testing positive for the virus to 299,426.

    The number includes both pillar one - tests in hospitals and Public Health England laboratories - and pillar two - wider population testing - scenarios.

    A total of 225,481 tests were made available in the past 24 hours, making the figure for tests made available since the outbreak reach 14,794,369.

    However, only 142,954 of those tests were processed in the same period, making the total number of tests processed overall 10,975,936.

  8. BreakingUK records 747 virus cases in 24 hours

    Another 747 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the UK over the past 24 hours, according to the latest figures from the government.

  9. Former Tanzanian president 'didn't die of Covid-19'

    Mkapa funeral

    Relatives of the late former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa have denied rumours that he died of coronavirus, saying that he had a heart attack while suffering from malaria.

    Mkapa's death at the age of 81 was announced on Friday, but officials gave no cause of death. He was the country's third president, ruling from 1995 to 2005.

    Tanzania has stopped publishing its Covid-19 statistics, and current leader John Magufuli has been accused of covering up the scale of the outbreak.

    There have been just over 521 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country - far fewer than in neighbouring nations.

  10. Spain wants popular islands to be removed from UK quarantine list

    Tourists swim at a beach in Palma de Majorca

    Earlier, we brought you some comments by the Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya about the UK quarantine on travellers returning from Spain.

    She also said the government was focusing on convincing the UK authorities to exclude the Canary and Balearic Islands from the measure, due to the low incidence of coronavirus there.

    Those islands include the popular destinations of Mallorca, Ibiza and Tenerife.

    "For two reasons: number one, these are islands, very safe territories, number two, their epidemiological data is extremely positive, well below epidemiological data in the UK," she said.

    Tourism is a major contributor to the Spanish economy and there are far more visitors from the UK than from any other country.

  11. Is Spain seeing a second wave?

    Police speak to a worker at a night club in Barcelona. Clubs were ordered to close by the Catalan government

    Spain has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases, which has led the UK government to order a 14-day quarantine period on anyone arriving from the country.

    As Spain takes new measures to cut the rise in infections - including the Catalan government temporarily closing nightlife in the region - there are fears of a more widespread second wave of cases.

    But is it really a second wave? Prof Paul Hunter, a Covid-19 expert at Norwich Medical School, says there is "no proper scientific definition" of a second wave.

    He believes for a second wave to occur, the virus would have had to have gone away completely, before returning again.

    Although Spain has successfully suppressed the virus from its peak, it has never managed to reduce the average number of new cases per day below a seven-day average of 254.

    Italy managed to get new cases per day down to between 10 and 20 over a seven-day average.

    Prof Hunter says you would need to get that average down close to 100 before you could claim the virus was "markedly under control".

    He adds: "In Spain, [the virus] has never gone away, and if I was writing about it [the current situation] I would call it a resurgence."

  12. How does Spain compare to other parts of Europe?

    A woman shields her face from the sun in Cordoba, southern Spain, 20 July 2020

    The rate of infection in Spain per 100,000 people is currently at 39.4, according to figures from the EU's European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

    Spain is now comparable with Sweden and Portugal, although rates in those countries are falling while Spain's is on the rise.

    Romania (59.7) and Bulgaria (44.8) are considerably higher than Spain. Luxembourg is far higher (219.4), although the number there may be skewed by its small population. The UK's rate is 14.6.

    Fresh outbreaks in Spain - as in other countries seeing a spike in infections - seem to be restricted to a few regions, including Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, and Aragon.

    Covid-19 cases per 100,000
  13. 'Sorry, this seat's taken...'

    There are few stranger feelings than eating in an empty restaurant - so how do restaurant owners avoid this while maintaining social distancing?

    One restaurant in the Akabane district of Tokyo, Japan, has come up with a solution: filling empty seats with mannequins.

    They may not be the liveliest bunch, but they seem to be decent enough company.

  14. Weighing up how to respond to spikes in tourist destinations

    David Shukman

    Science editor, BBC News

    People enjoy the sunny weather at Barceloneta beach

    For months now, health experts have warned we will see spikes at a regional and local level as lockdowns are eased.

    So while the national picture in Spain does show a slight uptick in the number of cases, that hides some big differences across the country.

    In the past fortnight, Catalonia saw more than 8,500 new infections while the Balearic Islands had just 92.

    One response is to increase the testing of people arriving back home – it’s voluntary at German airports right now but may become mandatory as it is in France for arrivals from high-risk countries like the US and Brazil.

    Might that also happen in the UK?

    It wouldn’t be worth it, according to Baroness Dido Harding, head of the NHS Test and Trace scheme.

    She says a negative result would not guarantee that someone wouldn’t develop symptoms later.

    Another approach, used by the Netherlands, is to single out people coming from specific areas with high levels of infections – such as a few named regions in Spain and the UK city of Leicester – and urge them to self-isolate.

    As the virus continues to circulate, further alarms – and changes in policy - are inevitable.

  15. One virus death in Wales and none in Scotland for tenth day in a row

    There has been one coronavirus death in Wales reported by Public Health Wales today, bringing the overall death toll to 1,549.

    There have been 22 new cases, according to the last figures from PHW, with the total number of cases standing at 17,125.

    In Scotland, no deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19 have been recorded for ten consecutive days, meaning the toll remains at 2,491.

    The Scottish government said that offices to register deaths are now generally closed at the weekends.

    There have been 4 new cases of Covid-19 in Scotland in the last 24 hours. A total of 18,551 people have now tested positive for the virus north of the border.

  16. Pandemic deals 'shattering blow' to Westminster Abbey's finances

    Westminster Abbey

    Westminster Abbey has revealed it plans to make about 20% of its staff redundant as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

    The building has been the setting for every coronation since 1066 and has hosted 16 royal weddings - the most recent being the nuptials of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

    But the historic Abbey is down more than £12m, due to a massive decrease in visitors - from whom it gets more than 90% of its income.

    The abbey closed its doors on 20 March and only began to reopen for limited tourist visits on 11 July.

    And due to its status as a "Royal Peculiar" - it is owned directly by the Queen - it is not eligible for funding by the Church Commissioners.

    The dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev Dr David Hoyle, told the BBC the virus had dealt a "shattering blow" to the Abbey's finances.

    You can read more here.

  17. German farm hit by virus outbreak

    A combine harvester near the small Bavarian village of Germering, southern Germany, in 2018
    Image caption: Bavaria was among Germany's hardest hit regions at the start of the pandemic

    About 500 workers at a large farm in the German state of Bavaria have been placed under quarantine after 174 farmhands tested positive for coronovirus.

    Authorities screened the workforce at Mamming, north-east of Munich, after seven harvest workers fell ill with Covid-19.

    "To avoid further spread, we unfortunately have to take this step to protect the population," said district administrator Werner Bumeder.

    Politicians appealed to the local community to remain calm, saying the outbreak was not believed to have spread outside the farm. A security team is monitoring the quarantine.

    Germany has seen several localised outbreaks in recent months. In June, more than 1,500 workers tested positive at a meatpacking plant in North Rhine-Westphalia.

  18. WATCH: How to fly during a global pandemic

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How to fly during a global pandemic

    Although a holiday in Spain now means two weeks of quarantine for those arriving back in the UK, there are still more than 50 countries that holidaymakers can travel to without the need to self-isolate on their return.

    But taking a flight to your summer getaway will be a very different experience during a global pandemic.

    Social distancing rules still apply, whether you're on the ground or at 40,000 ft, and you should check with your airline about wearing a face covering, as some may not let you fly without one.

    When you're coming into the UK, most people will need to complete a form giving details of where you've been, unless you've come from somewhere else in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland.

    If you don't do this, you may not be granted entry and you risk a fine of up to £1,000.

  19. Lockdown baby boom in Bangladesh zoo

    Meanwhile in Bangladesh, animals in the country's largest zoo appear to have been enjoying lockdown - and a bit of privacy.

    According to zookeepers at Bangladesh National Zoo, they've seen a baby boom among the animals since they closed to visitors.

    "The animals are eating food properly because there are no visitors, and they can also breed better now due to the absence of crowds," one zoo official told AFP news agency.

    View more on twitter
  20. Foreign minister: Spain is a 'safe country for tourists'

    Spanish beach

    The Spanish foreign minister insists Spain is a "safe country for tourists" after the UK's decision to make travellers quarantine for 14 days after returning from the holiday destination.

    Arancha Gonzalez Laya tells a news conference Spain is seeing outbreaks "like in any other European country" but they are "perfectly controlled".

    She also says the outbreaks are focused in three areas - Barcelona, Lleida and Zaragoza - and all of them are "perfectly traced".

    The foreign minister adds: "Half of those that are Covid positive in Spain are asymptomatic, which gives a very clear indication of the huge efforts that all the regions in Spain are undertaking to test its citizens for covid.

    "And once they are identified they are being subject to very strict social distancing measures."