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Live Reporting

Marie Jackson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for joining us and goodbye for now

    And that's where we'll end things. Today's live page was the work of Joshua Cheetham, Gareth Evans, Vanessa Buschschluter, Becky Morton, Dulcie Lee, Doug Faulkner, Henri Astier and Marie Jackson.

    Our colleagues in London and around the world will be back with more for you on Wednesday. Until then, thanks for joining us and goodbye.

  2. UK round-up: Quarantine row continues and second wave warning

    A Spanish beach

    As we near the end of our coverage, here is a quick summary of what's been happening around the UK today.

    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned there are signs of a "second wave" of coronavirus as he defended the government's decision to enforce a 14-day quarantine on arrivals from Spain. Spain's prime minister had called the rules "unjust"
    • But, the government is considering plans to allow arrivals from at-risk countries to take tests, several days apart, in order to cut down that quarantine time, according to travel industry sources
    • In Oldham, a large town in northern England, tighter measures have been introduced in a bid to prevent a local lockdown after a spike in cases in the last week. The council said there had been a "worrying increase" with 119 new cases in the week to 24 July
    • The boss of department store Selfridges has said it was taking the "toughest decision we have ever had to take" as the company prepares to cut 450 jobs. In a letter to staff, Anne Pitcher said coronavirus had led to the "toughest year" in recent history
    • Closing the government furlough scheme is a "mistake" which could lead to 10% unemployment, an economic research group has said. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research said the scheme had been an "undeniable success" but accepted its closure was driven by a desire to limit spending
    • And if you want a lift at the end of your day, watch Margaret and Bob, who have been married for 63 years, reunite for a "wee bit" of a chat after restrictions were eased

    Video content

    Video caption: Living through lockdown when the love of your life is in a care home
  3. A round-up of today's global headlines

    Graphic showing the increase in global cases

    Here are some of the biggest global developments of the day:

  4. End to two-week isolation for routine surgery patients in England

    Most patients having planned surgery in England will no longer be told they need to isolate for two weeks before going into hospital.

    The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has updated its guidelines following a decline in coronavirus cases.

    Anyone having a non-emergency operation will need to have a Covid test three days before the procedure and isolate until they are admitted.

    The surgery will only go ahead if the test is negative.

    Most routine operations ground to a halt during the pandemic and it is hoped the changes will help clear the waiting list and also lead to more patients coming forward for treatment.

    Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said: “We have heard anecdotally from NHS leaders that some of their patients had been put off from coming in for planned treatments because of the blanket rule that required everyone to self-isolate at home for 14 days prior to their elective care, including those whose personal circumstances such as their employment would not easily allow it.”

    In Scotland the 14-day quarantine guidelines will remain and the rest of the UK is considering the advice.

  5. Italy PM moves to extend state of emergency

    Video content

    Video caption: Return to Lombardy, the 'Wuhan of the West'

    Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has asked the country's parliament to approve extending a state of emergency until October.

    The current measure is due to expire at the end of the month.

    An extension would ensure existing decrees issued to fight the virus would continue in force. It gives greater powers to both state and central government and bolsters hospital resources.

    "The virus continues to evolve and has not run its course," Mr Conte said earlier today. "It would be incongruous to abruptly suspend such an effective measure."

    The state of emergency enables central and regional governments to shut down areas in the event of further outbreaks. Some opposition groups say it would give Mr Conte too many powers.

    Italy's lockdown rules have now been largely regionalised but face masks are mandatory on public transport and in shops, and social distancing of one metre is required in public spaces.

  6. Covid-19 survivors could be at sepsis risk, warns charity

    People who have been hospitalised with coronavirus are being warned that they could be at risk of sepsis.

    One in five people who required hospital treatment for Covid-19 are at risk from sepsis within a year of being discharged, according to the UK Sepsis Trust (UKST).

    Sepsis is a reaction to infection which happens when the body's immune system overreacts, which can lead to organ failure.

    Dr Ron Daniels, founder of UKST, said: "We urgently need all health professionals, as well as the general public, to be aware of the signs of sepsis and subsequently avoid adding to the magnitude of this issue."

    He said there were six signs that spell out the word sepsis - S for slurred speech or confusion, E for extreme pain in muscles or joints, P for passing no urine in a day, S for severe breathlessness, I for "it feels like I'm going to die" and S for skin that is mottled or discoloured.

  7. Photographer captures life in lockdown with antique camera

    Daily walk
    Image caption: Daily walk

    Like most of us, photographer Jo de Banzie spent the spring of 2020 in lockdown, living at home with her family.

    That time was overshadowed by the loss of her brother-in-law, who contracted the virus while working as an NHS paramedic.

    From the daily exercise to lockdown haircuts, she captured the impact of the pandemic through a series of photographs taken on an antique camera.

    Bart's sourdough
    Image caption: Bart's sourdough
    Zoom call
    Image caption: Zoom call
    Barney's haircut
    Image caption: Barney's haircut
  8. Study finds hundreds of thousands gained weight in lockdown

    A person on a scale

    If you have been feeling like you might have put on a little weight during lockdown then you are not alone after scientists found hundreds of thousands of people have piled on the pounds.

    Almost 450,000 people who have contributed to the Covid Symptom Study app revealed that their weight had increased during lockdown.

    According to the findings from the app, almost a third of those taking part said they had gained weight since March, with 35% saying they had increased snacking, 34% said they had decreased physical activity and 27% said they were drinking more alcohol.

    Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector said the UK had a problem with obesity before the pandemic but "lockdown has made it worse". The average increase in body weight was found to be 0.78kg (1.6lbs).

    A report published by Public Health England on Friday found being overweight or obese dramatically increased a person's risk of hospitalisation or death from coronavirus.

    Earlier this week the government announced a crackdown on junk food advertising as part of a range of measures to curb obesity in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

  9. Double virus tests 'could cut quarantine time'

    Tom Burridge

    Transport correspondent

    People wear masks as they queue at an airport

    People entering the UK from at-risk countries who test negative for Covid-19 twice within several days might be allowed to leave quarantine early.

    The UK government is close to backing a trial, sources in the travel industry say.

    Under current rules, those arriving in the UK from certain countries must self-isolate for 14 days.

    Details of the programme are being worked out but one of the key areas of debate is the number of days between tests.

    The government, which is keeping its quarantine measures under review, is said to be considering an eight-day stretch while figures within the travel sector are hoping for a five-day period.

    The number of days required between each test is critical in reducing the possibility of "false negative" results.

    The Department for Transport (DfT) declined to comment.

    France is about to launch a compulsory two-test regime for people arriving from 16 at-risk countries, including the United States.

    Read more here.

  10. Andrea Bocelli 'humiliated' by Italy's lockdown

    Image shows Andrea Bocelli

    The Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli has said he felt "humiliated and offended" by lockdown measures imposed in the country due to coronavirus.

    "I could not leave the house even though I had committed no crime," Bocelli said.

    He also admitted to disobeying lockdown rules and believing the severity of the pandemic had been overblown.

    His comments will surprise many as he had become a symbol of national unity at the height of the lockdown.

    Bocelli made the remarks at a conference in Italy's Senate attended by opposition politicians including Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party.

    Salvini has attacked the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte over the handling of the health crisis in Italy.

    Read more here.

  11. How serious are the flare-ups in Europe?

    David Shukman

    Science editor, BBC News

    There are rises in coronavirus cases in many parts of Europe but most health professionals would avoid describing them as a second wave of infections.

    That would usually be when a disease returns after being all but wiped out.

    As things stand now, the numbers are far lower than in the worst days back in March and April.

    And the pattern is different too: generally it’s no longer whole countries in the grip of the virus.

    Instead we’re seeing more localised outbreaks, for example on a large farm in Bavaria, in the Belgian city of Antwerp and in several regions of Spain.

    The Dutch government singles out Leicester as having a higher risk than the rest of the UK.

    But there’s no doubt that these are nervous times. German officials say they’re ‘very concerned’ about the increase in cases.

    And there is the potential for these relatively small flare-ups to escalate – that’s always been the risk as the lockdowns were relaxed.

    So what matters more than ever now is rapid detection of new cases and then a swift response to isolate everyone infected, and the hope is that every country is able to do that.

  12. 'We feel safer here in Ibiza than at home'

    Jason Ward

    Some tourists and business owners in Spain are continuing to express their disappointment at the quarantine rule change.

    Jason Ward was on holiday in Ibiza with his wife when he heard the rules had changed. The couple, from Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, arrived on Saturday for a two-week holiday.

    "Both of us are key workers and have worked through lockdown," Mr Ward tells the BBC. "We feel safer here than back at home."

    Meanwhile, those who work in the Spanish tourism industry could be in for a big setback, as nearly a quarter of all foreign tourists are from the UK.

    Dario, who owns a bar in Gran Canaria, says: “We thought it was slowly picking up and slowly getting back into business time, even if we were just trying to cover costs.

    "But this is absolutely a killer.”


    Maura, a bar owner in Lanzarote, says a blanket rule for all of Spain was the wrong decision.

    “We’re a long way from mainland Spain," she tells BBC Outside Source. "All the flights are direct from the UK, so it would be quite easy to police.”

  13. German officials 'very concerned' by rising cases

    Lothar Wieler
    Image caption: Lothar Wieler warned this could be the start of a "second wave"

    Let's take a look at Germany now, where the head of the public health agency has said they are "very concerned" by rising infections.

    "We are in the middle of a rapidly developing pandemic," Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), told reporters earlier today.

    He said Germans had become "negligent" and urged people to wear masks and respect social distancing and hygiene rules.

    In the past week the country has recorded 3,611 new infections.

    "We don't know yet if this is the beginning of a second wave but of course it could be," Mr Wieler said. "But I am optimistic that if we follow the hygiene rules we can prevent it, it's up to us."

    Read more here.

  14. Chainsmokers gig prompts inquiry over social distancing

    Chainsmokers in concert

    A charity concert featuring US band The Chainsmokers is being investigated after footage appeared to show fans ignoring social distancing regulations.

    The concert, called Safe & Sound, took place on Saturday night in Southampton - a town in an affluent area known as The Hamptons, east of New York City.

    It was billed as a "drive-in music experience", but video taken from the stage showed crowds of people outside their cars, standing in close proximity.

    New York governor Andrew Cuomo said he was "appalled" by the footage.

    Read more here.

  15. Colombian mayor hailed for virus strategy has Covid

    Mayor Daniel Quintero poses for a picture in Medellin on June 17, 2020
    Image caption: The 40-year-old mayor said on Tuesday that he'd tested positive

    The mayor of the Colombian city of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, says he has tested positive for coronavirus.

    Mr Quintero has been praised for his early and data-driven approach to containing the virus in Colombia's second-largest city. He began holding preparedness meetings as early as January, when many politicians did not yet take the threat from the virus seriously.

    His strategy seemed to pay off in the early stages of the pandemic. On 21 April, only two people had died with Covid in Medellín, while 29 had died in Cali, which has fewer inhabitants.

    But in recent weeks the number of cases in Medellín and surrounding Antioquia province has shot up and now the mayor himself has Covid.

    He told Colombian radio that his love of coffee may be to blame. "I have a lot of coffee and in order to drink it you have to take your mask off, so that may have been when I got it," he said.

    He has urged fellow coffee lovers to suppress their urge for a cup or at least carry their own thermos flask to minimise the risk of contracting the virus from cups.

  16. Sports minister confident of spectators' safe return to stadiums

    Dan Roan

    BBC Sports editor

    England's Test series against West Indies
    Image caption: Sport has been held behind closed doors since its return, including England's Test series against West Indies

    The government is confident it can move towards a safe return for fans to watch sporting events in stadiums, sports minister Nigel Huddleston says.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said spectators could be able to return to stadiums in England from October.

    Earlier, Warwickshire faced Worcestershire at Edgbaston as part of a pilot programme that saw a limited number of fans allowed inside the ground.

    Read more here.

  17. US pandemic recovery plan earmarks $53m for vaccine cybersecurity

    A computer screen displaying vaccine research

    A $1tn (£77bn) pandemic recovery plan proposed by US Senate Republicans has included $53m of funding to protect the development of a coronavirus vaccine from hackers.

    According to a summary of the bill, funding will be given to America's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa), and will be used to improve network security in the wake of "increased attacks" on government agencies which are helping to develop a vaccine.

    The $53m is a dramatic increase from the $9.1m given to Cisa under the Cares Act - showing the government's concern about the dangers of cyber attacks against coronavirus research centres.

    The issue has been a source of immense diplomatic tensions during recent months. Last week America ordered China to close its consulate in Texas. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the decision was taken because China was "stealing" intellectual property.

  18. Supermarket trials virtual queuing system

    A queue outside a Sainsbury's supermarket

    UK supermarket Sainsbury's is trialing a new system which will allow people to queue virtually to help with social distancing.

    The smartphone app will mean shoppers can wait in line in their cars, or another remote location, before heading into the store when it is their turn.

    The trial began at five UK stores on Monday and will run until mid-August.

    Experts say retailers need to find new ways to alleviate queuing as the UK heads into autumn and winter.

    Sainsbury's customers will be able to download the app onto their smartphones, from where they can monitor their position.

  19. UK records another 119 deaths

    A further 119 people have died in the UK after contracting coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths to 45,878.

    A word of warning - these figures use data from Public Health England, which is currently reviewing its methodology after it was found to be including people who tested positive months before they died.

    Another 581 people have tested positive for the virus, the Department of Health and Social Care says, bringing the total number of UK cases to 300,692.

  20. New measures in Oldham after coronavirus spike

    A sign warning people to keep 2m apart

    New measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 have been introduced in Oldham, a large town in northern England, following a "dramatic" rise in cases.

    Residents are being asked not to have social visitors to their homes and to keep two metres apart when outside, while those who are shielding are asked to continue to do so until 14 August.

    Oldham Council's deputy leader Arooj Shah said the measures were essential to prevent a Leicester-style local lockdown.

    Oldham follows Rochdale, its neighbouring Greater Manchester borough, and Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle in Lancashire, in introducing new measures.

    Two weeks ago Oldham was on Public Health England's "watchlist" as an area of concern but was removed last Thursday.

    Now the data is showing another spike, with 114 cases recorded so far in the week to 24 July - equivalent to more than 48 per 100,000 population.

    Oldham cases graphic