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Live Reporting

Thom Poole, Joshua Nevett, Dulcie Lee, Martha Buckley, Jo Couzens and Sophie Williams

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for tuning in

    Thanks for tuning into our coverage today. We'll be back on Saturday with more updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the UK and around the world.

    Our team updating you throughout the day were: Thom Poole, Justin Parkinson, Jennifer Scott, Joshua Nevett, Joseph Lee, Dulcie Lee, Martha Buckley, Krutika Pathi, Jo Couzens and Sophie Williams.

  2. Latest headlines from the UK and around the world

    Here’s an update on the latest developments in the UK and around the world today:

    • Friday saw a record daily global increase in cases of the virus. The one-day total reached 292,527 according to the World Health Organization (WHO)
    • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the WHO warned the effects of the pandemic would be felt for decades to come
    • Hong Kong has delayed its chief executive elections citing the rise in Covid-19 cases there as the cause
    • Vietnam recorded its second death late on Friday, hours after it recorded its first fatality
    • Iceland has reintroduced restrictions such as social distancing and a limit on social gatherings following the emergence of two clusters
    • Spain has recorded its biggest daily rise in cases since lockdown was lifted last month. Authorities confirmed 1,525 cases on Friday
    • Germany has added three Spanish regions - Catalonia, Aragon and Navarre to its high-risk list. People returning from those areas will have to provide a negative Covid-19 test or quarantine for 14 days
  3. Wedding industry 'forgotten' and its future looks 'bleak'

    A couple marries in Belfast
    Image caption: A couple marry in Belfast, where wedding celebrations with as many as 10 people are allowed outdoors

    Wedding ceremonies or civil partnerships with as many as 30 guests have been allowed since 4 July in England but an expected relaxation in restrictions to allow the same number of people to attend wedding receptions has been put back until 15 August – at the earliest.

    Weddings had been banned under almost all circumstances since lockdown began on 23 March, prompting 73,600 marriages and same-sex civil partnership ceremonies to be postponed.

    Northern Ireland has allowed outdoors weddings with 10 people present since early June. Wales and Scotland also now allow wedding ceremonies to take place, but social distancing must be observed and big gatherings are not allowed.

    Wedding photographer, Neil White, from Chorley, Lancashire, says he was booked to do 44 weddings this year – but now he’s down to three.

    He told the BBC: “A lot has been mentioned, quite rightly, about the grief of couples not able to enjoy their day and the struggles of cancelling or postponing. However, the wedding industry and its suppliers are taking a huge hit right now, when we should be enjoying peak season.

    “While many other industries have been allowed to open, such as pubs and restaurants, the wedding industry at large has not been given any directives for its future. We seem to have been forgotten.”

    He said the longer it goes on, many venues and suppliers will lose their livelihoods, adding that the future of the industry is “bleak”.

  4. Fewer than half of UK adults stick to social distancing, says ONS

    Social distancing

    Fewer than half of adults spending time with family and friends are sticking to social distancing rules when they meet up, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.

    Almost three-quarters of adults polled said they'd socialised with others during the last seven days - with 50% welcoming family or friends into their homes, it said.

    Of the 1,150 people who reported socialising, 47% said they had maintained social distancing - rising to 70% of those aged 70 and over.

    Three in 10 (31%) said they often followed the measures, 13% said they sometimes did and 8% said they rarely or never followed social distancing.

    More than a quarter (26%) of those surveyed said they had met up with between five to 10 people, while 6% said the group had been larger than 10.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said "households gathering and not abiding by the social distancing rules" was one of the reasons for the stricter rules announced late on Thursday for some parts of England.

    The ONS also found that 63% of respondents strongly supported targeted lockdown measures to stop the rise of the virus and 57% were in favour of mandatory face coverings in shops and supermarkets.

  5. Record daily global increase in cases today

    A sign telling people to wear a mask in Manchester, UK
    Image caption: Cases around the globe rose by 292,527 on Friday

    Friday has seen a record daily global increase in coronavirus cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The one-day total rose by 292,527 - up from the previous record daily increase of 284,196 on 24 July.

    Deaths on Friday rose by 6,812, according to a daily report.

    The countries reporting the largest increases were the US, Brazil, India and South Africa.

  6. What is changing for people 'shielding' in England?

    Woman wearing a mask
    Image caption: Guidance saying people with serious medical conditions should stay at home is coming to an end

    Since March, as many as 2.2m in England with medical conditions that make them "extremely vulnerable" have been taking the most extreme measures of self-isolation. Only earlier this month did the government say it was safe for them to leave the house at all.

    That is due to end tomorrow, with the government "pausing" the guidance on shielding.

    Under the new rules, the government says these people can go to work as long as their workplace meets its Covid-secure standards - but they should still work from home if they can.

    Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can attend school or college in line with the broader plans to reopen educational institutions.

    But while people who had been shielding can go out, they are advised to keep social interactions low and to maintain social distancing carefully.

    The end of the shielding guidance also means the end of extra support for extremely vulnerable groups, such as free food parcels and medicine deliveries.

    You can find a detailed guide to all the changing coronavirus measures in England here.

  7. Spain records biggest rise in cases since lifting of lockdown

    A woman wearing a mask walks through the streets of Madrid

    Spain has confirmed 1,525 new cases, the biggest rise since the lockdown was lifted there last month.

    It is the third day in a row that new cases have exceeded 1,000.

    More than half of these recent infections are from Aragon and Madrid, according to El Pais.

    More than 28,000 people have died in Spain and more than 285,000 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began.

  8. How many cases are there where you are in UK?


    There have been more than 300,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and around 46,000 people have died, according to government figures.

    However, these numbers only include people who tested positive for the virus and subsequently died. The actual death toll is higher.

    We take a look at some of the key figures of the pandemic in the UK - estimates of the death toll and number of cases.

    You can also find out more about cases in your area using our search tool and map.

  9. Covid outbreak on Norway cruise ship

    Roald Amundsen cruise ship
    Image caption: The Roald Amundsen joined the Hurtigruten line last year

    Four crew members on a Norwegian cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, tested positive for Covid-19 and are now in hospital. The ship is docked in Tromsoe, northern Norway.

    All 160 quarantined crew will be tested and the 177 passengers, who have disembarked, have been urged to self-isolate.

    The ship, owned by Norwegian firm Hurtigruten, had been on a week-long voyage to Svalbard in the Arctic. It is scheduled to visit ports in England and Scotland in September, Reuters reports.

    In March, Hurtigruten suspended most cruises because of the pandemic, but it plans to return 14 vessels to service by the end of September.

    Early in the pandemic thousands of passengers were stranded aboard cruise ships in Asian and US waters because of coronavirus outbreaks onboard.

  10. Eid restrictions: 'It's like saying you can't see your family on Christmas Day'

    Coronavirus poster
    Image caption: Greater Manchester residents have been told they cannot mix with other households in private homes or gardens

    New restrictions affecting millions of people in parts of northern England have come just as Muslim communities prepare to celebrate Eid this weekend.

    Ash Mohammed, from Hale in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, had been due to meet his siblings in his brother's garden today to celebrate the festival.

    His sister is driving up from Cardiff and now "doesn't know whether to turn around or not".

    He told the BBC: "A lot of families were planning to get together. Some sort of warning would have been helpful.

    "It's akin to someone saying on Christmas Eve that you can't see your family on Christmas Day.

    As far as I understand, 20 of us could go to Wetherspoons if we wanted to but a Muslim family can't sit in their garden."

    He added that, while no one wanted a second wave, it wasn't as though Eid has been sprung on Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson.

    "They could have given us some warning a week ago to say the data is going the wrong way and these restrictions might have to be brought in," he said.

  11. Vietnam records second death

    A woman walks past a banner promoting prevention of Covid in Hanoi
    Image caption: Vietnam had been proud of its zero death toll

    Vietnam has recorded its second Covid-related death, just hours after it recorded its first.

    The fatality was said to be a 61-year-old dialysis patient in Da Nang, the epicentre of the outbreak there.

    No new infections had been reported for more than three months before an outbreak was reported in the resort town.

    It’s a devastating blow to the country which had been proud of its zero death toll.

    Vietnam acted before it even had confirmed cases, closing its borders early to almost all travellers, except returning citizens. Anyone entering the country must quarantine in government facilities for 14 days and undergo testing.

    Earlier today the country reported 37 new cases, according to local media.

  12. Scientists cautious over UK schools re-opening

    Ysgol Hafan Y Mor in Tenby
    Image caption: Scientific advisers say for schools to open fully, other measures may need to be tightened

    At the Downing Street briefing earlier, UK Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty warned that "the idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong" - meaning the country faced some "very, very difficult choices".

    Newly released papers from the Sage advisory group reveal a bit more about the scientific thinking, suggesting experts believe there is a trade-off between opening schools and opening other areas of society.

    On 23 June, scientists said coronavirus measures might need to be changed at the end of summer to keep the R number below 1 - a level at which the epidemic is not growing - while still reopening schools.

    On 9 July, they said the spread of the virus from children to adults "appears to be low" but stressed there needed to be "enough ‘room’ in terms of the epidemic to open schools".

    They also warned that areas seeing coronavirus restrictions reimposed - such as parts of northern England today - might not respond in the same way as they did when lockdown was first introduced, due to changing levels of trust, fear and anger.

  13. Ryanair launches legal proceedings against Irish government

    Ryanair plane
    Image caption: Ryanair claims Ireland's travel restrictions are unlawful

    Ryanair says it has launched legal proceedings against the Irish government over its travel restrictions.

    Currently, Ireland has a “green list” of countries in which a 14-day quarantine rule does not apply. However Britain, France and Spain are not on this list.

    Ryanair claims the restrictions are unlawful. It is calling for a review of the list and claims that the Irish parliament was not given the opportunity to scrutinise it..

    The airline claims the list has been detrimental to its business.

    It comes after Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet launched a similar challenge against the British government, however this was ended after a 14-day quarantine rule for travellers coming from many tourist spots such as France and Greece was scrapped.

  14. Iceland re-introduces restrictions following rise in cases

    A view of a scenic spot in Iceland
    Image caption: There are currently 50 people in isolation in the country

    Iceland has re-introduced restrictions on public gatherings after two infection clusters were confirmed.

    Under the new rules, public gatherings are limited to 100 people and a two-metre social distancing rule has been re-imposed.

    It comes after Icelanders were told that social gatherings of 1,000 people were allowed and social distancing would become optional from 25 May.

    Iceland avoided a full lockdown, choosing to impose social distancing and close schools and some businesses.

    According to the government’s Covid website, there are currently 50 people in isolation.

    A total of 1,885 cases have been confirmed and 10 people have died since the pandemic began.

  15. Infections in England start to rise

    A woman receiving a mouth swab
    Image caption: Tests on a random sample of the population in England suggest infections are increasing

    Coronavirus infections in England have risen from an estimated 2,800 to 4,200 since last week, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures suggest.

    A sample of households in England, excluding care homes and hospitals, were swabbed to test for current infection.

    However there is not enough data to suggest a higher proportion of positive tests in any particular region.

    Despite the ONS figures suggesting a rise in infections, the official estimate of the virus's reproduction or R number (a measure of whether cases are rising or falling) for England was between 0.8 and 1 as of 31 July.

    An R number below one indicates the number of infections is shrinking.

    It's calculated using a range of different measures, including hospital admissions and deaths.

    Because it takes more time for someone to end up in hospital due to an infection, it's possible the latest estimate of R isn't capturing more recent upticks in infection.

  16. One in four not sticking to quarantine rules in Victoria

    People walk through a park in Melbourne
    Image caption: People who should be isolating have been leaving their houses, according to Victoria's premier

    One in four people who tested positive for coronavirus in Australia’s state of Victoria were not at home when authorities came to check up on them.

    Victoria Premier Andrew Daniels said 130 unsuccessful visits had been made to people who should have been in quarantine over the past 24 hours.

    Last week, the Victorian government said sick people breaking isolation rules – or not getting tested in time – was leading to continued spread despite lockdown measures.

    Victoria recorded 623 cases on Friday and eight deaths.

    Those who were not at home will receive a follow up from police and could face a fine, according to Channel 9 News.

  17. Reopening of indoor theatres and music venues delayed

    Indoor theatre seats will remain empty for at least another two weeks

    The socially-distanced reopening of indoor theatre and music venues in England has been delayed until at least 15 August, Boris Johnson announced today.

    The easing of restrictions had been due to start this weekend but has been postponed amid concerns over a rise in virus cases.

    Face coverings will also be required in additional settings including museums, galleries and cinemas - enforceable in law from 8 August.

    Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, said "most theatres will not be able to put on productions until we reach stage five [of the roadmap for the return of professional performing arts], which allows fuller audiences, so that is the most critical date for much of the sector".

    Read more here

  18. 'We're at the limit of how much we can reopen'

    James Gallagher

    Health and science correspondent, BBC News

    This is it. We are now, give or take, at the absolute limit of how much we can reopen society without a resurgence of coronavirus.

    This realisation at the heart of government is about more than delaying the opening of bowling alleys. It will define our lives for months to come - and probably until we have vaccine.

    And I'm sorry to break it to parents, but the biggest question mark now is around the reopening of schools.

    Two weeks ago, Boris Johnson was setting out plans for normality by Christmas.

    But since then the number of confirmed infections has started to creep up again.

    Graph showing daily confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK

    This is not a return to the height of the epidemic in March, when there were an estimated 100,000 infections every day, but it is telling.

    Every restriction we ease increases the ability of the coronavirus to spread.

    The uptick in infections is a warning that we are passing the limits of lifting lockdown.

    Read more

  19. New cases in China but little worry of second wave

    Kerry Allen

    BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst

    For three days running, China has recorded more than 100 new cases of Covid-19. In the last 24 hours, 127 cases have been recorded, including 112 in north-west Xinjiang, and 11 in north-east Liaoning province.

    For eight consecutive days, the number of cases has grown in China, meaning that official media have urged people nationwide not to relax vigilance: to wear a mask and avoid gatherings.

    But there is limited concern about either of the outbreaks in Xinjiang or Liaoning leading to a second wave in the country.

    China has experienced a number of localised outbreaks since the beginning of the year – including in the capital Beijing – and media have lauded the co-operation of the public with swift self-isolation procedures, and their willingness to be tested, in keeping the virus under control.

    Currently, in Xinjiang’s Urumqi and Liaoning’s Dalian, communities where people have tested positive have gone into full lockdown.

    Other residents have taken advantage of free testing that has been made available to them in public areas with a lot of space. Over the next few days, medical staff will finalise testing 3.5 million people in Urumqi, and six million in Dalian.

  20. UK reports another 120 deaths

    A further 120 deaths have been recorded in the UK, bringing the total number of people who have died after a positive Covid-19 test to 46,119.

    There were another 880 cases confirmed by testing in the last 24 hours.

    The figure for deaths may be different from the sum of newly reported deaths for the four nations, because the UK-wide figure is calculated on a different time frame and includes deaths in all settings, not just hospitals.

    The government has also launched a review of the UK death figures, over concerns that England may be wrongly including deaths which took place months after the person tested positive for the virus.