In Wales, up to 30 people
can meet outdoors and children under 11 will not have to socially distance from
Monday. From 10 August, swimming pools, gyms, leisure centres and indoor play areas,
including soft play, will be allowed to reopen
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”.
Fewer than half of UK adults stick to social distancing, says ONS
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
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.
Record daily global increase in cases today
Friday has seen a record daily global increase in coronavirus cases, according to the World Health
one-day total rose by 292,527 - up from the previous record daily increase of 284,196 on 24
on Friday rose by 6,812, according to a daily report.
reporting the largest increases were the US, Brazil, India and South Africa.
What is changing for people 'shielding' in England?
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.
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.
Vietnam records second death
has recorded its second Covid-related death, just hours after it recorded its
fatality was said to be a 61-year-old dialysis patient in Da Nang, the
epicentre of the outbreak there.
new infections had been reported for more than three months before an outbreak
was reported in the resort town.
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.
today the country reported 37 new cases, according to local media.
Scientists cautious over UK schools re-opening
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.
Ryanair launches legal proceedings against Irish government
says it has launched legal proceedings against the Irish government over its
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.
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
airline claims the list has been detrimental to its business.
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
Iceland re-introduces restrictions following rise in cases
has re-introduced restrictions on public gatherings after two infection
clusters were confirmed.
the new rules, public gatherings are limited to 100 people and a two-metre
social distancing rule has been re-imposed.
comes after Icelanders were told that social gatherings of 1,000 people were
allowed and social distancing would become optional from 25 May.
avoided a full lockdown, choosing to impose social distancing and close schools
and some businesses.
to the government’s Covid website, there are currently 50 people in isolation.
total of 1,885 cases have been confirmed and 10 people have died since the
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.
One in four not sticking to quarantine rules in Victoria
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.
Premier Andrew Daniels said 130 unsuccessful visits had been made to people who should have been in quarantine over the past 24 hours.
week, the Victorian government said sick people breaking isolation rules – or not
getting tested in time – was leading to continued spread despite lockdown
recorded 623 cases on Friday and eight deaths.
who were not at home will receive a follow up from police and could
face a fine, according to Channel 9 News.
Reopening of indoor theatres and music venues delayed
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".
New cases in China but little worry of second wave
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.
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.