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Live Reporting

Edited by Lauren Turner, Victoria Bisset and Ella Wills

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for joining us

    We're wrapping up our live coverage of the biggest coronavirus stories across the world and will be back again on Thursday morning.

    Today's coverage was brought to you by Hazel Shearing, Joshua Nevett, Ella Wills and Victoria Bisset, and edited by Kevin Ponniah and Lauren Turner.

  2. A recap of today's top stories

    As global deaths pass 700,000, here's a reminder of Wednesday's biggest coronavirus stories:

  3. NYC to impose checkpoints to enforce quarantine

    A woman wearing a mask walks in Brooklyn, New York

    New York City plans to introduce quarantine checkpoints at key entrances to the city to screen travellers arriving from parts of the US with rising numbers of coronavirus cases.

    “Travellers coming in from those states will be given information about the quarantine, they will be reminded that it is required, not optional,” the city's mayor Bill de Blasio explained at a news conference on Wednesday.

    “They’ll be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law and it comes with serious penalties," he added.

    Travellers from more than 30 states must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the city.

    According to the head of New York City's test and trace service, a fifth of all new local infections are from travellers.

    Once the city worst affected by coronavirus, New York has reported no coronavirus deaths in three days, Mayor de Blasio said.

  4. Pantomime giant's shows start to fall in 'devastating' blow for theatres

    Sleeping Beauty pantomime

    Could this year's Christmas panto season be cancelled? It's the question many theatres in the UK have been asking.

    Now the UK's biggest pantomime producer has started cancelling its 2020 shows amid ongoing uncertainty about when theatres will be able to reopen fully.

    Qdos has put this year's festive shows in Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh and Southampton on hold to 2021.

    The operator of the King's Theatre in Edinburgh said the move would result in "the massive loss of £2.3m at the worst possible time for the theatres".

    Qdos had been planning to stage 34 pantos across the UK this Christmas.

    Other producers and venues have already pulled the plug on festive productions in locations including Leicester, Norwich and Welwyn Garden City.

  5. WATCH: Schools must be priority in UK virus strategy - Labour leader

    We've already reported that the leader of the opposition in the UK is calling for "rapid improvements" to England's test and trace programme.

    Here are some further comments from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has said the government is "running out of time" to implement any such improvements ahead of schools opening in September.

    “We need to get our children back into schools, that has to be the priority, but the government is running out of time," he said.

    "We've got schools reopening in September, we've got outbreaks of the infection across the country and the government has got basically the month of August to get a grip on this and to get things in place.

    "Track, trace and isolate is critical, but it's still not working."

    Video content

    Video caption: Starmer: Reopening English schools and coronavirus tests
  6. Chicago schools to start new year online

    Protesters in New York
    Image caption: Teachers in New York joined a nationwide protest against schools reopening earlier this week

    Chicago has become the latest major US school district to allow teaching to go fully online for the start of the new academic year, after a backlash from teachers.

    The city had originally planned to offer a hybrid approach of online and in-person learning, but the teachers' union had threatened to strike over the move.

    Figures on Tuesday showed 7,545 deaths and almost 185,000 coronavirus cases in the state of Illinois.

    New York City, the largest school district in the US and previously the epicentre of the US outbreak, is one of the few areas still planning some form of in-person teaching in September, with students attending school for one to three days per week.

  7. UK council is latest to set up own track and trace system

    Image caption: There has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Calderdale which has led to a local lockdown

    An area of northern England currently under a local coronavirus lockdown is launching its own track and trace system.

    Calderdale was among parts of West Yorkshire, alongside east Lancashire and Greater Manchester, to have some lockdown restrictions reimposed last week.

    Now Calderdale council is implementing a local track and trace programme, after the area saw a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the last week, with the R-infection number going above one.

    It is the second authority to make the move after Blackburn and Darwen said it was setting up a locally-focused system.

    Council leader Tim Swift said contact tracers would speak to people in person rather than just over the telephone.

    England's Test and Trace programme, which launched in May, sees people contacted by email, text or phone if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

  8. Brazilian indigenous chief dies with Covid-19

    Yawalapiti chief Aritana arrives at a hospital in July
    Image caption: Aritana was transferred to a hospital in Goiania on 22 July

    A prominent indigenous leader in Brazil has died of complications from Covid-19.

    Yawalapiti chief Aritana had fought to protect the Amazon and for the rights of indigenous groups.

    He tested positive for coronavirus around two weeks ago, and was later transferred to intensive care.

    Indeigenous communities have been badly affected by Brazil's coronavirus outbreak, with the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples' Association reporting that more than 22,000 people have died.

    Brazil has the second highest number of deaths and infections worldwide, with 96,000 fatalities and 2.8 million infections.

  9. Mayor of Luton steps down after breaking Covid guidelines

    The mayor of Luton has stepped down from his role in the UK, after breaking coronavirus guidelines to attend a gathering in a garden.

    Tahir Malik was forced to apologise last month after he was pictured with two other councillors at a large outdoor gathering at a house in Luton.

    In a statement after his resignation, he said: "Once again I regret my actions which were below the standard of my position and would like to sincerely apologise to the people of Luton for attending this gathering which was in breach of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

    "There is no excuse for what I did – I should have known better and I accept full responsibility for my actions."

    A new mayor will be appointed on 29 September. They will serve for the remainder of the municipal year.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronvirus: Video shows Luton mayor breaking lockdown rules
  10. Spain records highest daily cases since lockdown ended

    A woman wearing a face mask speaks to a health worker in PPE in Barcelona, Spain

    Spain announced 1,772 new daily cases on Wednesday, in the largest increase since national lockdown measures ended.

    One death was also recorded, bringing Spain's death toll in the pandemic to 28,499.

    The number of new infections does not include two regions which have not yet reported their statistics.

    The news came as Switzerland became the latest European country to announce quarantine measures for travellers arriving from Spain, although its rules do not apply to the Canary and Balearic islands.

    Spain enforced one of Europe's strictest lockdowns, but has experienced a rise in cases since restrictions were eased in June.

  11. Italy threatens Ryanair with ban

    Ryanair flight takes off

    Italy's national civil aviation authority has threatened to suspend Ryanair flights in the country after accusing the budget airline of "repeated violations" of the country's coronavirus safety measures.

    "Not only is the obligation to distance passengers not respected, but the conditions for making an exception to that rule are also being ignored," ENAC said in a statement.

    The body added that it would suspend the airline's activities in Italy's national airports if it failed to comply with the rules.

    Italy has been one of the countries worst hit by coronavirus, with more than 35,000 deaths.

  12. Joe Biden won't accept nomination in person

    Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event in July

    Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate in November's US presidential election, will not accept his nomination in person due to the pandemic.

    Both Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls formally become candidates at their respective parties' national convention, where they also announce their running mate.

    Biden's party said the former vice-president "will no longer travel to Milwaukee and will instead address the nation and accept the Democratic nomination from his home state of Delaware", with no speakers physically attending the event, which is due to take place from 17-20 August.

    Last month President Trump, who is the only remaining Republican nominee, scrapped a Florida convention, blaming the coronavirus "flare-up", and announced a scaled-down event in North Carolina.

    The election will take place on 3 November.

  13. Coronavirus in the UK: what you need to know

    Here are our latest charts illustrating the figures on coronavirus in the UK.

    Crucially, the downward trend in daily deaths continues to slow, and confirmed cases of the virus are rising.

    Coronavirus in the UK
    Trend in daily deaths in UK
    Trend in daily cases in the UK
  14. US orders 100m doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

    The US government has ordered 100 million doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine.

    Johnson & Johnson, which is behind the jab, announced the $1bn-deal on Wednesday, noting that the government may purchase a further 200 million doses at a later stage.

    The vaccine is based on the same technology the company used to create an experimental Ebola vaccine that was used in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year.

    But Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is not the only candidate being considered by the US government.

    Last week, Sanofi and FlaxoSmithKline announced a deal to develop and deliver 100 million doses of a vaccine they are developing, with a similar agreement between the government and Pfizer and BioNTech announced in July.

    “With the portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021,” a US official said.

    Around 140 vaccines are currently under development worldwide, though only six have the reached final phase of testing.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus vaccine: How close are we and who will get it?
  15. When UK schools reopen, what will it be like?

    A school pupil

    Schools are set to reopen fully in England in September and new guidance has been published. There are separate plans for Wales, Northern Ireland and also Scotland, where schools are scheduled to open their doors next Tuesday.

    Who will be expected to go back?

    Nearly all children of legal school age will be expected to return to class full-time in September - mid-August in Scotland - including those with special educational needs and disabilities, and those who have been shielding.

    Do I have to send my child back?

    Attendance will be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term.

    But pupils must self-isolate and not attend school if they - or a close contact - develop symptoms or test positive for coronavirus.

    And how will the school day work?

    Schools will be asked to minimise the number of contacts each pupil has during the day, by keeping classes or whole year groups apart in separate "protective bubbles" rather than practising individual social distancing.

    They must have strict hand-washing policies, promote the "catch it, bin it, kill it" approach for coughing and sneezing, step up cleaning and be ready to assist with contract tracing and testing.

  16. France pours more aid into wine industry

    Hugh Schofield

    BBC News Paris correspondent in Sancerre

    Bottles of red wine are seen in the cellar of Chateau Le Puy in Saint Cibard, France
    Image caption: France's wine industry has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic

    The French government is stepping up its financial aid to the country’s wine sector, which has been badly hit by the coronavirus crisis.

    Speaking at an organic winery near Sancerre, Prime Minister Jean Castex said an extra €80m (£72m; $95m) would be made available.

    Among the many sectors clamouring for state aid in France, the wine industry has a significance that is not just economic, but also symbolic: it’s a part of French life that everyone holds dear.

    But the last months have been testing. First of all, there was a big rise in duty on exports to the US - fallout from a trade row - and then Covid-19, which meant the closure of bars and restaurants.

    Overall, the sector reckons it has lost €1.5bn. The new aid promised by Castex will be used partly to stock surplus wine until the market improves.

    Here in Sancerre, with its quality wine, that’s what growers prefer. But Castex said some aid would go towards turning unsold bottles into alcohol for perfumery or hand sanitiser.

  17. BreakingUK reports 65 more coronavirus deaths

    A further 65 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total to 46,364, figures show.

    And another 892 people have tested positive for the virus in the UK in the past 24 hours, the government has announced.

    This brings the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the UK to 307,184.

    The latest figures are published on the government's coronavirus dashboard - although a review is taking place into the way deaths from coronavirus are counted in England.

  18. Blair: Second national lockdown would be 'devastating'

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has told BBC Radio 5 Live that he doesn't think the country could afford another national lockdown.

    Speaking to Emma Barnett, Mr Blair talked about the importance of reviving the economy, adding: "We’re going to do major long-term damage to the rest of our healthcare system if our economy can’t get moving again and if people can’t get out and about again”.

    Video content

    Video caption: Mr Blair said he feels “horrified” by the economic damage stemming from the pandemic.
  19. What do Sweden's economic figures tell us?

    Maddy Savage

    BBC News, Stockholm

    New economic figures show that Sweden, which opted not to impose a strict lockdown, has been hit less hard by the pandemic than other EU nations.

    But it still recorded its worst results in decades.

    The authorities here have always said the country's approach wasn't designed to protect the economy. They stressed that the aim was to introduce sustainable, long-term measures.

    Even so, the government did hope that keeping more of society open would help limit job losses and mitigate the effect on businesses.

    The latest figures are a sign of just how vulnerable Sweden is to global economic shifts. Like other Scandinavian nations, it has a small, open, economy that is dependent on international trade.

    They also suggest that, while more of society remained open than in other parts of Europe, plenty of Swedes still chose to stay away from shops, restaurants and gyms.

    Recent opinion polls have suggested declining confidence in the minority government's handling of the pandemic. If the economy continues to worsen, there may be sharper national debates about the decision not to lockdown and the subsequent early high death toll.

    But given the rapid drop in daily recorded deaths since July, supporters of the controversial strategy are hopeful that the measures will help provide long-term stability.

  20. WHO to young people: Tone down the partying

    People gather at a bar in Soho, London
    Image caption: Dr Ryan urged young people to be responsible

    Young people should re-consider their partying habits to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) expert has said.

    As lockdowns loosen around the world, some countries are seeing a higher proportion of new coronavirus infections among young people than during the earlier stage of the pandemic.

    "Younger people also need to take on board that they have a responsibility," Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies team, said in a Q&A session on Wednesday.

    "Ask yourself the question - do I really need to go to that party? Do I really need to be part of that indoor disco or nightclub?”

    His comments echo those of the WHO’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who previously said the choices made by the young can be "the difference between life and death for someone else".