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Live Reporting

Edited by Alice Evans

All times stated are UK

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  1. British Museum to reopen on 27 August

    The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum
    Image caption: The Rosetta Stone is one of the exhibits visitors will be able to see when the museum opens later this month

    The British Museum in London will reopen on 27 August for the first time since lockdown, the organisation has announced.

    Visitors will need to book in advance to limit numbers and a one-way route will be in place to enable social distancing.

    The majority of the ground floor galleries will be open, with highlights including the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Sculptures.

    The museum plans to reopen more galleries and exhibitions from 21 September.

    Museums and galleries in England have been allowed to reopen since 4 July, but many of their doors have remained shut.

  2. What are the UK's travel quarantine rules?


    People arriving in the UK from Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra will soon have to self-isolate for 14 days.

    The changes have already come into force in Wales, and will start for the rest of the UK at 04:00 BST on Saturday.

    So what exactly are the rules and what other countries are affected?

    Our explainer tells you everything you need to know.

  3. Watch: How lockdown birdwatching is helping bushfire recovery

    Birdwatching has boomed during the lockdown in Australia - and it's having an unexpected benefit.

    Scientists have been using an increase in data on bird identification apps to help with conservation efforts after the devastating bushfires earlier this year.

    Video content

    Video caption: How 'lockdown birdwatching' is helping Australia's bushfire recovery
  4. Why have Malaysia and Brunei been added to England's 'safe list'?

    Travellers arriving in England and Wales from Malaysia and Brunei will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days, the UK government announced on Thursday.

    Malaysia – with a population of 31 million – has had just over 9,000 confirmed cases and 125 deaths.

    But its daily number of new cases has been low for some time. The rolling seven-day average has been below 20 since mid-June.

    Brunei also seems to have the virus under control. The tiny South East Asian country, with a population under 500,000, hasn’t confirmed a case since May.

    Migrant detained in Malaysia
    Image caption: In May, Malaysian police arrested hundreds of undocumented migrants in Kuala Lumpur - an operation they said would reduce the spread of Covid-19
  5. Chinese exports jump in July

    Chinese container ship

    In a sign the Chinese - and global - economies may be warming up, Chinese exports were up by 7.2% in July, compared to a year earlier.

    Economists polled by Reuters and Bloomberg had expected a slight fall in exports. Meanwhile, Chinese imports in July fell by 1.4% on a year earlier.

    In February, Chinese exports fell by more than 20% - the sharpest decline for three years.

    But, since factories reopened and lockdowns ended, the figure has improved steadily.

  6. One coronavirus-related death in Northern Ireland last week

    There was just one coronavirus-related death registered in Northern Ireland last week for the first time since lockdown began, official figures show.

    That is six fewer than the previous week, which showed a rise in the weekly number of deaths in NI for the first time since mid-June.

    The virus was mentioned on the death certificates of 855 people in NI by 31 July, according to weekly statistics released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

    Yesterday, the NI Executive announced all pupils would return to school full-time from the end of August, but the reopening of indoor pubs which don't serve food has been pushed back to 31 August at the earliest.

  7. UK 'will not hesitate' to add more countries to quarantine list

    Woman wearing a mask

    The UK "will not hesitate" to add more countries to its travel quarantine list in order to protect public health, the chancellor has said.

    Rishi Sunak told Sky News "there is always the risk of disruption" to holidays during the pandemic.

    It comes amid a surge in cases in France, with reports suggesting it could be the next country to see quarantine restrictions imposed.

    On Thursday, arrivals to the UK from Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra were told they will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

    Read more on this story here.

  8. South Korea allows travellers from Hubei

    For the first time since February, South Korea will allow travellers from Hubei province in China, where the coronavirus originated, to enter the country.

    The Covid-19 outbreak emerged in Wuhan in Hubei province at the end of last year, and no-one with a recent travel history to the province has been allowed into South Korea since 4 February.

    The relaxation follows China announcing on Wednesday that it would accept visa applications from South Korean workers and students for the first time since March.

    South Korea’s new rules will apply from Monday.

    People in Wuhan
    Image caption: Wuhan's own strict lockdown ended in April
  9. How to stay cool in a face mask as hot UK weather forecast

    A statue with a mask on a UK beach

    It is going to be sweltering.

    You don't really need the TV weather maps turning red to realise that much of the UK is going to be roasting in temperatures above 30C. But as you slip on your favourite summer top and shorts, you may break out in a hot sweat... as you realise you are also likely to be enduring part of your day in a face mask.

    Keeping cool while wearing a facial covering might be more difficult, but we've gathered some tips.

    Choose the right mask

    Dr Adil Sheraz, who works at a London NHS hospital, says to choose a mask made from a breathable material, such as cotton or even bamboo. He says although surgical masks provide protection from spreading the virus, "they are not the best to use for keeping cool".

    Change what you put on your skin

    "The other thing you want to do is try and avoid make-up," says Dr Sheraz, as it can mix with sweat and clog pores. "Use sun block and a water based moisturiser." The Met Office forecasts high UV levels in some areas.

    Above all, stay hydrated

    It's all well and good having the handy bottle of water to hand but if you're steadfastly not taking any liquid on board because you are keeping your mouth covered, you may end up in danger from dehydration.

    There is no problem removing your mask to have a refreshing glug of cool water - just remember to gel your hands before touching your mask and aim to remove it when you are at a safe distance from others.

    See here for more advice staying on cool.

  10. Leave cancelled for doctors in Bosnian capital as cases surge

    Muslims arrive to perform Eid al-Adha in Sarajevo last week
    Image caption: Muslims arrive to perform Eid al-Adha in Sarajevo last week

    Authorities in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, have cancelled leave for all medical staff following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the city.

    Those who are currently on holiday have been ordered to “return to work immediately”.

    More than 260 new cases were reported in Bosnia on Thursday, with more than a quarter of those in Sarajevo.

    The city currently has more than 1,400 active cases, with an infection rate of more than 300 per 100,000.

    A total of 384 people are reported to have died of Covid-19 in Bosnia.

  11. Winding up furlough scheme 'risks jobs' - SNP

    Alison Thewliss

    Winding up the furlough scheme “risks plunging tens of thousands of people into unemployment”, the Scottish National Party has warned.

    Since 1 August, employers have had to begin contributing to the government’s job retention scheme if their staff remain on furlough – and the scheme will end completely in October.

    But the SNP’s shadow chancellor, Alison Thewliss, said: “We think winding up the furlough scheme just now before pandemic is in any way over is a real risk to jobs and the economy.”

    She told BBC Breakfast that industries such as aviation, tourism and the arts had the potential to bounce back in the future but needed government support to keep their employees on through the pandemic.

    You can read more about how the furlough scheme is winding up here.

  12. Free Covid test for Hong Kongers who want one

    Carrie Lam
    Image caption: Carrie Lam said the source of 40% of Hong Kong's recent infections remained unclear

    Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, has announced a free Covid-19 test for anyone in the city who wants one.

    The mass testing will be done with help from three mainland Chinese firms, and will begin in around two weeks.

    Ms Lam said Hong Kongers should not be suspicious about the mainland's support, as it was Hong Kong that asked for help.

    After barely any cases in much of May and June, a surge of infections in July led to Hong Kong reintroducing strict rules.

    The rolling average of new daily cases has dipped since the start of the month, but is still at 100.

  13. World's remotest Irish bar: 'We will survive Covid'

    Owen Amos

    BBC News, Singapore

    The Irish Bar in Namche Bazar, Nepal
    Image caption: The Irish Bar in Namche Bazar, Nepal

    It has been closed since April, you can’t reach it by car, and the nearest airport is a two-day hike away – but the world's remotest Irish bar is optimistic business will pick up soon.

    The Irish Pub in Namche Bazar, Nepal, is 3,450 metres above sea level, en route to Mount Everest.

    It has been shut since 10 April, after the pandemic forced Nepal's government to close the mountains to climbers.

    But owner Dawa Sherpa thinks the reopening of the Himalayas to tourists – and a new road to the area – mean better days are ahead.

  14. Hardship lies ahead, warns UK chancellor

    The UK's Chancellor has said it is “just not possible” for him to “save every single business and every single job” given the “scale of the economic shock” faced by the UK.

    Asked about the forecast from the Bank of England that the UK faced its sharpest recession on record as a result of the coronavirus crisis, Rishi Sunak said he agreed that "hardship lies ahead".

    He also told BBC Breakfast that not extending the government's furlough scheme further was "one of the most difficult decisions" he has had to make.

    However, he added that "no-one should be left without hope", highlighting government support for apprenticeships, the new "kickstart" programme to help young people into employment and the "eat out to help out" scheme, offering customers discounts on meals.

  15. How the pandemic is sending some Brazilians ‘two steps back’

    Beathriz Samary
    Image caption: Beathriz Samary, a manicurist, lost most of her clients when the pandemic struck

    When the coronavirus pandemic spread to Brazil, it dealt a double blow to Beathriz Samary.

    In early March, the 21-year-old fell ill with a high fever, body aches and shortness of breath. While she was not able to get access to a coronavirus test, she suspects that what knocked her out for a month was Covid-19. "I was so ill, I couldn't even lift myself up," she recalls.

    But the financial impact she suffered was just as hard. Ms Samary, who was earning most of her income from working as a manicurist, was no longer able to go to clients' homes. She and her partner were surviving on a "cesta basica", food parcels donated by a local charity in the Salsa e Merengue neighbourhood they call home.

    "What saved us during that time were those food parcels," she says.

    Even after she recovered, work was hard to come by. Ms Samary applied for emergency aid - a measure the government approved in April - but it took weeks to arrive. She and her partner fell behind on rent and their internet was cut off. "There was no money, not even for the basics."

    Read Beathriz's story here.

  16. Furlough scheme cannot continue forever - UK chancellor

    Rishi Sunak

    The furlough scheme is not something the UK government can continue indefinitely, the chancellor has suggested, as its job retention programme begins to be wound down.

    Rishi Sunak said the government had helped pay people's wages since March and "most reasonable people" would not think this could carry on forever.

    He told BBC Breakfast there was now other support in place, such as emergency funding for specific sectors like the arts and a job retention bonus for companies that bring back employees from furlough.

    Asked whether the furlough scheme could be reintroduced in the case of another national lockdown, Sunak said the government's aim was to use "more targeted" local interventions to prevent this from happening.

    Since 1 August, employers have had to begin contributing to the government’s job retention scheme if their staff remain on furlough – and the scheme will end completely in October.

  17. Coronavirus cases pass one million mark in Africa

    A health worker performs a nasal swab test on an infant in Nairobi, Kenya, in May 2020.
    Image caption: Many experts believe the true number of cases to be higher

    "Aggressive and bold" action is needed as Africa's coronavirus cases pass the one million mark, according to the African Union (AU) body dealing with the pandemic.

    It says South Africa - where testing has been widespread - accounts for more than half of all cases.

    Tanzania's lack of data meanwhile is a "concern" for the AU - it has not published figures for weeks.

    Experts say a lack of comprehensive testing across Africa means the true extent of the pandemic is not known.

    Figures collated by Johns Hopkins University in the US show that more than one million cases have been recorded in Africa.

    In the continent overall, more than 21,000 people have died with Covid-19 and almost 674,000 people have recovered, the figures show.

    The two countries with the highest numbers of cases are South Africa and Egypt. They accounted for 75% of all the new cases reported by mid-July.

    Read more here.

  18. Latest from across the globe

    A student has his temperature taken in Nigeria
    Image caption: A student has his temperature taken in Nigeria

    Good morning everyone joining us from around the world. Here is a global round-up of the top coronavirus stories:

    • Africa's coronavirus cases have passed the one million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University
    • South Africa - where testing has been widespread - accounts for more than half of all cases
    • However, experts say a lack of comprehensive testing across Africa means the true extent of the pandemic could be worse than reported
    • The Australian state of Victoria has reported another 450 cases in the past 24 hours
    • People who enter New South Wales from Victoria will have to go into mandatory hotel quarantine
    • More than two million Indians have now tested positive for Covid-19, according to official figures
    • The country confirmed the last million cases in just 20 days, faster than the US or Brazil which have higher numbers
    • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has sparked outrage in some circles once again, for telling Brazilians they should “get on with life”. More than 98,000 people have lost their lives in the country
  19. Latest from the UK

    A shop in Belgium

    If you’re joining us from the UK, here are the latest stories you need to know about this morning:

    • People arriving into the UK from Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra will have to quarantine for 14 days, the transport secretary has announced. The changes start at 04:00 BST on Saturday except in Wales where they came into force at midnight on Thursday
    • Schools in England can appeal if they can show this year's GCSE and A-level results do not reflect recent improvements, the exams watchdog says. It follows concern that the way grades are calculated after exams were cancelled could penalise some pupils
    • Thousands of long-serving cabin crew at British Airways are expected to find out whether they will be made redundant, after the airline was hit badly by the lockdown
    • Pub-goers in Leicester have been warned not to “throw away all the hard work” by ignoring social distancing rules, as the city’s bars prepare for their first Friday and Saturday nights in months
    • Continuing chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment in cancer patients with Covid-19 is not a risk to their survival, a study suggests