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Live Reporting

Edited by Tom Spender and Alex Therrien

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for joining us

    We're now bringing our live page to a pause for today and will be back tomorrow. Thanks for joining us.

    Today's live page writers were:

    George Bowden, Joshua Cheetham, Jo Couzens, Sophie Morris and Francesca Gillett.

    The page was edited by Thomas Spender and Alex Therrien.

  2. Evening round-up

    We’ll soon be bringing our live page to a close, but before we go here are the main developments from today:

    • Travellers in France are rushing to get back to the UK before a 14-day quarantine rule comes into force from 04:00 on Saturday. The quarantine rule will also apply to Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba
    • The UK has seen its biggest rise in cases since 14 June. In the 24-hour period up to 09:00 BST, there were a further 1,441 lab-confirmed cases
    • Restrictions on gatherings for people in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester are to continue, the Department of Health has said, after cases remained high
    • Spain has closed its nightclubs and bars and is banning smoking in the street without a two-metre distance
    • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a 12-day extension of the country’s Covid restrictions after a cluster of cases grew to 29
    • The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned states need to bring down the number of cases in order to stop the pandemic from coinciding with the country’s flu season
  3. Oman ends night-time curfew

    Oman is ending its night-time curfew as the country continues to ease coronavirus restrictions.

    The ban on night-time movement will end from 15 August at 05:00 local time (02:00 BST). The curfew meant that people had to stay at home from 21:00 until 06:00.

    It had already been shortened as part of the lockdown easing. Previously, people had to stay at home between 19:00 and 07:00.

    Oman has recorded 557 deaths and 82,743 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins university.

  4. M&S supplier's Covid outbreak a 'huge disaster'

    Greencore, Northampton
    Image caption: Greencore workers who have tested positive for coronavirus have been told to self-isolate

    Earlier this week, we reported on the outbreak at a food factory in England, where nearly 300 workers tested positive.

    The factory in Northampton makes sandwiches for store M&S.

    Officials have said the outbreak was due to behaviour outside of work, such as car sharing and socialising.

    Now, the leader of the local council has said the outbreak is a "huge disaster" for the town.

    "I believe if we follow guidelines as stringently as we can, we can still avoid a lockdown," said Jonathan Nunn.

    "Let's be absolute honest, the [Greencore] outbreak is absolutely dreadful."

    Northampton has become top of the list of highest weekly rates in England. The town's rate rose to 115.8 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 11 August - up from 34.7 in the previous seven days to 4 August.

    Read more on the sandwich factory outbreak here.

  5. Why couldn't we have had 72 hours' notice, holidaymaker asks

    Tom Duffell
    Image caption: "An extra two weeks off of work is just not doable," says Tom

    Today we've been bringing you the stories of some of the people who are rushing to get back to the UK from holidays in France before 04:00 BST tomorrow. After that point, everyone returning from France will have to self-isolate.

    Tom Duffell, who runs a small business, decided to cut short his family holiday to Nice by four days and booked a last-minute flight home.

    "We were enjoying a nice cocktail last night and suddenly a news flash pops in and a scramble to book flights," he told the BBC from the airport.

    "I think we've managed to get my wife and one of my sons on one flight and myself and my other son on another flight.

    "We've had to spend about £800 because we just can't afford to take two extra weeks off of work," added Tom, whose wife works as an NHS nurse and volunteered in an intensive care ward.

    He said the government should have given tourists already in France longer to prepare. "They could have said, you know, give tourists 72 hours to return to the UK, rather than just over 24 hours and there's this mad scramble," he said.

    "Instead we're all packed into the airport. There's huge queues, social distancing's gone out of the window."

    "We're all scrambling on to the same flight, the flights are all full. Surely that's not going to help public health, that's just going to make things worse."

  6. Portugal's Communist Party to stage festival for up to 33,000 a day

    Alison Roberts

    Portugal Correspondent, Lisbon

    The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) is preparing to receive up to 33,000 people a day at its three-day annual festival next month.

    It announced the move today after talks this week with the health authorities over precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

    The party's insistence on going ahead with the event from 4 to 6 September has come under fierce criticism in recent weeks, as health officials struggle to bring a series of coronavirus outbreaks in Greater Lisbon under control.

    The Festa do Avante! is staged on a 30-hectare site in Amora, across the River Tagus from Lisbon, that can normally host up to 100,000 people. It attracts music lovers who come for the local and foreign performers as well as party members. It is a crucial source of revenue for the party.

    The PCP promised that organisers would ensure "additional protection and prevention measures, extending still further the safety conditions guaranteed to its visitors". For each visitor there would be "an area greater than that established for beaches and which, as a rule, will be double that which is fixed for similar spaces" outdoors, it said.

    Yesterday's edition of Avante! (Forwards), the party newspaper for which the festival is named, called on anyone planning to go along to take a mask with them, since it will be needed for some spaces on the site, but did not say whether masks would or would not be required throughout.

    In Portugal, the wearing of masks is currently compulsory on public transport and closed public spaces, but not outdoors.

    The minority socialist government has resisted calls to stop the event from going ahead, at a time when all this year's music festivals have been cancelled. Speaking yesterday, the minister of health said that Portugal's constitution forbids the banning of political initiatives, but that there can be no exceptions to rules in place for the pandemic.

  7. UK coronavirus numbers in detail

    Graph showing number of confirmed cases

    Eleven new coronavirus deaths were announced by the UK government today, taking the total to 41,358.

    These are deaths for any reason within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

    Meanwhile, the total number of people who have tested positive has increased by 1,441. That's an upward trend since two weeks ago.

    Coronavirus death stats - 14 August

    Earlier this week the government announced it was changing the way coronavirus deaths in England are counted.

    That change was applied retrospectively, and reduced the overall UK death toll by more than 5,000.

    You can read more about the new counting method here.

    And to find out more about how many confirmed cases there are in the UK and your area, click here.

  8. France records highest number of cases since lockdown was eased

    People wear face masks in Paris
    Image caption: The country has seen another rise in cases

    France has recorded 2,846 new covid infections over the past 24 hours - the highest number since lockdown restrictions were eased.

    The seven-day moving average has increased to 2,041 marking the first time it has surpassed 2,000 since 20 April.

    France’s total number of cases since the pandemic began now stands at 212,211.

    It comes as the UK prepares to enforce a 14-day quarantine period to people arriving from France from 04:00 on Saturday.

    Thousands of holidaymakers are racing to return to the UK in order to avoid the need to self-isolate.

  9. Rule-breaking pub landlords in Birmingham face crackdown

    Image caption: Birmingham has seen a rise in its Covid-19 infection rate

    Pub landlords breaking the rules around coronavirus in Birmingham are facing a police crackdown for failing to properly record customers' details.

    It comes amid growing concern among health chiefs about a rising infection rate in Birmingham, which puts it behind only Sandwell - the worst-affected local authority area in the West Midlands to date.

    Birmingham had a rate of 23.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 10 August with the trend increasing, according to NHS Digital.

    City council leader Ian Ward urged businesses to contact Public Health England as soon as they identified either a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 among staff or customers.

    Waheed Saleem, the West Midlands deputy police and crime commissioner, said: "We will work closely with the licensing authorities to crack down on those premises that don't follow rules and are breaking rules."

    Mr Saleem also warned organisers of illegal parties and raves, and those thinking of attending them: "We will not tolerate these gatherings."

  10. Greek PM appeals to young people as cases rise

    People sit at a bar in Athens
    Image caption: Under new restrictions bars in Athens will have to close at midnight

    Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has hit out at the country’s young people as the country records a rise in cases.

    The prime minister said “the spread of the virus is linked to younger ages” as he asked people returning from overseas to wear masks for a week after arriving back in the country and stay away from vulnerable people.

    “I want to make a special appeal to our youth. I too have children of that age,” he said. “Please… take care of yourselves, you are not immune, and your parents and grandparents are especially not immune”.

    New restrictions have been announced in the country. Restaurants and bars will have to close from midnight until 07:00 (04:00) in Athens, Thessaloniki and the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Crete.

    The country recorded 254 cases on Friday.

  11. Yo! Sushi to shut restaurants and cut 250 jobs

    Yo! Sushi food

    Yo! Sushi has announced it will close 19 restaurants and cut 250 staff as part of a company-wide restructure.

    The company is launching a company voluntary arrangement, allowing it to shut loss-making sites.

    It said the current climate and "changes in consumer behaviour" meant that rents at some restaurants were unsustainable.

    The company's boss, Richard Hodgson, said: "Like the rest of the sector, we need to take decisive action to adapt to the lasting changes that the covid pandemic has brought about."

    Read more

  12. Coventry warned not to 'drop guard' after rise in cases

    Fyffes in Coventry
    Image caption: All 186 members of staff at Fyffes will be tested for coronavirus after 10 tested positive

    People in Coventry have been urged "not to drop their guard" after a slight rise in coronavirus cases in the region and an outbreak at a workplace in the suburb of Walsgrave.

    Some 10 members of staff at fruit wholesalers Fyffes Group Ltd tested positive for the virus this week - now all 186 staff are set to be tested as a precaution while the site remains open.

    It is the second known outbreak at a Coventry workplace this month, following nine positive cases among staff at Tesco Arena Park at the start of August.

    At 13.8 per 100,000 population, the number of cases for the seven West Midlands Combined Authority areas climbed slightly in the seven days up to and including 6 August. However, it is still significantly lower than rates in the worst-hit parts of the country.

    Council leaders at Coventry, Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton have joined forces to stress the need for continued vigilance to reduce the risks of a further significant spike and local lockdown.

    They urged people to adhere to social distancing, in particular ahead of the return of thousands of students for the new university term.

  13. Norway issues new advice for mask wear

    Norway has issued new advice for mask wear in a response to a rise in cases.

    It is now recommended that people using public transport in the capital, Oslo, and the region of Indre Ostfold wear masks during rush hour.

    The guidance is not mandatory and is for when people cannot maintain a one metre distance.

    Those travelling from the airport after returning from countries where people must isolate have also been advised to wear a face covering.

    People working in places where face-to-face interactions cannot be avoided have also been advised to wear masks, according to Reuters news agency.

    The guidance will be in place for two weeks, Health Minister Bent Hoie said during a press conference on Friday.

    Norway is one of a few countries that had not advised people to wear masks in public. Countries such as France, Spain and Belgium have all introduced mandatory mask policies.

  14. ATP finals to be held behind closed doors

    The ATP Tour Finals, a competition that ends the men’s tennis season, is set to take place in London behind closed doors.

    This year’s tournament, held between 15-22 November, is the last time it will be held in London before it moves to Turin in 2021.

    Those who have already bought tickets will be refunded.

    However, should government pilot events go well and restrictions on live sporting events be lifted, tickets may be sold closer to the time of the event, the ATP said.

    The event sees the world's top eight men's single players compete. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Theim are the first players to qualify for the event.

    View more on instagram
  15. Watch: The challenges of working on Senegal's coronavirus frontline

    Prof Ndeye Coumba Touré Kane works on Senegal's Covid-19 testing frontline.

    She told the BBC about the sacrifices it takes her to fulfil her role as the scientific director at a major research centre in Dakar, the country's capital city.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Challenges of working on Senegal's Covid-19 frontline
  16. UK sees biggest daily rise in cases since 14 June

    The number of daily positive tests for coronavirus in the UK is the highest it's been since 14 June, according to the latest government figures.

    In the 24-hour period up to 09:00 BST, there were a further 1,441 lab-confirmed cases.

    Overall, a total of 316,367 cases have been confirmed.

    Some 41,358 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, as of today, government figures show. This is up by 11 from Thursday.

    Previously, people in England who died at any point following a positive test, regardless of cause, were counted in the figures.

    A review of how these deaths were counted has reduced the UK death toll by more than 5,000.

    Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies indicate there have been 56,800 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

  17. US fears over pandemic meeting flu season

    A hospital in Texas
    Image caption: There are concerns that hospitals will be overstretched if the pandemic coincides with the flu season

    The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says many regions in the country need to bring down the number of coronavirus cases in order to stop the pandemic from coinciding with the country’s flu season.

    Director Robert Redfield said the rate of positive test results as a proportion of the total number of tests should be below 5% or even lower, according to Bloomberg.

    More than 30 states have reported test positivity rates of more than 5% over the past week.

    There are concerns that if the pandemic and the winter flu season coincide, hospitals could be overstretched.

    The CDC estimates that there were 410,000–740,000 flu hospitalisations and 24,000–64,000 deaths during the 2019-2020 winter flu season.

  18. Kim Jong-un rejects aid over Covid-19 fears

    Kim Jong-un
    Image caption: The North Korean leader has called for the country's borders to be tighter

    Kim Jong-un has ordered North Korea to reject all offers of international aid in the wake of severe flooding, saying that it could expose people to the coronavirus.

    The North Korean leader was quoted in state media telling a meeting of top officials that the country’s borders should be shut more tightly.

    North Korea says it has no confirmed cases of the virus however health experts say they find this difficult to believe.

    On Friday, a lockdown was lifted in the town of Kaesong after a suspected case of the virus. It was not announced if the suspected case was in fact Covid-19.

    The country has been hit by weeks of heavy monsoon rains. More than 20 people have died and 16,000 houses have been destroyed.

  19. Oxford University college confirms places for all offer holders

    Students get their exam results

    Oxford University's Worcester College has confirmed it will give places to all students who were offered them, "irrespective of their A-level results".

    In a statement on its website, it explained the decision was taken "in response to the uncertainties surrounding this year’s assessment".

    It said their new 2020 undergraduates are their "most diverse cohort ever".

    It comes after 280,000 pupils in England had their A-level marks downgraded, with many set to miss out on their university places.

    After the exams were cancelled due to the pandemic, grades were awarded using a controversial modelling system - with the key factors being the ranking order of pupils and the previous exam results of schools and colleges.

    This produced more top grades than has ever been seen before in A-levels - almost 28% getting A* and As - but head teachers have been angry about "unfathomable" individual injustices in the downgrading of some results.

  20. Do you have to self-isolate if you only drive through France?

    france landscape
    Image caption: You can get out of your car for a break in a remote area - but not in a service station or on a ferry

    If you have a holiday in a country which is exempt from UK quarantine rules and don’t make any stops in France on your drive back, you are not required to self-isolate on your return to the UK. However, you must make sure no new people get into your vehicle.

    The countries which share a border with France and are currently exempt from quarantine rules are Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

    All France’s other neighbours - Spain, Andorra, Monaco, Luxembourg and Belgium - are not exempt. So, if you have visited one of these countries during your holiday, you will still have to self-isolate, even if you have made no stops while driving through France.

    You can stop in a remote place in France, for example to stretch your legs or walk your dog, and if you don’t have any contact with other people or enter any public spaces you will not have to quarantine for 14 days when you get back.

    But if you get out of your vehicle at a service station or on ferry while crossing from France to the UK, you will be required to self-isolate on your return.