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.
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
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
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.
M&S supplier's Covid outbreak a 'huge disaster'
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.
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."
Portugal's Communist Party to stage festival for up to 33,000 a day
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
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.
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."
Greek PM appeals to young people as cases rise
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
Yo! Sushi to shut restaurants and cut 250 jobs
Yo! SuhshiCopyright: Yo! Suhshi
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."
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
US fears over pandemic meeting 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
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.
Kim Jong-un rejects aid over Covid-19 fears
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.
Oxford University college confirms places for all offer holders
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.
Do you have to self-isolate if you only drive through France?
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
which share a border with France and are currently exempt from quarantine rules
are Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
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.