in Europe are rising - Germany has reported its highest daily
infection rate since April, while Spain and Italy logged their highest
daily figures in months. Cases are also steadily rising in France
And South Korea has tightened restrictions after a spike in
new cases, most of which have been linked to a church
Four men arrested in Vietnam over PPE scam
Vietnamese police have arrested four men, aged between 22 and 36, accused of defrauding Americans who had tried to buy Covid-19 protective equipment online.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, more than 5,000 Americans were defrauded of almost $1m (£760,000). A statement said the men set up 110 websites in March and offered PPE, including hand sanitisers, masks and disinfectant wipes.
The suspects never had the items they were offering, the ministry said, and the Americans - who had paid via PayPal - never received their items.
The men have been charged with "appropriation of property using a computer network, telecommunications network or electronic device", a crime that carries a prison term of up to 20 years.
The arrests were the result of a joint investigation by the ministry and the US Department of Homeland Security.
Religious schools 'can't be forced to close' in Kentucky
Kentucky's attorney general has ruled that the state can't force religious schools to close if they're following health recommendations.
The school year in the US begins in August. The state's Governor, Andy Beshear, previously recommended that schools in Kentucky start the year with online tuition, until 28 September.
But Attorney General Daniel Cameron has ruled that forcing religious schools to close would violate the US constitution and state law, Associated Press reports.
Local paper the Courier-Journal quoted Beshear as saying that "nobody is trying to close" schools that comply with coronavirus measures.
What are the UK's travel rules now?
Earlier, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that travellers coming to the UK from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago will now have to self-isolate upon arrival for 14 days.
It comes after a similar decision in recent weeks affecting people coming from Spain, France and Malta.
So what are the UK's travel rules now and which countries can you visit?
New cases of coronavirus in the US are falling - although the reason for this is disputed.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, cases over the past week averaged about 47,300 - down from a peak average of 67,317 on 22 July. The US hit a record number of new daily cases on 17 July, with more than 75,000 infections reported.
The trajectory of the virus is now "going in the right direction", Brett Giroir, the White House physician overseeing US coronavirus testing, said on Wednesday during a briefing.
He said the decline was partly due to measures such as face coverings and social distancing being put in place.
The Project says that the rate of testing is falling "nearly as much as cases are" - and that in the South, where cases surged in June and July, testing has "precipitously declined".
'Quarantining is more than the cost of my holiday'
Holidaymakers have begun reacting to the news that people travelling to the UK from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago will now have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Steve Davies, a 50-year-old from Yeovil in Somerset, is currently in Drasnice in Croatia.
He told the Press Association that self-isolating when he gets back will cost him up to £1,200 in unpaid wages at his job as a production supervisor for a helicopter company, "which is more than the cost of the holiday".
And amid rumours Greece would be added to the quarantine list too, Jess from Milton Keynes said she paid an extra £1,000 to reschedule a £6,500 family holiday for her and her husband's 40th birthdays. The holiday had already been rescheduled once, from the beginning of the summer to now.
UK death toll increases by six
A further six people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, as of 17:00 BST on Wednesday, according to the latest government figures. It takes the UK's overall toll for such deaths to 41,403.
Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show there have now been 57,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
As of 09:00 on Thursday, there had been a further 1,182 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Overall, 322,280 cases have been confirmed.
Defeat for Brazil's Bolsonaro as mask veto overturned
Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro, suffered a defeat in Congress on Wednesday when lawmakers overturned his veto on the wearing of masks in schools, places of worship and businesses.
Congress had passed a bill at the beginning of July which made the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces mandatory.
Even though the World Health Organization says that "masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives", Bolsonaro has been openly critical of their use and on Wednesday claimed that "their effectiveness is almost zero".
He also removed his mask when speaking to journalists after he had tested positive for coronavirus back in July.
Only travel abroad if you are prepared to quarantine, Shapps warns
Grant Shapps' announcement that travellers coming to the UK from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago will now have to self-isolate upon arrival for 14 days follows a similar move in recent weeks for people coming from Spain, France and Malta.
When those restrictions were announced, it led to a rush of tourists trying to return home before the measures came into force.
On Portugal being removed from the quarantine list, Shapps said: “As with all air bridge countries, please be aware that things can change quickly.
"Only travel if you are content to unexpectedly 14-day quarantine if required (I speak from experience!)."
Shapps flew out to Spain for a family holiday, but quickly headed back home when the 14-day quarantine rule was imposed on those returning from the country.
The Scottish government also issued a statement saying it had issued quarantine restrictions on travellers coming back from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago – and that they have also added Switzerland. People coming back to Scotland from Portugal are now also exempt from quarantine.
Croatia in particular had a record number of new cases on Wednesday, with 219 people testing positive. The 14-day cumulative number of cases there is 37.7 per 100,000, compared to 21 in the UK.
Croatia is a popular holiday destination for people in the UK. Approximately 875,000 British nationals visited Croatia in 2019.
It wasn't clear if what is possibly the most bizarre race of the year was going to take place at all, in view of the coronavirus pandemic. But in the end, the Croatian authorities gave the go-ahead to the country's biggest street festival in Zagreb, which features the unusual binmen bicycle race.
The event was held in Ban Jelacic Square in the Croatian capital as part of the street art festival called Cest is d'Best.
The festival started in 1997, but there had been concerns that this year's edition might be cancelled because of the pandemic.
The festival itself runs until Sunday.
Analysis: UK's increase in testing comes at a price
PA MediaCopyright: PA Media
The increase in tests carried
out in the UK seems to have come at a price.
The proportion of tests in
England taking longer than 24 hours to turn around is increasing.
At the end of June, around 90%
of tests carried out at mobile testing units and testing centres were processed
and results given within a day.
But by mid-August that had
dropped to 65% and 58%, respectively. Falls have also been seen in the number of tests posted out that are turn around in 24 hours.
NHS Test and Trace said an IT
failure at one of its mega labs, which processes the tests, had caused problems
and there was also a growing backlog because of the rising number of tests
being carried out.
An average of 170,000 tests a
day were being carried out in mid-August in the UK – a rise of more than a
quarter since the end of June.
The UK is now carrying out
twice the number of tests per head of population than countries such as
Germany, Spain and France.
More restrictions on the cards over Scotland cluster
Further restrictions over a coronavirus cluster linked to a food processing plant in Coupar Angus, Scotland, are being "carefully and urgently" considered, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
It is thought Robin Swann will recommend lowering the number of people allowed to meet indoors from 10 to six.
It comes after a marked increase in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
The Department of Health has confirmed 51 new positive cases of the virus in Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 6,556.
No further deaths have been recorded by the department, meaning the death toll remains at 559.
On Thursday, the head of the Public Health Agency said localised lockdowns were "practically inevitable".
Weekly test and trace numbers in England drop again
The number of people being reached through England's test
and trace programme has dropped again this week to 71% - down from 74% last
week, and down on the 91% in its first week (week ending 3 June), according to
the latest figures.
In the 11 weeks since it launched, 227,577 close contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have been reached through the tracing system and asked to self-isolate.
This is 81% out of a total of 281,118 people
identified as close contacts. The remaining 53,541 people (19%) identified as
close contacts were not reached.
The figures also show that, for cases handled
by local health protection teams, 98% of close contacts of people who tested
positive for Covid-19 have been reached and asked to self-isolate.
For those cases handled either online or by
call centres, 57% of close contacts have been reached.
This isn't a 'second wave' - we're still in the first
Whenever there is a jump in cases, it does not take long for
someone to start talking about a second wave.
But the truth is we are still in the first wave in Europe. The
wave is being suppressed, but it is still there.
Where we see cases rising, it is more a case that the defences
are being breached.
What gets less attention is the fact that it is falling in some
places too – Sweden and Portugal are both examples of this over the past month
It is also important to consider the context of the rise. Has it
risen to a high level or just a higher level from a low base?
And to what extent are the rises being caused by more testing?
The more you look, the more you find.
Certainly the numbers being tested is rising in many countries
and that is certainly a factor.
It means the rises seen in Germany, Italy and the UK for example
are less concerning than those seen in Spain, France and Croatia.
It is a very mixed picture across Europe, reflecting the fact
countries are just at different points of the first wave or having varying
degrees of success in keeping it at bay.
If you're just joining us...
Good morning to our readers in the Americas, good afternoon to readers in Europe and Africa, and good evening to those of you in Asia.
To help you catch up with what's happened today, here's the latest from around the world.
Cases are rising in Europe. Germany has reported its highest daily infection rate since April, while Spain and Italy logged their highest daily figures in months. Cases are also steadily rising in France
It looks like the UK will impose quarantine measures on people arriving from Croatia, the BBC has learned
In the US, more than 1.1 million people filed new claims for unemployment benefits. The US still has the highest death toll and total number of infections in the world
Australian airline Quantas has reported an annual loss of almost A$2 billion (£1 billion; $1.4 billion) as it struggles with the fallout of global lockdown measures and travel restrictions
In India, 69,652 new cases of the virus were reported on Thursday, taking the total number of cases up to 2.84 million
South Korea has tightened restrictions after a spike in new cases, most of which have been linked to a church
More than 788,000 people have died globally, and more than 22.4 million people have tested positive for the virus
Gyms and pools to reopen in Scotland at end of August
Gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts in Scotland will be able to reopen from 31 August, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
She said it meant people aged 12 and over could take part in non-contact activity in places such as dance and gymnastics studios.
More restrictions could be lifted on 14 September, she added, with sports stadiums, theatres and live music venues reopening with social distancing, limits on capacity and enhanced hygiene.
But she added that given the volatility in transmission of the virus, "there is a very real possibility that these plans will change".
More than 1.1 million new unemployment claims in US
Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images
The number of people in the US claiming unemployment has exceeded one million again, according to the latest figures from the US Labor Department.
Just over 1.1 million people filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending 15 August.
Although experts had expected a moderate rise, this was an increase of 135,000 from the previous week.This is only the third time new applications for jobless benefits have increased since the start of April.
First-time claims peaked at 6.97 million in March.