Today's live page has been the work of Mal Siret, Ashitha Nagesh, Penny Spiller, Tori Lindrea, Hazel Shearing and Marie Jackson.
We'll be back with more on Thursday. Until then, stay well and thanks for joining us.
Headlines from around the world
Now to the latest key global developments:
Spain is planning to train some 2,000 soldiers as
trackers to identify people who’ve been exposed to the coronavirus.
France makes it mandatory to wear masks indoors, while Germany implements extra hygiene measures, and Italy insists on social distancing and staggered
starts at school.
In the US, case numbers are continuing to fall. Experts
say it’s partly down to more people wearing masks, but also point to a fall in
the number of tests being carried out. The US public health body, the CDC, has
quietly tweaked its testing guidance to say that people who’ve been in close
contact with someone known to have Covid-19 now “do not necessarily” need to
Ukraine is closing its borders for a month in a bid to try
to contain the virus. Most foreigners will be barred from entering apart from a few exceptions, including those working for international humanitarian
Pope Francis is to resume limited public audiences early
next month but only 500 seats will be allocated in the courtyard of
the Apostolic Palace.
Good news for culture lovers in New York as museums begin to
open with Moma preparing to open its doors on Thursday. But tango lovers in Argentina will only be able to catch the
annual Tango World Championships virtually as cases of
Covid-19 continue to surge. Samba schools in Brazil are also silent, raising
fears that the country’s flamboyant carnivals will not go ahead as usual next February.
What happened in the UK today?
As we near the end of today's coverage, here are the main headlines from around the UK:
It comes on the same day the exam results fiasco prompted the departure of Jonathan Slater, the Department for Education's most senior civil servant - with the PM citing the need "for fresh official leadership".
The scheme, which is now in its final week, offers customers in restaurants, pubs and cafes 50% off their meal, up to a maximum of £10 per head.
It has been running every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August to encourage support for the hospitality sector.
Commercial landlord Grosvenor has said it will subsidise discounted meals for its restaurant tenants in Belgravia and Mayfair, while elsewhere restaurants are individually deciding to extend the offer.
"The scheme has not just benefited businesses commercially, it appears to have really boosted consumer confidence as well, which is just as important," said Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality.
Spending by visitors from overseas could fall by as much as 78% - equivalent to £60m a day, said the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The WTTC said tourists were "staying away from the UK in droves" because of uncertainty over travel restrictions and because it has the highest coronavirus death toll of any European country.
This summer's "staycation" boom has seen UK residents flocking to book holidays at home, but the WTTC thinks the lack of foreign visitors will still inflict significant economic damage - with London hit hardest by the collapse in visitor numbers.
WTTC President Gloria Guevara said domestic spending was "highly unlikely to offset the collapse of international travel".
"We urgently need to replace stop-start quarantine measures with rapid, comprehensive and cost-effective test and trace programmes at departure points across the country," she added.
Inspectors in UK care homes 'need to be tested'
The National Care Forum (NCF) has written an open letter to England's Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for a reversal of the decision to allow inspectors into care homes without weekly testing.
The NCF, which represents 120 social care charities in the UK, called the decision to allow Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors to conduct on-site inspections of care homes without regular testing for Covid-19 "extraordinary".
“For months central government and the regulator have been requiring care homes to essentially eradicate the movement of staff and the flow of people, including close family relatives, into homes.
"Having done this, care homes are now being asked to let inspectors into homes without knowing whether or not they are Covid-positive. Understandably they are both shocked and hugely concerned," said Vic Rayner, executive director at the NCF.
"If inspectors are coming in, they need to be tested – there should be no further debate about this."
New York museums and galleries begin to reopen
Some normality is returning to New York with the imminent reopening of many of its most famous museums and art galleries.
The Museum of Modern Art, Moma, opens its doors on Thursday with free timed tickets for those visiting over the next month. Director Glenn Lowry told ABC News that the museum was facing significant financial losses because of the coronavirus but deciding not to charge visitors for the first month "felt like the right gesture".
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is set to reopen on Saturday, and the American Museum of Natural History and 9/11 Memorial Museum will start welcoming back visitors in September.
UK cases rise by more than 1,000 in 24 hours
There have been a further 1,048 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
Sixteen people have died, bringing the total death toll of those who died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 to 41,465, according to figures released by Public Health England.
Overall, 328,846 cases have been confirmed in the UK.
NHS Scotland to get 12-minute Covid test kit
The health service in Scotland has signed a deal for equipment which allows Covid-19 tests to be carried out in just 12 minutes.
NHS Scotland is to spend £6.76m on 300 rapid testing machines and at least 500,000 tests.
The deal with life sciences company LumiraDx will see the test strips made at its Stirling base.
The testing machines are said to be highly portable and can be used in local clinics or mobile units.
The test, which is going through the final stages of validation for use in Scotland and the rest of Europe, detects the Covid-19 antigen protein from a nasal swab in 12 minutes - considerably faster than the 90 minutes typically needed by other rapid tests which are currently being trialled.
Gaza's health workers struggle to contain outbreak
There is growing concern about the spread of Covid-19 in
the Gaza Strip after a 61-year-old man became the second person with the
disease to die in the Palestinian territory, and several new cases
were discovered outside its quarantine centres.
Early on Wednesday, the Hamas-run health ministry announced
that two people had tested positive at the territory’s largest hospital -
forcing it to close and causing locals to panic.
Police were posted at the gates of Shifa Hospital in Gaza
City, and all its doctors and nurses were tested.
The BBC’s Yolande Knell in Jerusalem says the outbreak
has caused alarm because of Gaza's weak healthcare system.
After five cases were confirmed in one family living in a refugee camp on Monday, a curfew was imposed across Gaza.
Previously, our correspondent adds, the relative
isolation of the territory - kept under blockade by Israel and Egypt - and
strict quarantine controls meant that Covid-19 had not spread among the general
The new infections were reported as an envoy from Qatar, which
has been sending aid money to Gaza, arrived for meetings to try to ease rising
tensions with Israel.
In recent nights, Israeli warplanes or tanks have struck
what they say are militant targets in Gaza in retaliation for the launch of
rockets and balloons with incendiary devices attached.
PM: 'Of course I will meet the bereaved'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to meet with families who have lost loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said it was the fifth time members had asked to meet the PM, but Mr Johnson said he was "not aware" of the group's previous letters.
"Of course I will meet the bereaved," the prime minister told Sky News on Wednesday. However, No 10 are yet to confirm that a meeting will take place.
The group of 1,600 families are calling for a statutory public inquiry into the government's handling of the pandemic.
Co-founder Jo Goodman, who lost her father to the virus, said: "We welcome Boris Johnson finally agreeing to meet with us.
"It shouldn't have taken him months to agree to it, and it should only be a matter of days before it happens.
"If the prime minister had replied to our first letter back in June, a rapid review could be reporting right now, giving crucial lessons on how to save lives as the virus spikes again, as we're seeing in locations across the country."
Top civil servant at UK education department steps down
Another head has rolled over the UK's exam results fiasco. The Department for Education announced its most senior civil servant, Jonathan Slater, would step down on 1 September, adding "the prime minister has concluded that there is a need for fresh official leadership".
Boris Johnson earlier blamed a "mutant algorithm" for creating a situation in which many students' A-level results were unfairly downgraded and they lost out on university and college places.
The National Education Union accused Mr Johnson of trying to "idly shrug away a disaster that his own government created".
Mr Slater's departure comes a day after the resignation of Sally Collier, head of the exams regulating body, Ofqual. Meanwhile Gavin Williamson, education secretary, stays in his job.
Crime in England and Wales 'down during lockdown'
Crime in England and Wales fell by almost a third in the first two full months of lockdown, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This was driven by falls in reported thefts and burglary, the ONS said.
But the ONS said drug crime rose by up to 44% compared with the same period last year, due to targeted policing.
A survey also suggests the vast majority of adults (91%) are satisfied with the way police have dealt with the coronavirus restrictions.
The figures, which are based on telephone research, support earlier data from police forces of a significant decline in offending during April and May.
Pupils in secondary schools in both Scotland and Northern Ireland are recommending the use of face coverings in corridors and communal areas from next week.
Head teachers need more virus data - Labour
Labour's shadow education secretary Kate Green says the government has not been clear in its guidance for schools and "constant chopping and changing and passing the buck" has not left parents or staff feeling very reassured.
She says it was right for the government to act on changed scientific and medical advice, but it needs to be clear, with discussions and guidance for those impacted.
Head teachers needed data like local infection rates and what sort of action they should take if a child was unwell at school or there was a local outbreak, she says - and heads have been pressing government for access to that data.
She said the stop-starting and confusion was "really damaging for students, for the confidence of their parents and their teachers".
"I am concerned that we shouldn't have to face the fact that these young people become a Covid generation whose long-term prospects are blighted by the effect of the lockdown and the education they've missed."
Gatwick airport 'to cut 600 jobs'
PA MediaCopyright: PA Media
Gatwick - the UK’s second largest airport - has announced plans to cut around 600 jobs, as it significantly restructures its business in the wake of the pandemic.
The airport is proposing to cut some 24% of the current staff following a dramatic slump in passenger numbers and air traffic since March.
In August, usually one of the airport's busiest months, passenger numbers are more than 80% lower than the same month last year, with only the North Terminal operating.
The chief executive of Gatwick Airport, Stewart Wingate, said it was a "stark reminder" of "the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the aviation and travel industry".
"We will continue to do all we can to preserve as many jobs as possible," he added.
Will children wear masks properly?
Katharine Birbalsingh, head teacher of Michaela Community School in London, said there was a "need to take into account children's behaviour when considering whether or not masks make them safer".
"What about the children who turn up to school with uniforms that aren't washed? They don't necessarily wash themselves, they come to school hungry, they will be wearing reused dirty masks," she told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.
"They'll swap them... they'll wear them incorrectly, they'll lose them. When half of your children show up to school and aren't wearing masks, what to do you, do you exclude them?"
But Liam Powell, head teacher at Manor High in Leicestershire - which was affected by the recent local lockdown - told the programme: "I think we have to have high expectations of our children and we have to modify the way they behave."
His school has made the use of face coverings optional.
"A lot of our parents are in the medical profession and they know a lot about viruses, and a lot of them are quite anxious," he said.
"What we've said to parents is it's sensible to carry a mask anyway because you may be travelling on public transport, the school bus or going into a shop on your way to school or on the way home."
Kenya's education minister has hinted at reopening schools earlier than his initial proposal of January 2021 - if coronavirus cases continue to fall.
George Magoha has said tertiary institutions may also reopen earlier than was planned. Kenya scrapped the entire 2020 academic year in March because of the pandemic.
The minister said it would be in the interest of learners to reopen schools early if the infection rate maintains its recent downward trend.
The ministry of health has been reporting lower numbers in its daily updates, with the director general saying the rate needs to be below 5% for a period of two weeks for the curve to be said to be flattening.
The World Health Organization and Unicef last week urged African countries to consider reopening schools but with strict guidelines. The agencies said children were being exposed to violence, teenage pregnancies and poor nutrition while at home during the pandemic.
Mexico school classes resume - on TV
School lessons have resumed in Mexico but with the number of coronavirus infections still high, children will not yet return to classrooms.
Schools were among the first institutions to close as the virus began to spread through the country in March.
As many Mexican families do not have access to the internet, classes will be broadcast on TV. Official figures suggest 93% of homes have access to TV.
Mexico has one of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the world. Since the pandemic started, 61,450 people have died with Covid. Only the United States and Brazil have had higher death tolls.