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Live Reporting

Sarah Collerton

All times stated are UK

  1. A look back at today's main developments

    We're pausing the live page for now, but we'll be back on Thursday morning.

    We leave you with some of today's key coronavirus stories from the UK and around the globe.

    Man with a snake around his neck
    Image caption: The man was on a bus from Swinton to Manchester
  2. Today's live page was brought to you by...

    We will be wrapping up today's live page shortly. The coverage has been brought to you by:

    Sarah Collerton, Victoria Lindrea, Flora Drury, Penny Spiller, Claudia Allen, Ella Willis and Sophie Williams.

  3. Coronavirus: Can my child go to school with a cold?

    Child at school

    With coronavirus cases rising in parts of the UK, schools are adopting measures to reduce the spread and keep pupils safe.

    But many parents still have questions - such as can I send my child to school with a cold?

    The NHS advises that if a child has mild cold-like symptoms they should continue to go to school.

    Sore throats and blocked or runny noses are not symptoms of coronavirus. In the case of a heavy cold, children may need to take a day or two off to get better, says the government in Scotland.

    However, a new continuous cough or a fever, or a loss or change in their sense of smell or taste, are potential symptoms of coronavirus. If your child shows any signs of these, they should stay at home, isolate for at least 10 days and be tested.

    Other members of your household should also self-isolate for 14 days from the point when your son or daughter first shows symptoms.

    Find out more answers to parents' questions here.

  4. Watch: Walk-through test centre sees long queues

    Long queues have formed outside a walk-through coronavirus test centre in southeastern England.

    Southend Council urged people only to turn up at the facility on Short Street if they had an appointment.

    Council leader Ian Gilbert said he was "concerned"at the queues.

    "If you book or turn up for a test without symptoms, you are taking testing capacity away from those people who really need it."

    Read more about the UK's testing issues here.

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    Video caption: Coronavirus: Southend walk-through test centre sees long queues
  5. Phased return to school 'worse' than homeschooling

    Video content

    Video caption: Special educational needs: 'My son can't go back to school like his brother'

    Lewis has severe learning disabilities. He is currently able to return to his special needs school for only two days a week - "a phased return" which the school says allows for "the highest levels of 1:1 attention".

    But his mum, Dawn, is disappointed.

    "In some aspects, it's worse than what we are doing now," says Dawn, who has been homeschooling him since March.

    "He thrives on structure, he understands school is five days a week...he needs a routine.

    "I'm frustrated for Lewis. I'm upset to see him lose skills that he'd gained.

    "He knows he should be going back to school."

  6. Masked mannequin used to prepare dogs for Covid-19

    Video content

    Video caption: Dogs in RSPCA's care get used to face masks before being rehoused

    An RSPCA centre is using a mannequin with a face mask to prepare dogs for the "real world".

    The centre in St Columb in Cornwall currently hosts 24 dogs and has taken measures to prepare them for a world where face masks are now mandatory in most public places.

  7. Actor Brian Cox urges Scotland's leader to save theatre

    Video content

    Video caption: Brian Cox: King's Theatre 'desperately' needs emergency funding

    Actor Brian Cox has appealed to Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon to help save the Edinburgh theatre that was "the catalyst" for his career.

    The Hollywood star, who was born in Dundee, credits his early visits to the King's Theatre as inspiring a career which has spanned 60 years and included films such as Manhunter and X2.

    The King's Theatre was forced to close in March while working on a £25m "planned, essential redevelopment", but its future is now in doubt.

    The 74-year-old actor told BBC Breakfast the theatre had "slipped through the cracks" for emergency funding.

    He said the closure of the King's after 104 years would be "tragic for the international community, but more tragic for the people of Edinburgh".

    The theatre, which doesn't receive any public funding, hosts more than 90,000 people every year for its pantomime season alone.

    Read more.

  8. Major conservation summit postponed due to pandemic

    In another sign of how the pandemic is impacting on other pressing issues of our time, a major international conservation summit has been indefinitely postponed.

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had already moved back its world congress from its original date in June to January 2021. On Wednesday, it said it had again postponed the event, due to be held in Marseille, and would announce new dates in due course.

    The IUCN congress is one of the world's biggest gatherings around conservation, and campaigners this year hoped to push for firm policy commitments on biodiversity at this event and the UN's COP15 summit in China, which has also been postponed until next year.

    And the situation, conservationists say, could not be more urgent. The World Wildlife Fund says wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in less than 50 years.

    Meanwhile, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity on Tuesday issued what it called its "final report card", saying immediate action is needed if we are to transition to a sustainable planet.

    Green Sea Turtle off the Egyptian coast in April 2020
    Image caption: The IUCN congress aimed to seek solutions to save Green Sea Turtles and other endangered species
  9. Watch: Johnson grilled on Covid issues at PMQs

    In case you missed PMQs earlier today, we've put together a few highlights:

    Video content

    Video caption: Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner asks PM about testing and care workers

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    Video caption: Rayner and Johnson on coronavirus restrictions

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    Video caption: Davey and Johnson on help for disabled children
  10. NYC mayor and team to be furloughed for a week

    Bill De Blasio

    New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced he and nearly 500 of his staff will be furloughed without pay for a week at some point in the next six months.

    He said the move would only save around $1m (£750,000) but would highlight the need for further savings.

    The city has lost $9bn in revenue since the coronavirus pandemic started, and has led to a $7bn cut in its annual budget, he said.

    “It was not a decision I made lightly,” he told reporters.

    “To have to do this is painful for them and their families, but it is the right thing to do at this moment in history.”

  11. Reality Check

    Is the UK testing more than other countries?

    Staff working at a Coronavirus testing centre at Temple Green Park and Ride in Leeds on 16 September 2020

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Liaison Committee of MPs: "We are now testing more per head of population than France, Germany and Spain and conducting more tests than any other European country."

    He’s right - according to data collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an EU agency.

    For the week ending 30 August, the figures show:

    • UK - 19 tests per 1,000
    • France -13 tests per 1,000
    • Germany - 13 tests per 1,000
    • Spain - 12 tests per 1,000

    A few countries in Europe rank higher than the UK on this measure though, including Denmark on 42 tests per 1,000.

    When it comes to overall tests, as of 30 August, the UK had processed just over 15 million antigen tests (the tests which tell you whether you currently have coronavirus).

    This total is higher than any other country in Europe, according to ECDC figures. Germany, for example, had processed 12.3 million tests by this date and France 7.4 million.

  12. 'Booking a test is like getting Harry Potter tickets'

    School girls in masks

    Demand for coronavirus tests has surged since pupils returned to school in the UK, with many staff and students unable to tell a winter bug from the pandemic virus.

    School leaders estimate that around 740 schools in England have sent home some pupils, whether it's a bubble, a year group or multiple year groups.

    Teachers say they have spent days trying to book tests for themselves, or immediate family; ploughed the web in the small hours; or ended up driving across the country to get hold of a test.

    "It's highly reliant on the user being persistent and just refreshing, refreshing, refreshing - like you're trying to book Harry Potter tickets," said William Lau, a computer science teacher, in north London.

    Nicole, a teacher of children with special needs in Sheffield, was close to tears on learning she must self-isolate while waiting for test results for her two children.

    "Vulnerable children are being hung out to dry. I just think my report card is 'could hugely do better'," she said of the government's testing system.

    Read more.

  13. UK PM - Doing 'everything in our power' to avoid another lockdown

    Daily confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK

    The UK recorded nearly 4,000 new infections in the last 24 hours - a rise of almost 1,000 cases on the previous day.

    Concerns are growing over the increasing number, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told MPs the government is doing “everything in our power” to avoid a second national lockdown.

    He says he has no doubt that the consequences of another shutdown “would be anything but disastrous” for the economy.

    "We must beat this disease," he told senior MPs on the Liaison Committee.

    Coronavirus in the UK
  14. Giant facemasks handed out to Greece's schoolchildren

    Danai Howard, BBC News

    View more on twitter

    Face masks for all students and teachers was a laudable aim by Greece's interior ministry, but it has turned into a oversized embarrassment after hundreds of thousands arrived in the wrong size.

    A breakdown in communication over sizing meant that the first batch of face masks delivered for the start of school this week were, in the words of politicians, the size of "small parachutes".

    Greek social media has been flooded with photos of children sporting the giant facemasks.

    The General Secretariat for Public Health has since admitted that the dimensions given had in fact referred to the size before the fabric was made into a mask.

    G Stathopoulos, whose company made 500,000 of the oversized masks, told local media they had noticed the masks were too big before delivery: “We also commented on the size. In fact, samples were given from all suppliers. We were not asked to create, but to produce masks to specific dimensions."

    Fortunately, it seems only the first batch was affected, and new measurements are being sent to the manufacturers for future orders.

    View more on twitter
  15. Every African nation seeks help from Fifa's Covid fund

    Fifa building

    Every single country in Africa has applied to Fifa to access a grant through the world governing body's Covid-19 Relief Plan.

    "Fifty-four African member associations have applied for grants," a Fifa spokesperson told BBC Sport Africa.

    Formally approved in July, the Fifa fund is making $1.5bn (£1.1bn) available to its 211 member associations and six confederations.

    On Wednesday, Fifa announced that it believes the coronavirus pandemic has cost the global football economy an estimated $14bn.

    Fifa has revealed that over 150 countries have already applied for the grant scheme, meaning Africa represents around a third of the countries to have made such a request.

    Read more on the BBC Sport Africa website

  16. UK government defends testing system for schools

    Hannah Richardson

    BBC News education and social affairs reporter

    Children entering school

    England's education secretary has defended the Covid-19 testing system for schools.

    Gavin Williamson insisted schools were being prioritised, highlighting that they can now order tests from the NHS directly.

    Earlier, unions and head teachers warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson of their "deep sense of foreboding" about further delays in the testing system, which has seen many teachers and pupils unable to access a Covid-19 test since the new school year began

    Mr Williamson told the education select committee direct access to the test-kit ordering system for schools came into effect on Wednesday morning, two weeks after the start of term.

    He described the direct supply line for schools as "unique".

    He said he had met Baroness Dido Harding, who runs NHS Test and Trace in England, to emphasise the importance and priority of schools and ensure testing is always available to them.

    But he cautioned that only people with coronavirus symptoms should be tested, not the whole "cohort" who are sent home.

    General Secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, Dr Patrick Roach, said "schools are unable to cope with a situation that is becoming increasingly out of control".

  17. How has lockdown changed our friendships?

    This is the question the BBC World Service radio has been asking people across the world, from India to South Africa and the United States.

    If people can’t physically meet, how do friendships change? And how do people look back on their social lives before lockdown?

    Indian jewellery designer Raji Anand has found some positives. “Everything was in a group, there was barely any individual interaction,” she said. “After the lockdown … what you wanted to do was basically go to people who could take all their time to talk.”

    Hear more views on this on today's BBC OS programme.

    Video content

    Video caption: Do you still have the same friends as before the pandemic?
  18. Is low testing hiding scale of the outbreak in South Asia?

    A girl in India wears a mask
    Image caption: India has the second highest number of cases in the world

    India now has the second highest number of cases of coronavirus in the world.

    So why is India reporting such an alarming rise in cases when its neighbours have much smaller figures?

    Its population of 1.3 billion dwarfs that of other countries in the rgion but with its overall infection numbers much higher, could low testing in South Asia be hiding the true scale of the outbreak there?

    Our reality check team have taken a look.

  19. UK education secretary defends use of calculated exam grades

    A levels protest

    The U-turn in grades for this summer's exams in England was necessary to prevent the appeals system being overwhelmed, the UK's Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said.

    The education secretary was giving evidence to MPs about the chaos surrounding this summer's A-level, GCSE and vocational exams.

    He said that when the decision to cancel exams was taken in March, there was a need for "certainty" - and it was not feasible to plan for conventional exams, which might later have to be scrapped.

    He stood by the decision to use calculated grades instead - saying they were fairer for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds - but said the problems and errors emerged when results were issued.

    "The reality was there were too many inconsistencies in terms of the grades. That was one of the real challenges - and that lead to a lack of public confidence in the awarded grades," he told MPs.

  20. Nearly 4,000 new coronavirus cases in the UK

    There have been nearly 4,000 new cases of coronavirus in the UK in the past 24 hours.

    The number of people who tested positive rose by 3,991, taking the total number of cases in the UK to 378,219.

    In addition, there has been a further 20 coronavirus deaths of people who died within 28 days of positive test.