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Live Reporting

Edited by Paul Gribben

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for joining us

    Many thanks for joining us today on our live page.

    It has been written by: Ashitha Nagesh, Paul Seddon, Penny Spiller, Alex Therrien, Lauren Turner and Katie Wright.

    The editors were Helier Cheung and Paul Gribben.

  2. What's been happening today?

    A test being given to a driver in Southwark, London

    We will be bringing our live coverage to a close shortly.

    But before we do, here's a look back at the main headlines of the day.

  3. Doctors on strike in Peru and Spain

    As cases rise again across the world, doctors are sounding the alarm about working conditions in their hospitals.

    Hundreds of junior doctors are protesting in Barcelona, Spain, saying that their working hours are now twice as long as what's stated in their contracts, but their pay is low.

    Similar protests are being held on the other side of the globe in Lima, Peru, where more than 9,000 healthcare workers are staging a 48-hour walkout to demand higher pay and better conditions.

    The doctors' union in Peru says the government hasn't kept its promises to increase salaries or pay bonuses during the pandemic.

    Doctor strike Barcelona
    Image caption: In Barcelona, doctors lay on the ground in their scrubs
    Plaza de Espana doctors' protest
    Image caption: They maintained social distancing at the protest at the Plaza de Espana
    Lima, Peru protest
    Image caption: In Lima, Peru, doctors say the government hasn't kept its promises to healthcare workers
    Lima, Peru protest
    Image caption: More than 9,000 healthcare workers are protesting in Lima
  4. More than 170 cases linked to England meat plant

    It has been confirmed that more than 170 cases of coronavirus have been linked to a West Cornwall meat plant.

    Cornwall Council said its public health team was alerted to a single case of possible coronavirus at the Pilgrim's Pride food factory, via the NHS Test and Trace service.

    Nearly 500 workers at the site in Pool were tested - with more than 170 of them testing positive.

    The council says most of those were not displaying any symptoms, but they, and any close contacts, are all now isolating in line with government guidelines,

    A representative from Pilgrim’s Pride Ltd said they were the first positive cases experienced at their site, it has worked closely with authorities and is continuing to follow government guidelines.

  5. Analysis: No big announcement but 'stark reminders'

    Jonathan Blake

    BBC political correspondent

    There were no big announcements in the briefing but several stark reminders about the spread of coronavirus in the UK.

    On more than one occasion, the scientists flanking the prime minister said things were "heading in the wrong direction".

    Boris Johnson again warned the UK was at "a critical moment".

    This was an attempt to reinforce the message that people need to stick to the rules - and a reminder that if things get worse, there could be more restrictions, even another national lockdown, to come.

    Everything rests on how far and how fast the virus spreads - both the level of disruption we'll continue to see in our daily lives and the relative success, or failure, of the government's response.

  6. Czech Republic declares new state of emergency

    Rob Cameron

    BBC Prague Correspondent

    Subway platform in Prague

    The Czech government has declared a new state of emergency, which comes into effect next Monday.

    Health Minister Roman Prymula told parliament that the rate of infection in the country was "among the worst in the world", and that urgent action was needed to prevent a crisis in hospitals.

    The state of emergency will, among other things, allow officials to draft in final year medical students to help out in hospitals, and to swiftly introduce new restrictions - such as moving all secondary school lessons online, introducing a cap of six people per party in restaurants, and limiting all events - with exceptions for ballet and theatre - to 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors.

    The state of emergency will be in place for 30 days. Parliament will then have to approve an extension.

  7. What happens next is the big unknown

    Nick Triggle

    Health Correspondent

    Hospital worker checking monitor

    It is now clear the second wave is here. Infections, hospital cases and deaths are all rising.

    But what happens next is the big unknown.

    The doomsday scenario of a doubling of cases every week that was put forward last week is not materialising.

    The increase in hospital admissions is even more gradual – and the total numbers being admitted are more than 10 times lower than they were at the peak.

    It points to a slower, less severe wave this time round.

    But it is still early days.

    We are just at the start of the autumn and winter period when respiratory viruses circulate more.

    The situation could easily unravel.

    However, the UK, like other countries, is in a much stronger position than we were when we literally walked blind into the first wave.

    Better treatments are in place, social distancing has become routine and – despite the problems – there is much more testing available.

    The odds are certainly stacked in our favour more than they were six months ago.

    Read more analysis here.

  8. South Africa to reopen borders for first time since March

    Cape Town airport empty

    South Africa is reopening its borders to all African countries from Thursday, although tourists from 50 places deemed to be high-risk - including the UK, the US, India, France and Russia - will be banned.

    The country closed its borders at the start of its national lockdown - one of the strictest in the world - on 27 March. Although restrictions on movement and business started to be eased from June, borders stayed shut to avoid cases of the virus coming in from abroad.

    Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor says the reopening of borders will be done "gradually".

    For now, although anyone from African countries is allowed, she says "only business travellers with scarce and critical skills, diplomats, investors and professional sports people coming for events from the high-risk countries will be permitted into the country".

    Those who can travel will have to show evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken fewer than 72 hours before departure. They will also be screened upon arrival, and will need to install a Covid-19 tracing app on their phones.

  9. Keir Starmer: 'We all have a duty to stick to the rules'

    Sir Keir Starmer, Labour Party leader

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, responding to the briefing, said the number of cases was "very concerning".

    He said: "I think everybody can see that and we've all got a duty to follow the government rules, and that's very clear that we stick to that.

    "There's got to be - if you like - a national effort to prevent a second lockdown.

    "But the government's side of the bargain here is to have a very clear strategy for keeping that infection rate down and we don't see that strategy.

    "Very clear communications, and the byword for this week has been, yet again, confusion.

    "And test, trace and isolate needs to be fixed urgently."

  10. Analysis: UK 'heading in the wrong direction'

    Lauren Moss

    Health correspondent, BBC News

    "This whole briefing felt very much like a warning," says BBC health correspondent Lauren Moss, who notes that more than once, the scientific advisers said we were headed "in the wrong direction".

    She says: "Prime Minister Boris Johnson said we may be seeing more of these briefings - a bit like we did when there were daily briefings.

    "We are not at that point yet, but this is the second one in a week where we have seen the chief scientific officer and the chief medical officer."

    While we are not in the same position we were in April or May, hospital admissions are on the rise - with cases rising especially in some areas of the country.

    But even though certain areas are seeing an increase in cases more than others, it is a national issue, she adds.

  11. UK's latest figures in graphs

    Data pic
    Data pic
    Data pic
    Data pic
  12. UK briefing round-up

    Here are the key points from this afternoon’s press conference in Downing Street:

    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said new measures to tackle the rise in coronavirus cases "will take time to feed through"
    • Plans are being put in place to ensure students can go home safely for Christmas
    • The UK's preparations for winter include being on track for 500,000 tests a day by the end of October and a four-month supply of protective equipment such as masks, gowns and visors
    • The PM said he will "not hesitate" to impose further restrictions if needed but he wants to avoid another national lockdown
    • The latest outbreaks in the UK may be more localised than the first wave during the spring, he says, with very clear local peaks
    • England's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals and intensive care is increasing
    • He said despite the rise in hospitalisations, the NHS currently has capacity to deal with new cases and is "absolutely open for business" for other kinds of care
    • And chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said it is "very clear" rates are still going up and "we don't have this under control"
  13. Reality Check

    Stockpiling personal protective equipment

    Medical worker preparing for work

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the government has over 32 billion items of personal protective equipment(PPE) on order and is building up a four-month stockpile of masks, gowns and visors.

    He also said that - by December - the government expects UK manufacturers to meet 70% of demand for PPE.

    These figures come from the Department for Health and Social Care's PPE Strategy, published yesterday.

    The document says that the government has already distributed 3.5 billion items of PPE, so almost ten times that amount are now on order.

  14. Can't literally force people to self-isolate, says Vallance

    Quoting a recent study during the briefing just ended, a journalist from the Times said only a low proportion of people are self-isolating after testing positive.

    Sir Patrick Vallance said it was "very, very important" that people self-isolate, adding that if they don't it will increase circulation of the virus.

    He said the study quoted was about "intent to self-isolate" from a few months ago, and he believed that more recent data is better.

    He said isolation was not something that could be "literally" enforced upon people, and people have to take accountability.

  15. 'Common sense needed' when following rules - PM

    Boris Johnson is asked why it is someone in the North East can't see their parents outside - but they can see five friends in a pub beer garden.

    He says there are national and local rules and that people will pick upon discrepancies and complexities - but that they should check the guidance online and also use their own common sense.

    This means they should follow the basics of restricting the possibility of transmission to someone else.

    The PM also says it is "vital" to stress that tackling the pandemic remains a national effort and that "we all have to fight it together".

    "We can't expect it to be solved" in the areas under regional lockdowns, he adds, saying "it's down to all of us".

    That was the last question of the briefing - but we will continue to bring you more reaction on it here.

  16. PM urges people to wear masks - and warns they will be fined

    Boris Johnson was asked about the number of people not wearing masks on public transport.

    He urges people to "please follow the guidance" and to bear in mind you are not just protecting your neighbour, but you also need to bear in mind that your loved ones could be infected.

    Fines are now "considerable" and "they will be imposed", he adds.

    She also asked if there were concerns the government was not going far, or fast enough.

    Sir Patrick Vallance said it was "very clear" rates are still going up and that "we don't have this under control". But he adds that the decisions that need to be made are "clearly very difficult" and "none are risk free"

    He says science can provide advice, but ministers need to make decisions.

  17. 'No room for complacency' warns Vallance

    Patrick Vallance

    Also in response to Robert Peston, chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance says there is no room for complacency at all right now and that the situation is headed "in the wrong direction".

    He adds: "This virus spreads because of close contacts in certain environments. We all need to make sure we reduce the number of contacts we have got."

    He says it is "going to be absolutely critical" that people self-isolate if they have symptoms.

  18. 'Long winter ahead', warns chief medical officer

    Downing Street briefing

    Robert Peston from ITV asks why it is that infections seem to be rising more quickly in Scotland rather than in England - and in parts of northern England rather than the south. He also points out daily deaths are now at 71, the same number they were in March, two days before the nation went into lockdown.

    Boris Johnson says it's possible there is a difference now "in the way the disease is expressing itself" in the country. It is clear, he adds, that local peaks are being seen.

    It might be the case it is a "more localised phenomenon this time around" which is why it is a good idea to focus on local solutions.

    Prof Chris Whitty says that earlier in the pandemic, the UK was an outlier in having an epidemic that was "almost uniform" in shape across the country. It is possible that there will be more concentrated areas in the next stage of the pandemic.

    He stresses there is a "long winter ahead" and that "a lot can happen in that time".

    But if everyone works together and follows the guidance, "we can contain it in those areas".

    In the first wave, the speed of cases doubling was underestimated, he adds.

    Pressure on the NHS could happen "sooner rather than later" in parts of northern England, he adds.

  19. Data kept under review, says PM

    The PM is asked if the government has a threshold above which it will replace local restrictions with nation-wide measures.

    Boris Johnson does not answer specifically, but says all data is kept under "constant review".

    Asked about differences in approach in the different UK nations, Prof Chris Whitty says measures have had to bear in mind "local traditions" - but says similarities are often downplayed.

  20. PM: 'Too early to tell' effect of latest restrictions

    Downing Street briefing

    Boris Johnson is asked what the chance is that the government will introduce further restrictions.

    In reply, the PM says the country has shown that the virus can be suppressed through observing the strict lockdown earlier this year.

    But he adds it is "too early to tell" what effect the latest measures will have on the transmission figures.