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Live Reporting

Edited by Alex Therrien

All times stated are UK

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  1. And that's all from us for today

    We are now bringing our live page to a pause. Thank you for joining us today, from wherever you are in the world.

    Today's live page has been edited by Flora Drury and Alex Therrien and written by Vanessa Buschschluter, Raffi Berg, David Walker, Dulcie Lee, Kate Whannel, Gareth Evans, Jo Couzens and Mary O’Connor.

    We'll be back tomorrow.

  2. Here's a recap of today's main headlines

    Thank you for following our coronavirus live page today, brought to you by our team of reporters in London and around the world.

    Here are some of the main developments of the day:

    • In the UK, the length of time people with symptoms will have to self-isolate for has increased from seven to 10 days
    • Official figures showed England had the highest levels of excess deaths in Europe between the end of February to the middle of June. Spain was the second highest followed by Scotland
    • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is "absolutely vital as a country we don’t delude ourselves that somehow we’re out of the woods or this is all over, because it isn’t all over". The PM said a “resurgence of the virus” was visible in some countries in Europe and in the US, and that people must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to avoid a second wave
  3. Gyms and pools in Scotland could reopen by 14 September

    Video content

    Video caption: FM: Gyms and pools could reopen on 14 September

    Gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts in Scotland could reopen on 14 September, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

    She said the decision would be reviewed in three weeks to see if the date could be brought forward to late August.

    Gyms in England reopened last weekend, and Scottish owners have voiced concerns about the impact of their continued closure.

    Ms Sturgeon said the 14 September date was indicative at this stage.

    "I absolutely understand and share the desire to see these facilities open as quickly as possible," she said.

    Read more here.

  4. Analysis: Can Trump delay the US presidential election?

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    As we reported earlier, US President Donald Trump has suggested postponing November's presidential election. He has claimed that increased postal voting because of the coronavirus pandemic could lead to fraud and inaccurate results.

    There is little evidence that this would be the case - but does he have the power to delay it?

    The short answer is no. It would take an act of Congress - approved by majorities in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate - to change the date of the election.

    And the prospect of a bipartisan legislative consensus signing off on any delay is unlikely in the extreme.

    What's more, even if the voting day were changed, the US Constitution mandates that a presidential administration only last four years. In other words, Donald Trump's first term will expire at noon on 20 January 2021 one way or another.

    Read more analysis here.

  5. WHO chief: World must learn to live with coronavirus

    Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
    Image caption: The leader of the UN's health body also warned young people against complacency

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the world must "learn to live" with the coronavirus.

    Speaking at a daily press briefing, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "We must all learn to live with the virus and to take the steps necessary to live our lives, while protecting ourselves and others."

    He also praised the measures that were put in place for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

    "This is a powerful demonstration of the kinds of measures that countries can and must take to adapt to the new normal," he said.

    Dr Tedros also warned against complaceny among young people.

    "We have said it before and we’ll say it again: Young people are not invincible," he said. "Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others.

    "That’s why young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and protect others as everyone else," he added.

  6. We could learn if Oxford vaccine is effective in October

    James Gallagher

    Health and science correspondent, BBC News

    We could find out if the vaccine designed by the University of Oxford is effective in October.

    AstraZeneca, which is aiming to manufacture two billion doses by the end of next year, said the results of trials in the UK, US, Brazil and South Africa should be known by then.

    The company told BBC Newscast they are “hoping the immune response will last for at least 12 months, but hopefully closer to 24 or longer”.

    If protection waned after a year, it would mean an annual jab would be needed like the winter flu vaccine.

    Early trials of the coronavirus vaccine show it can train the immune system, but it is unknown whether this is enough to offer protection.

    Data from those trials suggested two doses gave a stronger response than one and AstraZeneca said that looked like “the most effective dose”.

    However, there is still uncertainty about how long protection lasts and how effective it is in older age groups, who are most at risk of the disease.

    You can listen to Newscast here.

  7. Leicester mayor 'incredibly frustrated' at lack of lockdown news


    The government has yet to say whether it will lift or extend local lockdown restrictions in Leicester.

    The city's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said he and local officials "haven't got a clue what's going on", complaining they have been "messed about all day".

    He claimed No 10 had indicated they were going to make the announcement "much earlier in the day" but now he understands "they're not even going to discuss it until 6pm".

    Sir Peter added that he was "incredibly frustrated" on behalf of the people of Leicester, particularly businesses who have been "struggling" due to an "extra four weeks" of lockdown.

    Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that businesses in Leicester would get £3m of government funding to help with the financial impact of the local lockdown.

    The city and some surrounding areas were put under the UK's first local lockdown on 29 June after a spike in Covid-19 cases there, though some restrictions were lifted on 24 July.

  8. Virus tracing app released in Northern Ireland

    The app for tracking and tracing coronavirus in Northern Ireland has been released for download from Apple's App Store and on Google Play.

    StopCOVID NI has several features for logging the details of those experiencing symptoms of the virus.

    It will supplement the phone-based contact tracing programme that is already in place, and identify those at risk of infection.

    Northern Ireland is the first part of the UK to have a contact tracing app.

    Within an hour of its release, hundreds of people had installed it on their mobile phones.

    Read more here.

    Image shows screenshot from the app
    Image caption: The app automatically contacts anyone at risk of infection
  9. Pubs and restaurants in Wales can reopen indoors on Monday

    Cardiff pub

    The reopening of pubs, restaurants and cafes indoors in Wales has been confirmed for the start of next week.

    First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce the next steps in easing the country's coronavirus restrictions on Friday.

    Hospitality businesses have already been allowed to open outdoors in Wales, and indoors in other parts of the UK.

    They have been shut since the middle of March, just before the country went into lockdown.

  10. Sturgeon rebuked by UK stats watchdog over England virus rate claim

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Nicola Sturgeon has been rebuked by the UK statistics watchdog over her repeated claim that coronavirus rates in England are five times higher than Scotland.

    The Office for Statistics Regulation said it had initially been "difficult" to identify the evidence for the Scottish first minister's claim.

    It said the sources later cited by the Scottish government "do not allow for a meaningful comparison to be made".

    The Conservatives said Ms Sturgeon had been caught using "dodgy statistics".

    But the first minister insisted evidence suggested "the prevalence of the virus is significantly lower in Scotland right now than in England" and accused the Tories of being blinded" by "bitter, partisan politics".

    Read more here

  11. Jet2 tells holidaymakers in Spain to return early

    File image of check-in desk at Jet2

    Jet2 is contacting customers on the Balearic and Canary Islands to ask them to end their package holidays early, the BBC has learned.

    Hundreds of customers have had flights back to the UK cancelled and been asked to leave sooner.

    Jet2 says it cannot afford to keep sending empty planes to pick up passengers on many different dates.

    Customers due to return from Spain in early August have been told to return earlier.

    But the BBC understands that passengers meant to be flying with the firm on Friday 31 July and Saturday 1 August are not affected - their flights are scheduled as normal.

    Read more here.

  12. Outbreak at gym operating illegally in San Diego

    A popular San Diego gym that was operating in violation of the county’s public health order last week has been confirmed as an outbreak hotspot.

    At least three cases have now been linked to The Gym in Pacific Beach, officials say. The Gym continue to operate last week, despite being given orders to shut down, according to San Diego media. It has since closed.

    On Wednesday, officials reported 498 new cases in San Diego, raising the total infections there to over 28,000. There have also been 547 deaths.

  13. One in three furloughed workers back at work in UK, ONS says

    The Old Stables Restaurant in Liverpool
    Image caption: A member of staff wears a mask as he waits for customers at the reopening of The Old Stables Restaurant in Liverpool

    Roughly one in three furloughed workers in the UK had returned to their jobs in the first two weeks of July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

    The ONS survey also revealed differences between business sectors, with more than 90% of water treatment or IT staff working, but only around half of employees in hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.

    However, businesses such as hotels and restaurants, which only came out of lockdown on 4 July, have seen the biggest increase in the proportion of staff returning to work.

  14. Football fans find creative solution to stadium ban

    Kerry Allen

    BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst

    Fans pictured at the windows of the hotel

    The 2020 season for the Chinese Super League, China’s Premier League-equivalent, began earlier this week, on 25 July.

    But many sporting events are still banning spectators, meaning that some football fans in the eastern city of Kunshan were forced to find a creative way to watch their favourite players, without entering the stadium.

    Images have gone viral showing fans cheering and holding banners from windows at a hotel overlooking the Kunshan Stadium, at a 27 July match in the city between the Shanghai SIPG and Tianjin Teda teams.

    Many on the popular Sina Weibo social media platform have applauded the commitment fans made, paying around 450 yuan (£49; $64) to see their favourite teams – technically without breaking the rules.

    However, there are hints the authorities aren’t best pleased about this, and hotel staff have told Pear Video that these “football viewing rooms” may not be available in future.

  15. Former US presidential candidate Herman Cain dies at 74

    Herman Cain
    Image caption: Herman Cain made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012

    Herman Cain, the Republican former pizza chain CEO who ran for US president in 2012, has died after testing positive for Covid-19.Cain, who more recently hosted radio and TV programmes, was admitted to hospital on 1 July.

    “Herman Cain - our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away,” a statement on his website said.

    "We knew when he was first hospitalised... that this was going to be a rough fight," it added.

    His social media accounts had been providing regular updates on his condition. On 7 July, a post from his Twitter account said “doctors are trying to make sure his oxygen levels are right".

    "This is a tough virus," it said. "Please continue praying."

    Cain ran for office in 2012 after a stint as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He is often remembered for his 9-9-9 tax reform plan.

    In 2019, US President Donald Trump asked him to sit on the Federal Reserve Board, but he withdrew his nomination after several Republican senators refused to back his appointment

  16. Cambridge medics 'exhausted' after Covid-19 peak

    Deputy matron Nicola Cundell

    Our colleagues in Cambridge are reporting from Addenbrooke's Hospital today as it emerges from a post-coronavirus peak.

    They have stories from patients and staff at one of the UK's leading hospitals.

    Deputy matron Nicola Cundell says it's been "pretty full on" and staff are "exhausted".

    "Normally patients have someone with them, a relative to sit with them and hold their hand, so we've had to be a little bit of everything," she said.

    You can read more from Addenbrooke's and follow the team's live updates here.

  17. New Jersey may release 20% of inmates

    The US state of New Jersey, which has suffered the highest rate of Covid-19 deaths behind bars in the US, appears set to release around 20% of its prison population in an effort to reduce transmission rates among prisoners and guards.

    The bill that New Jersey senators are voting on today may release 3,000 inmates who are within one year of finishing their sentence. The American Civil Rights Union has called it the first of its kind legislation in the nation.

    The bill's authors contend that the governor has bungled the response in prison outbreaks, allowing thousands of infections and at least 50 deaths, while given early release to fewer than 300 inmates since March.

    In comes as other officials around the US order prisons populations reduced in an effort to halt the virus' spread.

    Can this California prison save itself from Covid-19?

  18. England records 12 deaths, Wales two, and Scotland and NI none

    A further 12 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospitals in England, NHS England says.

    The patients were aged between 40 and 96 years old and all had known underlying health conditions.

    Wales recorded another two deaths. There were no coronavirus deaths recorded in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    Separate UK-wide figures, which include deaths in all settings, will be released later.

  19. Top US health official: 'Wearing a mask does not cause Covid-19'

    A top US health official has said there is no evidence to suggest that wearing a mask can cause a person to catch Covid-19, after an infected lawmaker blamed his mask for his positive test.

    US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn's advice to wear a mask comes after a Texas congressman who tested positive yesterday suggested that his mask was to blame.

    Republican Louie Gohmert mused during an interview after he was barred from travelling with President Trump "if my keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, that if I might have put some germs or some of the virus onto the mask and breathed it in".

    In fact, it's the complete opposite - wearing a mask helps prevent transmission of the virus. The false notion that masks cause infections was popularised by an online video called "Plandemic", which is filled with medical misinformation about where the virus came from and how it is transmitted.

    In an interview with NBC on Thursday, Dr Hahn said there is no "medical evidence that that's the case".

    "What our data show is that people should wear masks, particularly when they can't socially distance. And they should follow their local ordinances with respect to masks."

  20. US economy contracts at fastest rate in decades

    A US food bank
    Image caption: The US has seen increased demand for food banks

    The US economy has shrunk by a 32.9% annual rate in the April-to-June quarter in the wake of cutbacks in spending during the pandemic.

    It was the deepest decline since the government began keeping records in 1947 and three times more severe than the prior record of 10% set in 1958. Reduced spending on healthcare and consumer goods drove the fall.

    Also on Thursday, Germany reported a record quarterly decline of 10.1%, while Mexico's economy also reported a double digit contraction.

    The International Monetary Fund has predicted that global growth will fall by 4.9% this year.

    Read more from our business team here.