Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Edited by Rob Corp

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Today's UK headlines - and thank you for joining us

    People walking on a busy street wearing face masks

    We're bringing this live page to a close now. Before we do, here's a look at some of the key UK headlines today:

    The live page has been brought to you by Becky Morton, Victoria Bisset, Alice Evans, Gavin Stamp, Holly Honderich, Penny Spiller, Lauren Turner, George Bowden and Rob Corp.

    Coronavirus statistics for the UK for 20 November 2020
  2. How do you know if you have coronavirus?

    We are all more-or-less familiar with the key symptoms of coronavirus now.

    But it's worth a reminder not just of the classic tell-tale signs, but also of how else it can present in patients - and how you can best protect yourself.

    What are the symptoms?

    • New and continuous cough- coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
    • Fever- a temperature above 37.8C
    • Change in smell or taste- either you cannot taste or smell anything, or these senses are different to normal

    Public Health England says about 85% of people with Covid will have at least one.

    But scientists think there are six sub-types as well:

    Symptoms include:

    • Flu-like with no fever: Headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever
    • Flu-like with fever: Headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite
    • Gastrointestinal: Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, sore throat, chest pain, no cough
    • Fatigue (severe level one): Headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue
    • Confusion (severe level two): Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain
    • Abdominal and respiratory (severe level three): Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, abdominal pain

    The best way to protect yourself is through regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water. Mask wearing is compulsory in some settings and social distancing is also key in preventing the spread of the virus.

    Read more here.

    BBC graphic showing Covid symptoms
  3. What's been happening around the world today?

    A person taking part in a vaccine trial

    Thanks for joining us on another busy day of coronavirus news.

    Here are some of the main international stories today:

  4. How many Covid cases are there in your area?

    Man wearing a face covering

    There have been more than 1.4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and more than 53,000 people have died, government figures show.

    However, this statistic includes only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus and other measures suggest the number of deaths is higher.

    The BBC's postcode checker allows you to find the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in your area.

    Coronavirus in the UK graphic
  5. US Republican Senator Scott has Covid-19

    Rick Scott speaks at a campaign event to supporters of Senator David Perdue and Senator Kelly Loeffler at a restaurant on November 13, 2020 in Cumming, Georgia

    US Republican Senator Rick Scott has tested positive for Covid-19, he said in a statement on Friday.

    The Florida politician is "feeling good and experiencing very mild symptoms", he said, adding that he will be working from home until he is cleared to return to Washington.

    Scott is the latest US senator to test positive for the virus, following 87-year-old Senator Chuck Grassley who announced he had been infected earlier this week.

    Scott had campaigned last week with Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are both facing run-off elections in January for seats in Georgia. The results of these races will likely determine which party controls the country's upper chamber.

  6. Christmas fun could lead to worst-case scenario in Canada

    Canada's top public health official says the country could see 60,000 new cases of coronavirus a day by the end of December if people increase their social contacts over the holidays.

    If things remain the same, Dr Theresa Tam said on Friday the country is on a trajectory to see 20,000 cases a day in five to six weeks.

    Dr Tam said the second wave has "far surpassed" peak levels from the first, with a current average of about 5,000 cases a day.

    Speaking on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to limit their interactions, but no national measures were called for.

    “We are now going to have to really tighten up once again,” Trudeau said.

    “This is frustrating. I know we’ve all heard stories of people who’ve thrown up their hands and aren’t doing their part anymore.”

    Cases in Canada, Russiam Japan and Turkey
  7. Hancock refuses to give timeline for vaccine approval

    The health secretary says he will not "pre-judge" how long it might take the medicines regulator, MHRA, to approve Covid vaccines in the UK.

    "Questions around their process are entirely for them," he adds. "I don't want to even give any impression of trying to impinge on their independence."

    And in response to the final question of the press conference from Reuters reporter Will James, the health secretary tells us a little about his Christmas plans - "a small family Christmas" with his immediate household, as well as "maybe" his father-in-law.

    The health secretary says that his father-in-law is in his support bubble and the festive gathering would therefore comply with the current virus rules.

    Hancock adds that he is "very respectful" of talks that continue between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to adopt common rules during the festive period.

    It would be "such a boost" to the whole of the UK if all four nations can agree on a safe, careful set of rules that allow families to come together, he adds.

    Video content

    Video caption: Matt Hancock: 'We're heading in the right direction'
  8. Headlines from No 10 briefing

    Here is a recap of the main points from the No 10 briefing.

    • A fall in daily case numbers over the past week – from 24,430 to 22,287 - suggests the second peak is “flattening”, Matt Hancock says
    • A further 511 people have died in England within 28 days of testing positive, while 16,409 people are currently being treated in hospital
    • The health secretary says it is too early to say how far restrictions can be relaxed after the England-wide lockdown ends on 2 December while the deputy chief medical officer says the picture is “improving” but could quickly worsen again
    • Jonathan Van Tam says everyone “wants a break” over Christmas but people will need to comply with “proportionate measures” and be sensible if they want to gather together
    • The government has begun the process of seeking regulatory approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with the firm handing over data to the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
    • If this or other vaccines are approved, the UK will be ready to start using it next month, with the bulk of the rollout beginning from January
    • All over-50s will be eligible for a free flu jab from 1 December
  9. UK reports further 511 Covid deaths

    A further 511 people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, according to the UK government's latest daily figures.

    It brings the total death toll by this measure to 54,286.

    The government data also shows there were 20,252 new confirmed cases of the virus, in the past day, bringing the country's total number of cases to 1,473,508.

  10. 'No difference in terms of standards' applied to coronavirus vaccine

    Jack Blanchard of Politico asks about vaccine misinformation and how that will be combatted.

    He also asks if there is a percentage of the population that needs to have the vaccine in order for the virus to be defeated.

    We don't know about the percentage needed, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says, as currently we can only measure how it affects an individual and not the transmission rate.

    On the first question, Hancock says no vaccine will be rolled out unless it has been signed off by the regulator.

    He says a "huge amount" of work has gone on to make sure "objective factual information" about a vaccine is made available, rather than the "scare stories" some put about.

    Prof Van-Tam adds there is "absolutely no difference" in terms of the rigour and standards in place for this vaccine, rather than any other vaccine.

    He says he will be "eager" to have the jab himself and says he will not give misinformation "any air time".

    Members of the public who have been in touch with him are more anxious about when vaccines will be available and where people are on the priority list, he added.

  11. Reality Check

    False claims spreading on social media about coronavirus vaccines

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked about the spread of misinformation about coronavirus vaccines and what the government planned to do about it.

    Mr Hancock said there was a “huge amount of work” going in to make sure “objective, factual information” about vaccines was made available to the public, rather than “scare stories”.

    News of breakthroughs in coronavirus vaccine development in recent days has seen a resurgence in false claims. They have included the baseless conspiracy theory that the vaccines are part of a secret plan, involving Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, to implant microchips into humans so they can be tracked.

    BBC Reality Check has been investigating this and other unsubstantiated vaccine claims.

  12. 'There will be bumps along the way' for NHS rollout

    Person getting test vaccine

    Chris Smith from the Times asks about the report in the HSJ that we mentioned earlier - it suggests everyone in the UK who wants a Covid vaccine could get one before the end of April, if there is sufficient supply.

    Matt Hancock says the job of the NHS is to be ready to supply the vaccine as fast as doses can be manufactured.

    Exact timing of the rollout, the health secretary adds, depends on when a vaccine is approved, and on how quickly it can be manufactured.

    "I would caution that the bulk of the rollout will be in the New Year and it will take a few months to get that vaccination programme through for the vulnerable groups," he adds.

    Prof Powis says the NHS has planned for several different scenarios, but it won't be clear exactly how the vaccine will be deployed until "a few steps have been taken" - such as vaccine approval.

    "There will be bumps along the way in terms of all of these processes so we are planning for all eventualities," he says.

    He also takes the opportunity to remind people that they'll need to comply with all of the restrictions that are in place - such as social distancing measures - for a while yet, because there is still "a tough winter ahead".

  13. We're on the way to landing this plane, says Van Tam

    Prof Van Tam also addressed the question of vaccines being introduced before Christmas.

    He says that medicines regulator the MHRA is now considering authorising the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate and that this will happen "at the speed of science, in their own time and when they are ready".

    It will be in the hands of manufacturers and regulatory agencies on how quickly vaccines can then be released for use and it is pointless speculating on that, he adds.

    But Prof Van Tam says: "Do I believe we are now on the glidepath to landing this plane? Yes, I do. Do I accept you can have a sidewind, and the landing is not totally straight-forward? Yes, of course."

  14. Reality Check

    How high are hospital admissions?

    At the government briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that 14,479 people in England were currently in hospital with coronavirus.

    At the beginning of the latest lockdown, this number was 10,419.

    However, the number of people in hospital does appear to be starting to level out.

    The graph shown at the briefing only showed admissions going back to August.

    Compared with the last lockdown, cases haven’t hit the peak that was reached on 12 April when 17,142 people were in hospital.

  15. 'No magic numbers' in terms of Christmas rules relaxation

    Prof Jonathan Van Tam, responding to a question from LBC about Christmas, says "the government clearly wants to give us a break to some extent".

    But in terms of there being a formula of one day of Christmas leading to a certain number of days in lockdown, as has been speculated, Prof Van Tam says "there are no magic numbers".

    Instead there would be "proportionate measures" to allow people to have "a sensible Christmas".

    If people don't comply, numbers will again go up, he says.

    Matt Hancock also says he knows what an "emotional attachment" people have to Christmas and seeing their family, but the question is how that can happen this year.

  16. Will lockdown only be eased when virus is falling in all regions?

    ITV News points out that while ONS figures released today suggest the virus is levelling off in England and Scotland, rates are rising in specific regions such as London and south-east England.

    Does the outbreak have to be flat or falling in all areas for us to safely ease restrictions? the reporter asks.

    Matt Hancock says the trajectory has changed in "all parts of England" and that we're "just at the point" where the flattening appears apparent.

    Prof Van Tam adds that the ONS data is only up to 14 November so is "a few days behind where we are now" - and that he'd expect the growth of the virus in some regions to "turn" in more up-to-date data.

    He warns that we should be "cautious" about how we interpret data and that while things may be improving, it only takes a few seconds to transmit the virus to someone and for the rates to pick up again.

  17. 'Too early to tell' what restrictions will be after England lockdown

    BBC health editor Hugh Pym asks how strict restrictions will have to be in England after the lockdown ends on 2 December - and over how many days there might be relaxation over Christmas.

    Matt Hancock says the work is still being done on what happens after 2 December as it is "too early to tell". It seems from data in recent days that we are "clearly near the peak" of the second wave.

    Decisions have not been made yet on that or on Christmas as yet, with the four nations working together on that issue.

    Hancock says it is important to have a set of rules in place to allow the possibility of people seeing loved ones, but also to keep people safe.

  18. Will people from ethnic minorities get vaccine priority?

    Next up come questions from members of the public.

    Stephen from Weybridge, Surrey, asks if people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds will be given vaccine priority, due to evidence that Covid poses a more serious risk to those groups.

    Hancock says it's a "critical" question that's being considered carefully by vaccine rollout advisers.

    But he adds that the main risk factor for Covid is your age, not your ethnic background, so elderly people and those who are caring for or treating people (such as NHS staff) would therefore get higher priority.

    England's deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van Tam, adds that the idea for prioritising black and minority ethnic people has "definitely" been considered but that age, and chronic underlying illnesses or "co-morbidities", are the greatest risk factors.

    He adds that there are higher levels of co-morbidities in black and minority ethnic groups, at a younger age.

  19. 'Critical' to keep number of hospital inpatients down

    Stephen Powis

    Stephen Powis of NHS England says it is "critical" that the number of hospital inpatients with coronavirus is kept down.

    It takes two weeks for any effects of reducing coronavirus rates in the community to be shown in hospital data, he said.

    So while there is evidence of infection rates falling, it will be important in the next week or so to look at hospital data to see if this translates to a decrease in the number of inpatients.

    Powis notes we are not yet in winter and the NHS gets particularly busy in December and into January.

    The number of patients has to be kept down so "the NHS can ensure services are up and running" and people with other conditions can be treated. It will also allow staff to get through the "unfortunate backlog of work" caused by the pandemic.

  20. Hancock outlines 'massive challenge' of vaccine rollout plan

    Matt Hancock at the Downing Street presser

    The health secretary says that if a vaccine is approved, it will be available across the UK and will be free according to need, not ability to pay - with the earliest doses being available next month.

    He says he's working with the devolved administrations to ensure it's deployed fairly to everyone across the UK - but that high-risk groups will be prioritised.

    "The rollout will be a massive logistical challenge, but I know that the NHS can do it," he said.

    He adds that the NHS is in the process of setting up vaccine centres across the country, which will be able to store the Pfizer vaccine at the required -70C.

    The NHS is also preparing to give doses of the vaccine to hospital staff, he says.

    He says these two routes for receiving the vaccine are likely to be the "bulk" of how the vaccine will be offered before the end of 2020.

    After that, there will be a community rollout involving GPs and pharmacists.

    Hancock says these "three delivery models" will help the vaccine to reach all parts of the country.