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Live Reporting

Rob England, Kate Darlington, Danielle Dwyer and Kathryn Hamlett

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye for today

    Thanks for joining us today for our updates on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting England.

    We'll be back with more live updates soon.

    In the meantime, stay safe and have a good weekend.

  2. How coronavirus is changing the way GPs work

    Dominic Hughes

    Health correspondent

    GP Dr Debbie Noland

    Full PPE, "red zones" and cleaning the room between patients are now part of everyday practice.

    Covid-19 has transformed how GPs work - from having to wear full PPE instead of ordinary clothes, to seeing a huge decline in the number of patients they are seeing.

    We've been looking at how one practice in Liverpool has adapted.

  3. Larger venues sought for autumn flu vaccinations

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Places of worship and indoor venues are being lined up as possible places where at-risk people could receive their free flu vaccinations in the autumn.

    Bedford Borough Council’s health and wellbeing board heard that public health officials were looking at how to give people their annual jabs while everyone has to stay socially distant.

    The board also looked at how to convince people to get a flu jab, and other immunisations, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    Dr Nicola Smith, who chairs the new NHS clinical commissioning group covering Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, said the health system is geared up but added: "It’s about convincing the public to get their vaccinations done. It is a really big thing and we will all be behind it."

  4. Animated lockdown poem describes ‘currency of kindness’

    Video content

    Video caption: Lockdown poem describes ‘currency of kindness’

    A poem written by a well-known poet has been animated by a team of about 20 students working from home.

    Matt Harvey, from Dartington in Devon, wrote his piece “Hi Coronavirus Watha” about six weeks ago.

    Students from the Falmouth School of Art put together a team of animators to bring it to life.

  5. The mystery of early 'Covid' cases

    Woman coughing

    Could Covid-19 have been here earlier than we thought?

    My experience of testing positive for coronavirus antibodies clearly struck a nerve.

    Many of you responded with your own experiences of having Covid-like symptoms - some as far back as November - and urged me to investigate further.

  6. Getting through lockdown: Mermaids and local veg

    What has helped you get through lockdown?

    With many people stuck inside for such a long time, we've been finding out how people have kept themselves busy and coped with the change.

    Laura Evans told us how social media became "absolutely invaluable" to her persona as the "St Ives Mermaid", while Sam Corsfield saw it as an opportunity to educate people about homegrown vegetables.

    Video content

    Video caption: Pictures from lockdown
  7. Council spends nearly £2m on PPE so far

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Hertfordshire County Council paid almost £2m for vital personal protective equipment (PPE) in April, as the price of face masks and disposable gloves soared during the peak of the pandemic.


    Thousands of pieces of PPE are now being provided to care homes and front-line council workers by the council every day.

    It has emerged that in April the cost of items including masks, goggles, gloves and aprons to the county council topped £1.9m and at times it was having to pay up to £1.75 for a face mask – items that had been just 20p in December.

    Director of adult social care, Iain MacBeath, said following the announcement of government funding, the county council had been making PPE available to care homes throughout the county, either by supplying directly or reimbursing their costs. And that has meant the bulk purchases made by the county council have kept prices relatively low and ensured availability.

    The amount of PPE being supplied to care homes has now increased to 25,000 items a day and within three months the council’s expenditure on it is expected to reach up to £9m, despite prices having normalised.

  8. Deprived areas hit twice as hard by coronavirus


    The most deprived parts of England and Wales have been hit twice as hard by coronavirus as wealthier areas, the Office for National Statistics said.

    Urban areas were markedly worse affected than rural areas.

    And London had significantly more deaths from coronavirus per 100,000 people than any other region.

    Mortality rates are "normally higher in more deprived areas" and coronavirus appeared to be "increasing this effect", an ONS statistician said.

    In England, once you adjust for the age of population, there were 128 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the population in the most deprived areas.

    The least deprived areas saw less than half that rate (60 deaths per 100,000) in March, April and May.

  9. Surviving lockdown: Family and social interaction

    What has helped you get through lockdown?

    While some people have been cut off from their family for months, others have had far more time to spend with each other.

    Blogger Kady Aston found her family came closer together, while cafe owner Jess Davis found the small amount of social interaction she could have made all the difference to her business.

    Video content

    Video caption: Pictures from lockdown
  10. Mystery artist's works left in village to auction

    Coronavirus art

    A mystery artist has been leaving his coronavirus-inspired works at various locations asking they be auctioned for charities.

    Known only as "The Hat", the man has left various sculptures and paintings at charity shops and pubs in the Woodbridge area of Suffolk.

    His latest work - panels showing the Union Jack and images of the virus - was left at Butley village telephone box.

    No-one knows who the artist is as he simply leaves a note signed "The Hat".

  11. Hundreds successfully treated in North Yorkshire

    Staff in a hospital

    More than 600 patients have now been successfully treated for coronavirus at North Yorkshire's hospitals and allowed to go home, it's been revealed.

    Of those, more than 500 were cared for at York or Scarborough hospitals, while 125 people have been successfully treated at Harrogate Hospital after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

    York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs York and Scarborough hospitals, says reaching this milestone has taken "an amazing, dedicated and resilient team".

  12. Bank of England 'ready to act' as economy reels

    Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has said he will be "ready to take action" to help the UK economy weather the coronavirus crisis.

    He was speaking after figures showed the country's economy shrank by 20.4% in April - the largest monthly contraction on record - as the country spent its first full month in lockdown.

    "We are still very much in the midst of this," Mr Bailey said.

    But he said the figure was "pretty much in line" with what the bank expected.

    "Obviously it's a dramatic and big number, but actually it's not a surprising number," he said.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said April's "historic" fall affected virtually all areas of activity, as large parts of the economy remained shut to battle the pandemic.

    Graph showing how the UK economy has shrunk
  13. Survivor thanks Basildon Hospital 'angel' nurse

    Katy Lewis

    BBC News Online

    Pastor Peter Nembhard thought he was going to die when he was admitted to hospital with coronavirus at the beginning of April.

    Peter Nembhard

    The 52-year-old from Grays, near Basildon, was placed on a Covid-19 ward on 2 April after testing positive and was put on a ventilator.

    "There was one point that I had lost hope, as I thought I was going to die," he said.

    "I will never forget one particular nurse, Vanya Roach, who was like an angel to me. I felt as if god sent her directly to help me fight this.

    "Vanya took the time to explain exactly what was happening; she sat down and fed me and really helped me through my fight."

    Ms Roach, a staff nurse, said: "I’m so pleased he has recovered and is doing well. He had such a great fighting spirit and was really involved in his recovery."

  14. Heads mount 'military operations' for exam pupils

    Teacher with student

    Heads say they are mounting military-style operations to bring teenagers back to school in England in smaller groups from Monday next week.

    The ASCL heads union estimates 90% of secondaries will be welcoming some pupils with exams next year into class.

    The government wants schools to give Year 10 and 12 pupils some face-to-face time with teachers before term ends.

    But safety guidelines to minimise virus spread mean only a quarter of these year groups can be on site at a time.

    This is will not be a return to full-time schooling, more a range of review sessions and extra support, with priorities given to pupils who have struggled with remote learning.

  15. Appeal to help repatriate scientist who died with Covid-19

    Richzeal Albufera

    A fundraising appeal to help the wife of a hospital scientist in Hull who died after battling "severe complications" associated with coronavirus has raised more than £5,000 in 24 hours.

    Richzeal Albufera, 45, a biomedical scientist at Cottingham's Castle Hill Hospital, died on Tuesday.

    Now, friends of Mr Albufera are hoping to raise £7,000 to help pay to fly his body to the Philippines, where he was from.

    Writing on the Go Fund Me page, his friends said: "We would like to give Rich the send-off he deserves back at home in the Philippines alongside his family."

  16. Immigrants 'could become homeless' without support

    Councils are calling for the government to allow people with a temporary immigration status to receive public funds amid fears they will be forced into homelessness during the pandemic.

    Increasing numbers of people who are not eligible to support from UK taxpayers are approaching local authorities for support during the coronavirus pandemic, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.

    People with a temporary immigration status are given the condition called "no recourse to public funds" by the Home Office, meaning they cannot access welfare benefits.

    But the LGA fears that, without this support and as people lose their jobs, they could become homeless.

    immigration board line at an airport

    Councillor David Renard, the LGA's housing spokesman, said: "As the economy recovers, local outbreaks may mean there still may be a need to be able to access safe and suitable accommodation and financial support to allow for self-isolation, particularly for single adults without care needs who are not usually eligible for social services' support."

    A government spokeswoman said: "Families with leave under family and human rights routes can apply, free of charge, to have no recourse to public funds conditions lifted and we encourage anyone eligible to submit an application."

  17. Coronavirus support bubble families prepare to reunite

    Rozina Sini

    BBC News

    Lucy Gibson

    Millions of people in England who have not been able to hold loved ones since lockdown began will be allowed to reunite with them from Saturday.

    Further easing of coronavirus restrictions announced by the government mean single adults living alone - or single parents with children under 18 -can form a support bubble with one other household.

  18. UK death toll rises by 202

    The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 41,481 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 17:00 BST on Thursday - up by 202 from 41,279 the day before.

    The government figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which is thought to have passed 52,000.

    View more on twitter
  19. UK backtracks on full EU border checks

    Freight lorries queue to leave the Port of Dover in Kent

    The government is to apply much less rigorous EU border checks on imports than it initially had planned, after the Brexit transition period finishes at the end of this year.

    The UK had committed to introduce import controls on EU goods in January.

    But ministers have now abandoned plans for full checks, with sources saying a "pragmatic and flexible approach" was needed due to coronavirus.

    Business welcomed the move, saying it was no time for "chaotic changes".