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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. That's it for today

    Thank you for following the coronavirus live page today.

    We will be back with you tomorrow from 08:00 BST with updates throughout the day.

    Pupils at St John The Baptist Primary School in West Belfast
  2. Where are the new cases?

    Nineteen of the 72 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours were in Belfast.

    Belfast has also seen the biggest increase in coronavirus cases over the past seven days with 90 cases, followed by Mid and East Antrim council area where 85 cases were recorded.

    DoH
  3. Majority of new cases under the age of 40

    Most of the 72 confirmed coronavirus cases recorded in the past 24 hours by the Department of Health were among people aged between 20-39.

    Thirty-three of the cases recorded were in that age range.

    The fewest cases recorded in the department's latest update were among those aged between 60-79 and 80 and over.

    DoH age breakdown
  4. BreakingA further 72 coronavirus cases confirmed in NI

    A further 72 people have tested positive with coronavirus in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health's latest update.

    This now brings the total number of confirmed positive cases of the virus here to 6,895.

    DoH

    No new deaths were recorded by the department in the past 24 hours. The death toll in NI remains at 559.

    The department’s daily figures are mostly comprised of hospital deaths, where a patient had previously tested positive for the virus.

    One patient with Covid-19 is currently being treated in intensive care in a Northern Ireland hospital.

  5. University staff and students will be supplied with face coverings

    mask mural

    Staff and students at Ulster University (UU) will have to wear face masks in lectures and classes when the new university term begins.

    The university told students in an email it was making the move "to protect others and to support a safe university community for all".

    Staff and students at UU will be supplied with both disposable and reusable face coverings.

    Queen's University had previously made masks mandatory on parts of its campus.

    Ulster University is, however, going further in making masks mandatory in lectures and many classes.

    Read more here.

  6. Covid-19 care home planning grant for QUB

    Researchers at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) have been awarded a grant of £263,701 to help nursing homes plan better for a Covid-19 outbreak.

    The team from the School of Nursing and Midwifery will work to create an online advance care planning resource for nursing homes specifically for use in an outbreak.

    Queen's University Belfast

    The research is co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19, and the Health and Social Care Research & Development Division of the Public Health Agency.

    QUB Professor Kevin Brazil says the research is needed because nursing homes are likely to see further clusters of the virus.

    “Since all nursing home residents are at substantial risk, nursing home care staff need to know what residents would want to happen should they become infected with Covid-19,” he says

    “It is vitally important we give a voice to the wishes of residents and family carers during this time and that Covid-centric training is available for nursing home staff”.

  7. Will coronavirus mean the end for the UK clubbing scene?

    Video content

    Video caption: The effect of coronavirus on DJs, musicians and clubbing in the UK

    Throughout lockdown the internet was filled with DJs, musicians and partygoers live streaming or making their own content to keep the club vibe alive.

    But offline, there are real concerns about the effect Covid-19 has had on clubs, their owners and DJs in the UK.

    Lockdown meant the entire nation stopped going out, but what is the long-term future for the club industry?

  8. Derry lifeguard service resumes after Covid-19 scare

    Lifeguard services have returned to two beaches in County Londonderry, after two of its life guards tested negative for Covid-19.

    Services had temporarily been suspended at Benone and Castlerock beaches as a precaution, after the lifeguards began to show symptoms of coronavirus.

    A generic shot of a lifeguard from behind

    A deep clean of the facilities has been carried out.

    In a statement, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which provides beach lifeguards, said the "welfare of our lifeguards and the public is our priority".

    Lifeguard services resumed at the beaches this morning.

  9. Council to ask for financial help for coronavirus-hit businesses

    Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is to request financial help from the Department for the Economy over coronavirus-related redundancies.

    The council is also to appeal for financial support for businesses that missed out on Covid-19 support schemes.

    It comes after a council report warned that by the end of October, the number of unemployed people in the borough could reach 13,346 people.

    The details emerged at a council meeting earlier this week.

    Jobs and Benefits office

    Cllr Sam Nicholson said that with the furlough scheme coming to an end in October, redundancy support packages would need to be arranged soon and he requested that the council write to Economy Minister Diane Dodds to ask for financial assistance.

    Cllr Julie Flaherty said that many business owners in the Portadown area had told her that they were ineligible for business support schemes funded by the Department for Communities and the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

  10. What are the face covering rules in UK schools?

    Face covering rules vary depending on where you live in the UK.

    In Scotland, all pupils over the age of 12 will have to wear face coverings in corridors and communal areas from 31 August.

    On school buses, everyone over the age of five will have to wear face coverings but they will not have to wear them in classrooms.

    The advice is similar in Northern Ireland, with changes also coming into effect from Monday. Education Minister Peter Weir said guidance on face coverings would be updated to include wearing them in the corridors of post-primary schools.

    Face coverings

    The advice for secondary school pupils in England is that "schools will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas if they believe that is right in their particular circumstances".

    The new guidance also applies to further education colleges, but not to primary schools.

    In Wales, the use of face coverings is "advised in circumstances where it may be difficult to stay two metres away from others".

    A decision about whether they will be required for schoolchildren is expected today.

  11. Households on Universal Credit rose by 90% during lockdown

    John Campbell

    BBC News NI Economics and Business Editor

    The number of households in Northern Ireland claiming Universal Credit (UC) rose by almost 90% between February and May due to restrictions imposed to tackle the pandemic.

    UC is paid to those who are out-of-work or to some low-earning workers.

    In February, there were just under 60,000 households claiming, which rose to almost 109,000 by May.

    Universial Credit website on a phone

    Universal credit was fully rolled out in Northern Ireland at the end of 2018 and since then the number of new claims had been steady at an average of around 7,000 per month.

    However, in March the number of new claims surged to more than 35,000, falling to 10,000 by May.

  12. Everything 'can't go on as normal' with curriculum

    The Education Minister Peter Weir has said the curriculum for GCSE students must adapt to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

    It follows proposals put out to consultation by CCEA which could see the study of novels dropped from GCSE English literature.

    "In general, it's always been accepted there will have to be some level of adjustment to the curriculum this year, I mean there has been a level of disruption which has taken place and we can't simply pretend that everything goes on as normal," he said.

    "I think it's appropriate that we wait until the end of that consultation to see if there's any changes to be made, what that change is at the end of that process, rather than trying to pre-empt that consultation."

    To Kill A Mockingbird book
    Image caption: Novels could be excluded from this year's GCSE curriculum.
  13. Financial firms 'must do more' amid coronavirus complaints

    Money

    More than 3,500 complaints about financial issues relating to the coronavirus outbreak have been submitted to the financial ombudsman.

    The service said firms "must do more" to ensure consumers and small businesses were treated fairly.

    Complaints from small businesses were often about insurance cover for interrupted trade, while consumers' complaints often related to ruined holiday plans, cancelled weddings and concerts.

    The cases are still being investigated and some might prove to be unfounded.

    However, the ombudsman said it expected many more issues to be raised by people left financially stretched by the economic fall-out from the virus.

    Read more here.

  14. Committee to discuss spike in Irish cases

    corona

    The Republic of Ireland's Special Committee on Covid-19 response is sitting today to examine the state's response to the overall spike in cases of the virus.

    Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn and Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid will be among those appearing.

    The committee will hold three sessions throughout the day and discuss issues, including testing and tracing, the ongoing lockdown in County Kildare and the medical and scientific basis for it.

    Members of the committee say they are eager to hear from Minister Donnelly about the government's strategy in dealing with Covid-19.

    In his opening statement, Mr Reid will say that in the past two weeks there have been 1,269 cases compared to the same two weeks in July when the number was 264.

  15. 'Support staff erased' in mask guidance for schools

    The trade union NIPSA has said 7,000 support staff in schools across Northern Ireland were "erased" by Education Minister Peter Weir's move on face coverings in schools yesterday.

    Mr Weir advised that mask should be worn in corridors and communal areas of post-primary schools, with the new guidance becoming effective from 31 August.

    Alan Law from the union said the statement mentioned only teachers and pupils and called it a "gaffe" by Mr Weir.

    “It’s a disgraceful insult to our members who work so diligently to ensure for example that schools are kept clean, class teaching is supported, meals are provided, lunch breaks are supervised and in so many other vital roles in every school across Northern Ireland." he said.

    School dinner being served
    Image caption: NIPSA said Peter Weir had 'insulted' school support staff.
  16. 'There will be bumps along the road' with school reopenings

    There "will be bumps along the road", Peter Weir has said after a positive test for coronavirus at Cairnshill Primary School in Belfast.

    The school has shut part of its building and some pupils and staff will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

    "I've indicated from the start, in relation to this, there will be bumps along the road, there will at time need to be interventions," the education minister told Good Morning Ulster.

    Cairnshill Primary School
    Image caption: The principal of Cairnshill said they are monitoring the situation

    "There will be times when the PHA says an individual student needs to isolate, or a group of students, or indeed a school will need to.

    "Nobody has tried to hide that or pretend otherwise, but the important thing is that we're getting our young people back into education."

  17. Masks decision taken after 'scientific advice' - Weir

    Education Minister Peter Weir says the decision to advise post-primary schools that masks should be worn in corridors and communal areas was taken after scientific advice on the matter.

    Speaking on Good Morning Ulster, Mr Weir said he had spoken with the chief medical officer and chief scientific advisor before the announcement.

    Education Minister Peter Weir
    Image caption: Mr Weir said the decision on masks in schools was guided by scientific advice

    "On the specific issue of movement around schools and in corridors they felt an additional precautionary move should be taken to add to the advice, I suppose, reflecting the developments in terms of what is now widespread best practice," he said.

    Mr Weir rejected the notion he was simply following Scotland's lead and added "as time moves on and our understanding of how best to deal with the pandemic develops, there is likely from time to time to be some changes".

  18. Face coverings in school corridors and communal areas

    mask

    Post-primary pupils and teachers will be required to wear face coverings in school corridors and other communal areas.

    Education Minister Peter Weir said the measure would come into effect on 31 August when schools return full-time.

    It follows a similar move in Scotland where face coverings will also be required on school buses.

    The use of masks on public transport in NI is still "strongly recommended" under the updated guidance.

    Read the story here.

  19. No plan for a return to the office for millions of staff

    Working from home

    Fifty of the biggest UK employers questioned by BBC have said they have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time in the near future.

    Some 24 firms said that they did not have any plans in place to return workers to the office.

    However, 20 have opened their offices for staff unable to work from home.

    It comes as many employees return to work from the summer holidays with the reality of a prolonged period of home working becoming increasingly likely.

    The BBC questioned 50 big employers ranging from banks to retailers to get a sense of when they expected to ask employees to return to the office.

  20. Hopeful signs despite man's reinfection

    Scientists in Hong Kong are looking at the case of a man who's been infected with Covid-19 twice.

    They found out that the man had caught different strains of the virus in March and in August - the second one diagnosed after a trip to Europe.

    Trinity College Dublin Immunology Professor Luke O'Neill tells Good Morning Ulster the fact the man had no symptoms the second time was a hopeful sign.

    "It looks like their immune system was able to fight the virus the second time round, that's one possible interpretation of this, so many of us immunologists see this as actually quite a good sign,” he said.

    corona

    "If this pans out with other patients it means hope for a vaccine, because it was almost as if the first infection protected the patient and the second time round he didn’t have any disease.

    "At worse you might get a situation where someone can get re-infected, but they’ll have much milder disease.

    "The common cold which is in the same family of viruses as this one tells us that – you often catch the cold again but next time you have less severe disease, in other words your immune system does something of a job to help you."