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Live Reporting

Joshua Nevett, Gareth Evans, Kevin Ponniah, Claudia Allen, Georgina Rannard, Alex Kleiderman, Jennifer Scott, Kate Whannel, Paulin Kola, Saira Asher, Andreas Illmer, Gavin Stamp and Lucy Webster

All times stated are UK

  1. We're closing our live coverage

    Today was the day when millions of Britons were forced to come to terms with wholesale changes to their daily lives.

    But of course, people in every corner of the world are being affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

    We're pausing our live coverage for now but we'll continue to bring you updates across the BBC News website until our teams in Asia pick things up.

    Here are today's headlines:

    • The UK unveiled "unprecedented" financial measures to support the economy, including mortgage holidays for those in financial difficulty and loans to businesses
    • The death toll in Britain rose to 71 and we were told the actual number of cases could be as high as 55,000
    • The British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was temporarily released from prison in Tehran because of the outbreak
    • The US said it was considering sending money directly to Americans as part of a $1tn (£830bn) stimulus package aimed at averting an economic crisis
    • The European Union, meanwhile, announced it would ban travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days. The Euro 2020 football competition was also postponed by a year
    • In Italy, which has registered the most cases outside China at more than 31,500, deaths surged from 2,150 to 2,500
    • The number of confirmed cases in Spain soared by 2,000 to 11,178, France spent its first day under strict lockdown and Belgium announced it would follow suit
    • But Iran remains the world's third-worst-affected nation with 16,000 confirmed cases
    • China reported just one new domestic infection on Tuesday - but 20 more from people arriving from abroad
    • The virus has now infected more than 185,000 people worldwide across 159 countries and territories

    We leave you with this gallery showing how the virus has emptied cities around the world.

    You can find all our coronavirus stories here.

  2. Hospitality workers' jobs on the line

    A restaurant in Central London
    Image caption: Restaurants in central London have emptied since new social distancing measures were advised on Monday

    Hotels, pubs and restaurants on both sides of the Atlantic are being hit hard by the pandemic as travel plummets and consumers shut down their social lives. Here's what workers in the industry are facing:

    • The largest hotel chain in the world, Marriott International, says tens of thousands of employees will lose their jobs or be forced to take unpaid leave
    • Four million jobs in the US will be gone, predicts the president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association
    • In Britain, government measures to tackle the virus outbreak are "catastrophic for businesses and jobs", says trade association Hospitality UK
    • New financial help is welcome but does not address "immediate cash flow problems" says the British Beer and Pub Association, which warns of redudancies
    • Meanwhile the UK government will relax planning rules to enable pubs and restaurants to serve takeaway meals more easily
  3. US stimulus could outsize 2008 crash bail-out

    Gary O'Donoghue

    Washington Correspondent

    "We're going big" - that was how President Donald Trump characterised the stimulus plan being worked on by his Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin. While a specific figure hasn't been mentioned openly, it's thought the plan could amount to $850bn - more than the bail-out of the banks after the financial crisis.

    According to Mr Mnuchin, the administration is already talking to Congress with a view to passing legislation very quickly. He said he wanted direct payments to those who'd lost their jobs, with cheques going out within the next two weeks - though there will clearly be some means testing involved.

    The Federal Reserve, America's central bank, is also preparing to underwrite up to a trillion dollars of liquidity in the credit markets as companies struggle to find short-term borrowing to fund payroll and loans.

    Read more about the plans here.

  4. UK transport could be nationalised amid crisis


    The UK government has acknowledged it could temporarily nationalise transport companies in an attempt to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.

    Some companies have warned of possible collapse and during an exchange in the House of Commons, Labour called for the transport system to be brought back into public ownership during the crisis.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs a number of ideas were being looked at, adding: “We will work in partnership with the transport industry to keep essential services running for the public and for those who need to get to work, those who have essential business."

    He continued: "It'll be hugely challenging and we will require a lot of different responses and mechanisms in order to get there, including on occasions organisations being run by the public sector, which [Labour has] already seen in the case of trains but for a completely different reason."

  5. NBA star Kevin Durant tests positive

    Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets speaks to media in September 2019
    Image caption: Kevin Durant is one of four Brooklyn Nets players to test positive for the virus

    US star basketballer Kevin Durant and three of his Brooklyn Nets teammates - so far unnamed - have tested positive for Covid-19.

    The entire team was tested and the Nets paid for a private company to conduct the tests.

    The National Basketball Association says it will notify anyone known to have had recent contact with the players, including opponents.

    The league’s 2019-2020 season was indefinitely suspended last week because of the outbreak.

    “We’re going to get through this,” said Durant - one of the league’s top scorers - after testing positive.

    “Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine.”

  6. The impact of the virus so far

    The coronavirus has infected more than 185,000 people worldwide across 159 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The latest figures, from the WHO and elsewhere, show that the six countries with the most confirmed cases and deaths are:

    • China, with 82,007 cases and 3,338 deaths
    • Italy, with 31,500 cases and 2,503 eaths
    • Iran, with 16,169 cases and 988 deaths
    • Spain, with 11,178 cases and 491 deaths
    • South Korea, with 8,320 cases and 81 deaths

    In the UK the figures are 1,950 cases and 71 deaths.

    Bear in mind that the true figures globally are likely to be higher than the WHO’s, as there is typically a lag in its reporting. Also many cases involving mild symptoms are not being tested in some countries, including the UK.

  7. How close are we to a vaccine?

    Let's dig a little deeper into this.

    The head of the EU commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has said a German company could have a vaccine ready by the autumn.

    But how likely is this? And what needs to happen for us to get there?

    So far, researchers have developed vaccines and are starting to test them. There could be human trials by the end of the year if these tests go well.

    But, even if a vaccine is developed before 2021, there's still a major hurdle beyond that in the shape of firms being able to successfully mass-produce doses.

    It means, realistically, one would not be ready until at least the middle of next year.

    You can read more about the work to produce a vaccine here.

    Image shows a French scientist working to produce a new vaccine against coronavirus
    Image caption: A French scientist works to produce a new vaccine
  8. Economic rescue plans aim to 'limit the pain'

    Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson at Downing Street news conference
    Image caption: The chancellor outlined his measures alongside Boris Johnson at a Downing Street news conference

    The financial measures for UK companies which have lost revenue due to coronavirus come after similar packages were unveiled by both France and the US.

    UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised grants, relief from business rates and government-backed loans worth more than £300bn.

    On Tuesday, France announced it would guarantee hundreds of billions of euros worth of loans, alongside a 45 billion euro package to help businesses and affected employees.

    In the US, the White House's plans could potentially amount to $850bn and would include money to keep airlines in business; loans for small companies; and direct payments to Americans who lose their jobs.

    But Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit, told the BBC: “It’s too late to do anything to stop the recession. All you can do is limit the pain.”

  9. BBC presenters turn to makeshift studios

    Image shows BBC presenter Sarah Montague's makeshift studio
    Image caption: BBC presenter Sarah Montague's makeshift home studio

    With millions of people now working from home, many will be turning their attention to their home office set-up. From the right chair, to desk, to the perfect lamp - there's certainly a lot to consider...

    Things get even more complicated when you're expected to be on air. But some BBC presenters are making sure the show goes on.

    Our colleague Sarah Montague, who presents the World at One on Radio 4, shared the above picture of her new home studio on her living room table.

    And there was even a special guest appearance from this budding presenter, Pickle:

    Image shows BBC presenter Sarah Montague's dog Pickle
    Image caption: Sarah Montague's dog Pickle rehearses his lines
  10. Are newborns considered high risk?

    Question from Caroline Barker

    Caroline also asks what would be the isolating procedure if one of the newborn parents showed coronavirus symptoms.

    BBC Online health Editor Michelle Roberts says:

    There is little evidence about the risks to newborn babies from this virus and, understandably, it may be difficult to isolate entirely.

    It is possible to care for your baby still and do things to cut your risk of passing on an infection. Wash your hands before touching your baby and before feeding them. At the moment there is no evidence that the virus can be carried in breastmilk, so it’s felt that the well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk.

    Try to avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby and avoid as much contact as you can.

    The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has more advice:

    Your questions answered
  11. How to look after your mental health

    The coronavirus pandemic has plunged much of the world’s everyday life into uncertainty.

    If you feel like worrying about the virus, or the constant news updates about its spread, is taking a toll on your mental health you can click here for some useful tips.

    It includes advice on taking social media breaks and limiting the non-crucial news you consume.

  12. Turkey makes arrests over virus posts

    In Turkey, 19 people have been detained for making "“unfounded and provocative” posts on social media about the government's handling of the outbreak.

    The government has also identified 93 suspects who had written posts “targeting officials and spreading panic and fear”, the country's interior ministry said.

    Turkey has closed cafes, sports venues, and suspended mass prayers in mosques. The number of confirmed cases there is 47.

  13. Readers' questions: Can I catch coronavirus again?

    Question from Tanya Lucid

    Tanya, from Kingston-upon-Thames, wants to know if she has coronavirus and has self-isolated for 14 days, is there a chance she could catch it again.

    BBC Online health Editor Michelle Roberts says:

    Experts say most people should develop immunity, at least in the short term, after they have recovered from coronavirus which means they shouldn’t catch it again soon.

    There is a chance that some people will get it more than once though. Anyone who has symptoms – a high temperature and/or a new and persistent cough – should self-isolate to avoid spreading it to others.

    If you have a coronavirus question you want the BBC to answer, get in touch:

    Your questions answered logo
  14. A vaccine could be ready 'towards autumn' - EU chief

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
    Image caption: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

    The German company CureVac could have a vaccine ready “towards fall (autumn)”, EU Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen has said.

    Experts have said it will take at least a year to 18 months to get to that stage.

  15. Russian Church rolls out new hygiene rules

    Russia’s Orthodox Church has announced new rules to improve hygiene and curb the spread of coronavirus during church services in its Moscow diocese. Worshippers have been told to refrain from kissing the communion cup, but they can still kiss icons so long as they are rubbed with disinfectant between each use.

    Under the new rules, officials will have to wear disposable gloves while cutting consecrated bread, and single-use cups will be introduced for zapivka, a mixture of wine and water consumed after communion.

    The Church previously said it would not close any buildings or cancel proceedings. But in this latest announcement, it said it would temporarily suspend Sunday schools, parish meetings and club meetings. Russia has confirmed 114 cases of coronavirus nationwide, the majority of them in Moscow.

    Worshippers take part in a service in a Russian Orthodox church
  16. Readers' questions: Is it safe to go for walks with other people?

    Question from Hilary Derby, 75, Solihull

    BBC Online health Editor Michelle Roberts says:

    As long as you keep a good distance away from other people - here in the UK it is fine to go outside and enjoy the fresh air.

    People should keep exercising to stay fit and going for a walk counts.

    If you have a coronavirus question you want the BBC to answer, get in touch:

    Your questions answered logo
  17. BreakingEU will close borders to non-essential travel

    EU member states have agreed to close the EU's borders to all non-essential travel for 30 days, the President of the European Council Charles Michel has announced after a meeting of the EU's 27 leaders.

    The travel ban will affect all non-EU nationals from visiting the bloc, except long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods.

    Read more here.

  18. Package will be reassuring... up to a point

    Vicki Young

    Chief Political Correspondent

    In making his announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak underlined these were the first steps.

    Obviously the Treasury had to get this package together very, very quickly and there are still a lot of things that need to be done - including getting money to the right people.

    It will be reassuring up to a point - £330bn is a massive intervention.

    But for individuals worrying about their own circumstances, there will still be questions.

    Both the chancellor and prime minister said it so many times, that they were willing to do "whatever it takes", and to "act like a war time government".

    And war time is what it feels like for people watching all of this.

    But despite the measures introduced yesterday, the PM concluded by making it very clear, they may have to go further quite soon.

  19. UK chancellor rebuked ahead of Commons statement

    Rishi Sunak

    Hours after announcing a big package of measures to help businesses, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak was rebuked by the House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle for announcing the measures in a live TV conference before briefing MPs.

    Sir Lindsay said these were "difficult and sobering times" for the country and he did not want "to pick a fight". But he reminded the chancellor that ministers "have a duty to report first" to Parliament.

    Mr Sunak apologised and said all future financial announcements would be made first to MPs.

  20. Readers' questions: Can I run along country lanes, I'm 87?

    Question from Robert Thomson

    Robert is training for the Hull Marathon in September. As he lives on the outskirts of a town, he wonders if it's okay to carry on training on country lanes.

    BBC Online health Editor Michelle Roberts says:

    The advice is to avoid non-essential contact with other people.

    You can go outside to run – it’s good to exercise.

    Just make sure you avoid getting close to other people. Keep a safe distance.

    If you have a coronavirus question you want the BBC to answer, get in touch:

    Your questions answered logo