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Live Reporting

Edited by Marie Jackson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye - for now

    We'll be pausing our coverage now but will be back with you for more on Friday.

    Today's live page has been the work of Joseph Lee, Mary O'Connor, George Wright, Victoria Bisset, Max Matza, Justin Parkinson, Paul Seddon, Flora Drury, Hugo Bachega and Marie Jackson.

    Thanks for joining us - goodbye.

  2. A global round-up

    A visitor takes a photo in the Palace of the Princess Czartoryski Museum in Poland
    Image caption: A visitor takes a photo inside a museum in Poland

    And here's a round-up of the day's top developments from around the globe.

    • The top US expert in infectious diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci, has expressed his concern over the rise in coronavirus cases in the country. "The problem we're facing now is that in an attempt to so-called reopen or open the government and get it back to some form of normality, we're seeing very disturbing spikes in different individual states in the US," he told the BBC
    • Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump, long opposed to wearing a face covering in public, says he is "all for masks" and predicted the virus would "disappear"
    • More than 70,000 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Sweden, while the death toll stands at 5,411. The country has seen a far higher mortality rate than its nearest neighbours that imposed stricter lockdowns
    • Fans will be allowed to attend the French Open when it begins in September, the French Tennis Federation has said
    • New Zealand's health minister has stepped down. He had previously been forced to apologise after breaking lockdown measures
  3. The latest headlines in the UK

    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

    As we wind down our rolling coverage for the day, here's a round-up of the main headlines in the UK:

    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give a press conference on Friday evening ahead of an easing of England's lockdown on Saturday, when pubs and restaurants will reopen. He is expected to tell people not to "overdo it"
  4. 'Hug curtains' set up at Belgian nursing home

    Nursing home residents hug through a plastic screen in Belgium
    Image caption: Nursing home staff set up the "hug curtains" in June

    A nursing home in Belgium has set up hanging plastic sheets so its residents can safely hug visitors.

    The "hug curtains" have proved a huge hit at Jardins de Picardie home near the French border. After people safely hug, nursing staff disinfect them for future use.

    86-year-old resident Lili Hendrickx told Reuters news agency the curtain was "the most beautiful invention" after she was able to hug her daughter for the first time in months.

    “The feeling you get when you are close to someone like that, I felt like the heat was passing through," she said.

    Nursing home residents kiss through a plastic screen in Belgium
    Image caption: Residents were not allowed to see their loved ones for months
  5. Former US presidential candidate Herman Cain in hospital

    Herman Cain (right) and Senator Mitt Romney at a 2011 Republican debate
    Image caption: Herman Cain (right) and Senator Mitt Romney at a 2011 Republican debate

    Herman Cain, the Republican pizza chain CEO who ran for president in 2012, is in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

    A statement from Cain, who now hosts radio and TV programmes, said he was recuperating in an Atlanta-area hospital and is doing well and has not required a ventilator.

    Cain was an advocate of a flat tax system and ran for office after a stint as CEO of Godfather's Pizza.

    During his run, he told reporters he would not abide any "gotcha questions".

    "And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I'm going to say you know, I don't know. Do you know?"

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

  6. Bavarian PM angers promoters with 'dance at home' comment

    Markus Söder

    The Bavarian prime minister has angered promoters and DJs in Germany by saying that clubs will not open their doors for some time, but "you can always dance at home with your partner".

    Markus Söder added that the mood at a rock show is very different from, for example, the State Opera, and social distancing is tougher.

    Many were angered by what they perceived as a disregard for the industry.

    "To signal even more anxiety and ultimately helplessness to all these people through disrespect, [Söder] is unworthy of a prime minister and it shows that you are out of place here!" wrote one festival promoter.

  7. Switzerland to enforce quarantine on arrivals from 29 countries

    Plane lands in Switzerland

    Travellers to Switzerland from 29 countries - including the US, Sweden and Brazil - will have to inform authorities immediately on arrival and then go into quarantine for 10 days, the government has said.

    The rule will be enforced from 6 July and is part of an effort to curb further spread of the coronavirus.

    The full list is: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Chile, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Iraq, Israel, Qatar, Colombia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Serbia, South Africa, Turks and Caicos Islands and thee United States.

  8. Café Rouge and Bella Italia owner falls into administration

    Café Rouge restaurant chain

    There have been thousands of job losses announced this week as the coronavirus continues to batter the UK economy.

    Now, the owner of High Street restaurant chains Café Rouge and Bella Italia has gone into administration.

    Ninety one Casual Dining Group outlets will close immediately, and 1,900 of the firm's 6,000 staff will lose their jobs.

    Administrators Alix Partners are seeking offers for all or parts of the remaining business.

    Casual Dining Group, which also owns the Las Iguanas chain, said it hoped a new owner could save the firm.

    "We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them," chief executive James Spragg said.

    "Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to."

  9. The news from across Latin America

    A man disinfects a restaurant in Envigado municipality, near Medellin, Colombia, on July 1, 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic
    Image caption: A pilot plan for reopening restaurant around Medellín, Colombia, has been delayed

    Coronavirus continues to increase its hold over much of Latin America. Here are some of the recent developments:

    • The pandemic has fuelled the unemployment figures across Latin American and the Caribbean, rising to an estimated total of 41 million people, according to a UN agency. Vinicius Pinheiro, regional director for International Labor Organization, said the rate of joblessness is likely to rise to as much as 13% this year, compared to 8.1% in 2019.
    • The Mayor of Medellin – Colombia’s second city – has introduced an alcohol ban over weekends to crack down on parties as coronavirus catalysts. The city has been heralded as a global example in keeping cases low but they began rising in June. Colombia’s national caseload officially topped 100,000 on Wednesday.
    • The President of Honduras has shown “marked improvement” in his recovery from Covid-19 and will soon be discharged from hospital, according to his doctor. Juan Orlando Hernández announced he and his wife had tested positive in mid-June.
    • Buenos Aires’ minister of health says he hopes to announce more freedoms for residents of the city and surrounding area from 17 July. It comes after a rollback on lockdown-easing began on Wednesday amid concerns about a rise in the occupation of intensive-care beds.
  10. England schools return won't be easy but is necessary

    Sean Coughlan

    BBC News, education correspondent

    If you could fast forward to September and schools in England were not opening there would be outrage from parents.

    Pubs would have opened, there might be a few holiday sun tans and whatever is left of the high street will be back in business.

    So it would have been impossible not to have a plan for a return to school.

    “We can’t sit back and say children won’t go back to school,” said the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

    So, in many ways, these plans represent the art of the possible, rather than the ideal.

    But parents have raised doubts about the tactic of separate bubbles.

    What happens if families have children in different years?

    What about all the mixing up of children on public transport?

    There are big academic unknowns too.

    How will full versions of GCSEs and A-levels go ahead when pupils have missed months of school?

    And tucked away in the details are suggestions Year 7 might have to retake chunks of Year 6 again because of all the holes in learning.

    It’s not going to be easy - and there could be stop-starting from local lockdowns - but not going back at all would have been much more politically toxic.

  11. Work halted at five mines in Czech Republic amid outbreak

    A mining company is to halt work at its five active mines in the Czech Republic amid an outbreak of coronavirus in north-east Moravia.

    The Darkov coal mine has been shut since 22 May after an outbreak. Then, testing at a second mine revealed that one in five of its more than 3,400 employees were carrying the virus.

    The OKD company has now decided that all five mines will stop operating for six weeks from Friday to avoid any further outbreaks.

    Most of those who tested positive had no idea they were infected, the company said.

    OKD is the largest employer in the Moravian-Silesian region. The region has not been included in the widespread easing of lockdown starting 1 July due to the outbreak.

  12. Polish PM says virus is disease 'like any other'

    Mateusz Morawiecki

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said Poles should not be afraid to vote in the second round of a presidential election this month because Covid-19 has become a disease "like any other".

    His nationalist ruling party's presidential candidate, Andrzej Duda, is running against centrist Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowsk.

    The first round of voting took place last Sunday and the next is scheduled for 12 July.

    "This is now a disease that we could say is like any other, we are only waiting for a vaccine," state news agency PAP quoted Morawiecki as saying.

    "And the institutions assessing the first round (of the election) have confirmed that it was organised in a very appropriate way. Let's not be afraid of participating in the second round," he added.

    Poland has not been as badly hit as some European countries, registering fewer than 1,500 deaths out of a total population of some 38 million.

  13. US 'on track' to make 300m vaccine doses by 2021

    US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director Stephen Hahn has said he is "cautiously optimistic" that the US will have a vaccine available by the end of this year or early 2021.

    "FDA has given authorisation to proceed with clinical trials for four separate vaccines and we've seen a number of vaccine developers come forward - double digit numbers - so we have a lot of different, if you will, shots on goal with respect to vaccines," he told ABC on Thursday.

    At a Senate committee hearing in Washington, US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins testified that the Trump's administration's "Operation Warp Speed" is on track to create and provide 300m doses to the American public by early 2021.

  14. Florida breaks new cases record

    Miami residents flout the city's new face mask mandate enacted earlier this week
    Image caption: Miami residents flout the city's new face mask mandate enacted earlier this week

    Now the Downing Street briefing's ended, there's more worrying news from the US. Florida has broken its record for new cases, less than a week after it broke its previous record.

    The Florida Department of Health reported 10,109 infections on Thursday, bringing the state's total cases to 169,106.

    The previous high of 9,500 new cases was set last Saturday.

  15. Downing Street press conference round-up

    An update of the key points from the coronavirus briefing. The government says:

    • Schools will be asked to minimise contact between pupils when they all return in September
    • Parents who keep children out of education will face fines
    • Exams will take place as normal next summer
    • Out-of-school clubs will resume in September
    • 200,000 laptops have been given to disadvantaged pupils
    • Local action in case of coronavirus "flare-ups" will ensure that national shutdowns won't be needed in future
    • Children with underlying health conditions will be asked to return to school unless there are "local issues" with the virus
  16. Parents 'must have proper reason' not to return children

    Williamson is asked whether plans to keep children in "bubbles" will "fall apart" if children are crammed onto public transport.

    He says the government is "working closely" on the issue of school transport and that bubbles are protected.

    The education secretary is also asked whether he would sympathise with headteachers who allow worried parents not to send their children back to school.

    In reply, he says ministers have to be "clear" that attendance is expected for every child unless there is a "good and proper reason" for them not to come in.

    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries
  17. What about children with existing conditions?

    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

    Asked if every child who needs one will get a laptop computer by September, Gavin Williamson says schools are in a position to help children who need to isolate and can't return because of health concerns. There are "clear expectations" about how this will work, he adds.

    Jenny Harries says the risk from coronavirus is "very similar" among most children. Those who have been shielding will be encouraged to return unless there are "local issues", in terms of health.

    Mr Williamson says the approach will be "sensible" and people "have to get back to the fact we have a compulsory education system".

  18. Reality Check

    Latest figures on outbreaks in schools

    We’ve had the latest figures from Public Health England showing the number of coronavirus outbreaks in schools.

    The figures are actually for “acute respiratory outbreaks” but it’s reasonably likely that they will be Covid-19.

    In the week ending 23 June there were 40 such outbreaks in “educational settings”, which was down from 49 the week before, but the second highest figure of the year, reflecting the increasing number of pupils in schools.

    That compares with 58 outbreaks in care homes, 13 in hospitals and 43 in workplaces.

  19. Williamson pledges 'action' if councils resist school reopening

    Gavin Williamson is asked what action the government would take if councils refuse to reopen schools in September.

    He replies that he has "absolute confidence" everyone "across the board" has to deliver to reopen schools.

    He says if local authorities do not open schools, ministers will take "very specific action to ensure they do".

    The education secretary is also asked whether he can rule out another nationwide shutdown of schools in the autumn.

    He replies that local action against flare-ups will "ensure we avoid the situation we ever have to see a national shutdown again".

  20. Williamson: 10,000 laptop orders still outstanding

    A journalist from Channel 4 says they have spoken to headteachers who are yet to receive laptops for disadvantaged children.

    Williamson says 10,000 orders are "still outstanding" but over 200,000 have been delivered to councils and academy trusts.

    He says the outstanding orders will be "fulfilled over the next few days".

    He says a number of councils and trusts have not placed their orders but ministers will "chase those up".