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Live Reporting

Edited by Holly Wallis

All times stated are UK

  1. That's it from us for today

    That's it from us for today - thanks for joining us.

    The writers for the live page today were:

    George Wright, Lauren Turner, Alice Cuddy and Alex Therrien.

    The page was edited by Vicky Baker and Holly Wallis.

  2. Evening round-up

    People in a park

    We're about to bring our live page to a pause for today, but before we do, here is a recap of the main stories from today:

    • India has recorded the world's highest-ever daily number of cases, with more than 96,000 reported on Friday.
    • And in Belgium, football fans are set to return to stadiums for top league matches, though numbers will be strictly limited with social distancing.
  3. 'Worrying signs' of infection in UK elderly

    There are "worrying signs" of infections among the elderly, Public Health England's medical director Prof Yvonne Doyle has said.

    Her warning came as daily cases in the UK rose to the highest level since 17 May.

    A total of 3,539 new Covid-19 cases were recorded on Friday, the Department of Health said, up from 2,919 the previous day.

    Prof Doyle said: "Although younger people continue to make up the greatest share of new cases, we're now starting to see worrying signs of infections occurring in the elderly, who are at far higher risk of getting seriously ill.

    "This is a reminder of the ongoing risk as the virus spreads throughout the UK.

    "People should continue to follow social distancing rules, wash their hands regularly and wear a face covering in enclosed spaces.

    "You should not mix with others when unwell."

  4. NI Covid-19 restrictions: Your questions answered

    People in Northern Ireland

    New Covid-19 restrictions for parts of Northern Ireland, including Belfast and Ballymena, come into force on Monday.

    There are new social restrictions and guidance about travel and leisure.

    Here, BBC News NI answers some of the many readers' questions it has received about the changes, and what they mean for you.

  5. Staging a festival during a pandemic

    Mark Savage

    Music reporter, BBC News

    Sir Tom Jones

    Two weeks ago, in a walled garden in Hertfordshire, Sir Tom Jones played a greatest hits set to an audience of crickets and butterflies.

    This Sunday should have been the 10th instalment of BBC Radio 2 Live In Hyde Park - a "festival in a day" that sees the nation's biggest radio station throw a huge party for 50,000 fans in central London.

    This year's line-up was signed and sealed at the start of 2020, but it soon became apparent that coronavirus was going to play havoc with it.

    The search began for an alternative venue - one sufficiently secluded to stop crowds gathering, but big enough to accommodate the trucks needed to build a set and film the show.

    Once the location was identified, organisers went back to the artists. Some had to pull out, but the core line-up - including, of course, Sir Tom - remained intact. The pre-recorded show will be broadcast this weekend for Radio 2 Live At Home.

    Here's more on how they did it.

  6. Spain records 4,708 coronavirus cases in 24 hours

    People queue up for coronavirus tests in Madrid

    Spain has recorded 4,708 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 566,326.

    In total, it reported a record increase of 12,183 new cases in its figures on Friday, but a lag in reporting means that cases can take several days to appear on the central government's data.

    Spain is the first country in the European Union to reach half a million coronavirus cases. It has recorded 29,747 deaths.

    Like other countries, Spain has ramped up testing for the virus.

    A strict three-month national lockdown was lifted in the country at the end of June, but authorities have imposed fresh restrictions - such as making face masks mandatory in public - amid a rise in infections.

  7. What is a Covid marshal and what powers will they have?

    People near social distancing signs

    Covid-secure marshals will be introduced in towns and city centres in England to help ensure social distancing rules are followed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced.

    Marshals have already been used in Leeds and Cornwall during the coronavirus pandemic.

    However, plans to roll them out more widely have been criticised, with Conservative MP Steve Baker saying it would "turn every public space in Britain into the equivalent of going through airport security".

    So what is a Covid-secure marshal and what powers will they have?

    Read more

  8. France aims to avoid nationwide lockdown as cases surge

    Medical staff treat a patient with coronavirus in Marseille
    Image caption: France has seen an increase in people being admitted to hospital with coronavirus in recent days

    French Prime Minister Jean Castex says coronavirus is "circulating more and more" in the country, but that officials want to avoid any new nationwide lockdown.

    In a televised statement, Mr Castex announced several changes to Covid-19 testing and confinement policies.

    These include fast-tracking testing for priority cases, recruiting extra testers, and asking patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 to confine themselves for seven days, instead of 14.

    Mr Castex said the situation in Marseille, Bordeaux and Guadeloupe was "worrying", and that local authorities would be given more powers to tackle specific outbreaks.

    He said it was particularly concerning that the number of hospital admissions for coronavirus has gone up for the first time in weeks.

    The French government is under pressure to curb the spread of the virus amid a surge in cases.

    On Thursday, the country recorded almost 10,000 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, marking its highest single-day count since the start of the outbreak.

  9. Leicester's Diwali lights switch-on event cancelled

    Leicester's Diwali celebrations

    Leicester's Diwali celebrations - believed to be among the biggest outside of India - have been cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

    Thousands of people usually gather to watch traditional dance and music events in the city throughout October.

    However, while the lights along the Golden Mile will still be switched on, Leicester City Council said large gatherings have to be prevented.

    Christmas events are also cancelled but decorations will still go up.

    Read more

  10. BreakingLockdown restrictions extended to Scotland's Lanarkshire

    People living in the Scottish region of Lanarkshire will not be able to meet other households indoors from midnight on Friday.

    Similar measures are already in place in Glasgow, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

    The extension to North and South Lanarkshire means the restrictions now cover more than 1.75 million people in the west of Scotland.

    Read more here

  11. Armenia ends state of emergency but some restrictions to stay until January

    Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinya speaks in Germany
    Image caption: Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinya said the situation with coronavirus is improving

    Armenia has lifted its state of emergency but says some of its coronavirus restrictions will remain in place until January.

    The government said it had decided to end the state of emergency, which was introduced in mid-March and extended several times, because coronavirus was spreading less quickly than before.

    But its land borders will remain closed, public gatherings of more than 60 people will be banned, and mask-wearing will continue to be mandatory in enclosed public spaces, AFP news agency reports.

    Armenia - which has a population of about three million people - has recorded 45,503 coronavirus cases and 909 deaths so far.

  12. German bans on sex work overturned

    Düsseldorf sex workers protest, Aug 2020
    Image caption: Sex workers protested against a ban in Düsseldorf

    Coronavirus has been an unpleasant intrusion into people’s intimacy in all sorts of ways, not least sex.

    German sex workers have won a reprieve – even if it is temporary – as brothels are reopening in several states, including the most populous one, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

    Courts have decided that brothels can operate provided there are strict hygiene rules – like at hairdressers - and prostitutes wear masks with their clients.

    The top court in NRW found one-on-one sex to be no more risky in the pandemic than say aerobics in a gym or a party with dozens of revellers.

    It is also argued that keeping brothels closed risks exposing sex workers to more crime, as they struggle to make ends meet, German media report.

    The crisis has already bankrupted one of Europe’s biggest brothels – 10-storey Pascha in Cologne, where about 120 prostitutes worked, along with cooks and hairdressers.

    Brothels are back in business in five northern states, including Hamburg, and Saxony-Anhalt state in the east.

  13. Saliva test study aims to track school cases

    Pupils outside a school
    Image caption: Schools across Bristol will take part in the study

    A research project to track coronavirus infections in schools and help head teachers prevent disruption is being piloted in Bristol.

    The study aims to understand exactly how pupils transmit the virus, whether or not they are symptomatic.

    The University of Bristol study will saliva-test 4,000 pupils and 1,000 staff from schools across the city once a month for six months.

    It should provide vital information on how schools should deal with outbreaks.

    Read more

  14. Why we are watching R numbers?


    Earlier, we reported that the coronavirus infection rate has been growing in the UK in recent weeks, according to new estimates.

    The reproduction number in the UK is now thought to be between 1 and 1.2.

    The R number is a way of rating coronavirus or any disease's ability to spread in the population.

    A number above 1 means the epidemic is growing, while below 1 it declines.

    Read more about how it is calculated and the different R numbers across UK areas here.

  15. BreakingUK cases rise by 3,539

    A further 3,539 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, figures released by the Department of Health and Social Care show.

    It is the sixth day in a row where daily cases have exceeded 2,000.

    It takes the total number of UK cases to 361,677.

    A further six deaths have been recorded in those who had a positive coronavirus test in the last 28 days. This takes the death toll by this criteria to 41,608.

  16. How have things in China changed over the last six months?

    Kerry Allen

    BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst

    This picture shows thousands of visitors making their way to the Forbidden City in Beijing, during "Golden Week"
    Image caption: Golden Week is one of China's biggest periods of migration

    Six months since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, China seems full of confidence that it’s seen the back of the virus.

    It has been 26 days since any domestic cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the country, and the government says that people don’t need to take any extra precautions ahead of one of the country’s biggest annual migrations next month: Golden Week. This is an annual week-long holiday that begins on 1 October.

    This is the first time Chinese people have been told they can travel safely anywhere in the country. But there is still apprehension, given cases became widespread after Chinese New Year in January - the only other extended period of mass migration.

    When the pandemic was announced in March, China - where the outbreak started - was already over its worst. Since then, many Chinese people have been confident that a second wave can be avoided.

    In the last six months, there have been around 4,300 confirmed cases of Covid-19 within the country's 1.4 billion population.

    These were in major cities, including Beijing, the city of Dalian in northeastern Liaoning, and Urumqi in northwestern Xinjiang. Local governments introduced swift lockdowns as soon as a single case was detected, and citywide testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers appears to have helped bring these outbreaks under control.

  17. US marks 9/11 anniversary amid coronavirus restrictions

    A girl places a flower on the edge of the North pool during ceremonies on the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks

    The US is marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks amid coronavirus restrictions.

    Like others in attendance, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Vice President Mike Pence and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo all wore masks as they gathered at the site of the destroyed World Trade Center for a memorial ceremony.

    Mr Biden and Mr Pence bumped elbows in greeting.

    Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence greet each other at the 9/11 memorial ceremony

    A number of 9/11 memorial events across the US were cancelled or modified this year because of the pandemic.

    At the New York event, a longstanding tradition of relatives reading the names of the dead was changed to a recording being played over speakers because of coronavirus safety precautions.

    But a separate 9/11 group organised an event nearby, where they said people would be allowed to recite the names while keeping a safe distance.

    Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks on 11 September 2001. Two hijacked planes slammed into the Twin Towers, a third hit the Pentagon and a fourth was taken down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when its passengers rose up against the hijackers.

    US President Donald Trump led tributes at an event in Shanksville.

    US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump place a wreath during a ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial
  18. Former Tory minister criticises lack of debate on virus laws

    People in a park

    As we've reported, a number of Conservative backbenchers have been criticising the government's new coronavirus restrictions.

    Former minister Sir Christopher Chope is the latest to voice his concerns, telling the Commons earlier that MPs should have been able to debate the introduction of the "draconian" new measures.

    A new so-called "rule of six" is being introduced on Monday, limiting the number of people who can socialise together indoors or outdoors in England to six people.

    However, the statutory instrument needed to enact the rule change has yet to be laid before Parliament.

    Sir Christopher said he was "very concerned about the lack of opportunity for people, the public first of all, to see the text of these new regulations, and I'm also concerned about the continuing reluctance of the government to give any opportunities to members to debate this".

    He added: "What we are talking about is the most draconian introduction of new restrictions on our liberty, with criminal sanctions, and we need to be made aware of what's happening and given the opportunity of debating it."

    Responding, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said "the country should also know what's going on".

  19. Sixty-one people test positive after charity football match

    Burnside Working Men's Club
    Image caption: The game was held at Burnside Working Men's Club

    More than 60 people have tested positive for coronavirus following a charity football match, health officials have said.

    A further 33 people have now contracted the virus amid an outbreak linked to the event at Burnside Working Men's Club in Fencehouses, on the border of Sunderland and County Durham.

    About 300 people who attended the game, on 30 August, are having to self-isolate for 14 days.

    Read more

  20. Coronavirus 'on the rise again in Wales' - Drakeford

    Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has warned that coronavirus is "on the rise again in Wales".

    The new case rate is now 20 per 100,000 people - the rate at which quarantine measures can be introduced for those returning to the country from abroad.

    Mr Drakeford said it "indicates there is a serious risk of the virus spreading more widely once again".

    He added there was a "short window to get ahead of the gathering storm" and avoid "more draconian measures" - especially with schools, colleges and universities returning.

    He urged people to work from home wherever possible. Regarding the messaging in England, to encourage people back to the office, he added: "This is not and never has been our policy in Wales."

    Meeting people indoors has been at the heart of the rise in cases, he said, confirming it will be illegal from Monday to meet more than six people from an extended household indoors.

    People who flout the laws in Wales will face fines if they don't wear masks indoors from Monday as well, he said.

    Read more here.

    A graph showing Wales' new rules