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Live Reporting

Edited by James Clarke and Owen Amos

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for reading

    The coronavirus live page is now closing. Thank you for reading.

    The team was Alex Therrien, Mary O'Connor, Alexandra Fouche, Kevin Ponniah, Max Matza, Owen Amos, and James Clarke.

  2. Today's UK headlines

    We're pausing our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for today. It's been a busy day in the UK - here's a roundup of the day's top headlines:

    • The UK reported a record daily number of coronavirus cases and deaths - 68,053 and 1,325 respectively
    • A third Covid vaccine received emergency approval for use in the UK. The UK has ordered 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine - but supplies are not expected to arrive until spring
    • London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident" in the capital - requiring special measures to be brought in - warning the spread of Covid-19 is "out of control"
    • The number of fines for breaching coronavirus regulations rose sharply in November during England's lockdown. Nearly 6,500 fines were issued from the start of the lockdown on 5 November, the National Police Chiefs Council said
    • The eviction ban in England has been extended for six weeks amid the national lockdown, following a similar move in Scotland on Thursday. Councils are also being given extra cash to house rough sleepers during the winter months
    • The UK's R number, or the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average, is estimated to be between 1 and 1.4. The previous estimate for R on 23 December was between 1.1 and 1.3
  3. All but one local area in England see rise in cases

    Richmond Park
    Image caption: Richmond upon Thames was the one area in England not to see a rise in cases

    All but one of England's 315 local areas have seen a recent rise in coronavirus case rates, figures released today show.

    Richmond upon Thames, in south-west London, was the one exception, with a fall in infections.

    The figures, for the seven days to 4 January, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the government's testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

    Barking & Dagenham in London continues to have the highest rate in England, with 1,687.1 cases per 100,000 people - up from 1,150.3 in the seven days to 28 December.

    Redbridge, also in London, has the second highest rate, up from 1,166.4 to 1,559.2.

    Thurrock in Essex has the third highest rate, up from 1,252.1 to 1,540.1.

    Richmond upon Thames has 629.7 - down from 639.3.

  4. Today's world headlines

    If you're just joining us, here's a roundup of today's international headlines:

    • European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen defends the EU's vaccine strategy, as it buys another 300m doses
    • Sweden's parliament has passed a new law that allows for tougher restictions - and it has already been used
    • The head of the World Health Organization says there is a "clear problem" of poorer countries not receiving vaccines
    • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says more than half of all Covid infections are transmitted by people with no symptoms
    • The US and Germany report their highest daily death tolls
    • Unemployment in the US rises for the first time since April
    • Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has banned the import of any US or British-made coronavirus vaccines
    • Brisbane in Australia begins a three-day lockdown after one case of the "UK variant" was discovered
  5. Your Questions Answered: Can I go for a walk with friends?

    Your Questions Answered

    Throughout the pandemic, the BBC is working hard to answer your questions on everything from vaccines to the latest rules where you live.

    New lockdowns are now in force in England and most of Scotland, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Tina Howson from Leicester asks: My elderly mum is my support bubble but she does not live locally (about a 90-minute drive away). Am I still allowed to go to see her?

    Find out how the BBC answered Tina's question - and others asked since then - here.

  6. Which sporting events have been cancelled?

    Two tubs of antibacterial hand gel with a football pitch in the background

    A number of sporting fixtures in the UK have been cancelled after players tested positive for coronavirus.

    Among them are the FA Cup third round clash between Southampton and Shrewsbury and rugby union's Premiership game between Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers - both of which were due to take place on Saturday.

    Other sides will field reserve or youth teams after their first team were forced to isolate. You can check the full list of affected fixtures, which the BBC will update, here.

    Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has said it is "morally wrong" for football to continue amid increasing coronavirus outbreaks at clubs.

    The Magpies were the first team to have a Premier League match postponed this season, but more than 60 games in England have been called off.

    "Financially it's right to play on, but for me, morally, it's probably wrong," said Bruce.

    "I understand people want to see a game of football but we are just as vulnerable as everybody else."

  7. Government adverts to urge people to 'act like you've got it'

    Prof Chris Whitty at a Downing Street briefing
    Image caption: Prof Chris Whitty will front one of the adverts

    The government is urging people in England to stay at home and "act like you've got it" as part of a new advertising campaign.

    The "stay at home, save lives" campaign will run across TV, radio, out-of-home advertising and social media.

    The campaign will include a new advert fronted by England's Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty, which will air for the first time on ITV at 19:15 GMT tonight.

    The UK reported a record number of deaths and cases today, as hospitals come under growing pressure, with some in the South East at extreme capacity.

    Around one in three people with Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms and can pass it on without realising, the government said, "which is why it’s essential everyone stays at home and remembers Hands, Face, Space".

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Our hospitals are under more pressure than at any other time since the start of the pandemic, and infection rates across the entire country continue to soar at an alarming rate.

    “The vaccine has given us renewed hope in our fight against the virus but we must not be complacent.

    "The NHS is under severe strain and we must take action to protect it, both so our doctors and nurses can continue to save lives and so they can vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as we can.

    “I know the last year has taken its toll – but your compliance is now more vital than ever. So once again, I must urge everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

  8. Eviction ban in England extended for six weeks amid lockdown

    Kevin Peachey

    Personal finance reporter

    A homeless man wearing a protective face mask is seen in Westminster, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain

    England's eviction ban has been extended for six weeks, following a similar move in Scotland on Thursday.

    The move will mean eviction notices - which could have started again on Monday - will not be served on tenants during lockdown.

    It follows calls from charities for more financial support for tenants.

    Councils are also being given extra funding to house rough sleepers during the cold winter months.

    They will be asked to go back to people on the streets who had previously refused help, given the rising Covid infection rates.

    Evictions were banned at the start of the first lockdown in March - and the UK government has also extended the notice period landlords must give from three to six months.

    Concerns about homelessness and crowded accommodation have risen during the Covid crisis. Half a million private tenants in the UK are behind with their rent, according to research by Citizens Advice.

    You can read more here.

  9. 'Follow the rules' vans to tour Surrey visitor hotspots

    Advertising van

    As we just reported, police and local leaders in Cumbria are urging people not to visit the Lake District this weekend.

    In Surrey, the council says an advertising van will tour busy areas, warning people to stick to the rules.

    In recent days the car parks at places including Box Hill, popular with walkers and cyclists, have been overcrowded.

    "If you’re heading out for exercise, please stay local to where you live and do not mix in groups," says Steve Owen-Hughes, chair of Surrey’s Local Resilience Forum.

  10. Cumbria police urge people to avoid Lake District

    Derwent Isle on Derwentwater
    Image caption: Derwent Isle on Derwentwater

    Police in Cumbria, in north-west England, have urged residents and visitors to comply with national lockdown restrictions by not visiting the Lake District.

    In a tweet, the force shared a letter - backed by Cumbria's six MPs, several local councillors, NHS and tourism bosses - which urged people not to visit the Lake District National Park and instead "stay local" for exercise and essential shopping.

    It read: "Whilst it may be tempting to go out for a scenic drive in the Lake District, now is the time to stay home, look after one another and play your part to make sure that Cumbria is ready for the return of visitors when it is safe to do so."

  11. New Swedish Covid law already used

    Maddy Savage

    BBC News, Stockholm

    Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
    Image caption: Unlike many European leaders, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has so far decided against a national lockdown

    As we reported at 12:01 GMT, Sweden’s parliament has agreed a new pandemic law allowing ministers to introduce stricter measures in the country.

    Within hours of the law being passed, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced plans to limit numbers in gyms, swimming pools and shops in relation to how big they are. Managers will need to make sure there’s at least 10 square metres available per person.

    The Social Democrat leader also says there will be a ban of more than eight people at bookable private party venues - from dining halls to common rooms in apartment blocks.

    There is already a ban on holding public events for more than eight people, such as concerts, plays or demonstrations.

    The law comes into force on Sunday. Those who break new rules emerging from the legislation will face a fine - with businesses told they may also be forced to close.

  12. Analysis: UK's record deaths is a sad and sobering figure

    Philippa Roxby

    Health reporter, BBC News

    The number of deaths with Covid-19 reported for the UK today has hit a new high of 1,325.

    Even in the first peak of the pandemic, the daily record was 1,224 (on 21 April).

    It is a sad and sobering figure – and the grim truth is that the next few weeks are likely to see even more people dying and that figure rising further.

    That is because cases are continuing to rise, which means hospitals will fill up with more Covid patients, leading to the most seriously ill dying in several weeks’ time.

    It is an unstoppable trend.

    Of course, not all those 1,325 deaths happened today.

    This figure includes deaths that happened mostly over the past few days – but some will have occurred even earlier and a few before Christmas, and will only have been reported today.

    This lag in recording and reporting deaths over Christmas is why the deaths figures in the past three days have been over 1,000.

    A more even spread of deaths occurring every day is likely to be seen when we look back at the figures in several weeks’ time.

    But it doesn’t take away from the fact that nearly 80,000 people have now died with Covid-19 in the UK.

  13. 'Social distancing' train seat cover crop top sparks Depop warning

    Alice Evans

    BBC News

    Fashion student Mhari Thurston-Tyler, wearing her creation
    Image caption: Fashion student Mhari Thurston-Tyler posted an advert for the "crop top" (right) on Depop after she says she found some discarded Chiltern Railways seat covers (like those on the left)

    A fashion student is being warned not to sell prohibited items on the clothes app Depop after she posted an advert for a top made from a train seat cover.

    Mhari Thurston-Tyler made the bandeau out of a Chiltern Railways seat cover designed to promote social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 20-year-old sold the top for £15 but later refunded her customer and took the advert down.

    Depop says the item "clearly violates our terms of service".

    Chiltern Railways says it has been using the social distancing "seat sashes" since the beginning of the UK's Covid epidemic.

    A spokeswoman adds: "Whilst we appreciate this new take on railway memorabilia, these items are there to help customers travel with confidence and we would respectfully ask that they are left in place."

    Read more here.

  14. WHO chief urges vaccine supply for poorer countries

    The head of the World Health Organization says there is a "clear problem" of poorer countries not receiving supplies of Covid-19 vaccines.

    "Rich countries have the majority of the supply," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells reporters in Geneva.

    He urges countries and manufacturers to stop making bilateral deals at the expense of the Covax vaccine-sharing scheme.

    That scheme aims "to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth".

    As these graphics show, wealthier countries have made the quickest start on vaccinations - although not all countries are reporting data.

    World vaccination map
    Vaccination by country table
  15. Health officials expect UK daily death toll to rise

    Earlier this afternoon, the UK reported 1,325 coronavirus deaths within 28 days of a positive test - the highest daily figure of the pandemic.

    But Dr William Welfare, director for the Covid-19 response at Public Health England, says the daily death toll is likely to continue to rise.

    He says: “Each life lost to this virus is a tragedy, but sadly we can expect the death toll to continue to rise until we stop the spread.

    “Approximately one-in-three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

    “To protect our loved ones it is essential we all stay at home where possible. This will reduce new infections, ease the pressure on the NHS and save lives.”

  16. Canadians travelling to Florida for vaccinations

    Elderly people in Florida receive vaccines

    Some Canadian snowbirds - retired people who travel south for the winter - are finding they are able to get vaccinations in Florida earlier than they could if they remained at home.

    Florida is allowing anyone over the age of 65 to be vaccinated for no charge. That includes non-citizens.

    Canada is prioritising health workers and people living in group homes.

    Getting a vaccine there is like winning the lottery, one couple tell CBC News. They say they were able to book vaccinations for other Canadian friends, who are now planning to travel to Florida for the jab after initially postponing their trip due to lack of vaccination.

  17. The UK's coronavirus numbers in detail

    As we reported earlier this hour, the UK today reported a record number of coronavirus deaths and cases - 1,325 and 68,053 respectively.

    In the below graphics we explore the trends behind the numbers.

    Graphic summarising the UK figures
    Graphic of UK cases
    Graphic on UK deaths
  18. Sadiq Khan: 'Real risk we could run out of beds'

    Video content

    Video caption: Mayor London Sadiq Khan says the NHS is at risk of running out of beds in the capital.

    As we've been reporting, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a "major incident" as coronavirus threatens to overwhelm the capital's hospitals.

    Major incidents have previously been called for the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 and the terror attacks at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge.

    Mr Khan said: "Unless the virus reduces... we could run out of beds."

    A major incident is defined as being “beyond the scope of business-as-usual operations, and is likely to involve serious harm, damage, disruption or risk to human life or welfare, essential services, the environment or national security”, according to the mayor's statement.

  19. Birmingham pub bombing campaigners fined over Covid breach

    Julie Hambleton
    Image caption: Julie Hambleton said she was issued with the penalty notice on 20 December, after the event a month earlier

    Campaigners attending a memorial to the Birmingham pub bombings have been issued with fixed penalty notices for breaching coronavirus restrictions.

    Six people, including Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was killed in the 1974 attack, were given the fine over a memorial event on 21 November, the anniversary of the blasts that killed 21 people.

    Lawyers acting for the six say the notices will be challenged.

    The notices relate to a breach of regulations over the gathering of two or more in a public place, police say.

    Read more

  20. UK government confident it can meet vaccine target

    Video content

    Video caption: Covid 19: Moderna vaccine 'another weapon in armoury'

    Nadhim Zahawi, the minister responsible for vaccine rollout, has been speaking after the UK's medicines regulator granted approval for the Moderna vaccine to be given to patients.

    He calls the Moderna vaccine "another weapon in our armoury" against coronavirus.

    He says the UK government is aiming to offer a jab to "between 14 and 15 million" people by mid-February, who make up the four top priority groups - including the over-70s, the clinically extremely vulnerable, care home residents, and frontline health and social care workers.

    Zahawi adds he now has "a much clearer line of sight" in terms of the NHS's plan for the vaccination programme rollout and is confident the government can meet its targets.

    He says teachers will be "top of the list" in terms of phase two of the programme, as will be "many other key workers".