Boris Johnson has hinted that face coverings could be made mandatory in shops in England in the coming weeks, in a move that has been cautiously backed by top UK scientists.
The Prime Minister said he wanted to be “stricter” on insisting people wear mouth and nose coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they do not normally see.
Crowds in London’s Soho last Saturday night were described as being “out of control”, and authorities are keen to avoid similar scenes this weekend. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has told people to “stay safe” and wear a face mask when “out and about”.
It comes as the UK’s official Covid-19 death toll rose by 148 to 44,798, with Scotland reporting no fatalities overnight and just seven new cases of the virus.
Follow all our live updates below…
The president has finally given in:
Donald Trump has worn a face covering in public for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began.
The US president donned a mask during a visit to a military hospital on Saturday.
Setting out from the White House, he told reporters: “When you’re in a hospital, especially … I think it’s expected to wear a mask.”
New hope for combatting the most severe virus symptoms:
Coronavirus patients suffering the worst symptoms could be given lab-made antibodies to help them fight off the disease, a scientific adviser to the Government has revealed.
Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on Sage’s clinical information group, told the Telegraph that the therapies currently being trialled could be a “very exciting” form of treatment.
The paper reports that the drugs, known as monoclonal antibodies, are based on those produced by patients who have recovered from Covid-19.
The wife of a French bus driver who died after reportedly being attacked by passengers refusing to wear face masks, has spoken out about her loss.
Philippe Monguillot, 59, died in hospital on Friday after he was declared brain dead following the alleged assault on Sunday in the city of Bayonne.
The incident occurred after Mr Monguillot instructed four passengers to cover their faces as part of measures to stem the spread of coronavirus, according to prosecutors.
One of Bollywood’s biggest stars has been admitted to hospital with coronavirus.
Amitabh Bachchan, 77, confirmed to his 43 million Twitter followers that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
The Indian movie icon said in a message posted on Saturday evening that he had been “shifted to hospital” after contracting the disease.
A long-expected upturn in US coronavirus deaths has begun, driven by fatalities in states in the south and west of the country, new data shows.
The number of deaths per day from the virus had been falling for months in America, and even remained down even as states like Florida and Texas saw explosions in cases and hospital admissions, while reported daily US infections broke records several times in recent days.
However, experts had predicted states that saw increases in cases and hospital admissions would eventually see deaths rise too, with fatalities typically taking place several weeks after a person is first infected. Those predictions appear to be accurate.
William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher, said: “It’s consistently picking up. And it’s picking up at the time you’d expect it to.”
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily reported deaths in the US has increased from 578 two weeks ago to 664 on July 10 – still well below the heights hit in April.
Daily reported deaths increased in 27 states over that time period, but the majority of those states are averaging under 15 new deaths per day. A smaller group of states has been driving the nationwide increase in deaths.
California is averaging 91 reported deaths per day while Texas is close behind with 66, but Florida, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey and South Carolina also saw sizeable rises.
New Jersey’s recent jump is thought to be partially attributable to its less frequent reporting of probable deaths.
The virus has killed more than 130,000 people in the US and more than half a million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the true numbers are believed to be higher.
The UK’s official coronavirus death toll is in:
The number of people who have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus has risen by 148 overnight.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 44,798 people had died in the nation’s hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for the disease as of 5pm on Friday.
The Government’s official figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which are thought to have passed 55,000.
Here are some of the key coronavirus headlines from around the globe:
* Boris Johnson will next week tell employers to start ordering staff back into their places of work, as long as it is safe to do so, the Daily Mail reports.
* Croatia said wearing face masks will be obligatory in most closed public spaces from next week as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise.
NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA
* California will release up to 8,000 inmates early from state prisons to slow the virus spread inside facilities, state authorities said on Friday.
* Bolivian President Jeanine Anez and Venezuelan Socialist Party leader Diosdado Cabello have tested positive for the disease.
* Australia’s second most-populous state, Victoria, reported one of its highest daily increases in infections and warned the numbers would get worse before they got better as its capital city began its first weekend of a six-week lockdown.
* Vietnam’s most seriously ill COVID-19 patient, a British pilot who at one point seemed close to death, left hospital today to make his way home after a dramatic recovery that attracted national attention.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has called for big gatherings such as weddings and wakes to be banned to stem a rise in infections, but insisted the country’s economy had to stay open.
* The premier of Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province, said he had tested positive for the coronavirus, as new confirmed infections in the country hit a record daily high.
The debate over stricter face mask use rolls on:
Scientists have cautiously backed Boris Johnson’s hints that face coverings may be made compulsory in English shops, but warned that masks are not a substitute for social distancing.
The Government insisted early on in the pandemic that masks were not necessary for use by the general public when out and about, before making coverings compulsory on public transport and in hospitals in England.
But on Friday, the Prime Minister hinted at a change in policy, telling a public question-and-answer session that he wanted to be “stricter” on making Brits cover their faces in confined spaces.
Animal rights activists have staged a dramatic protest in London, arguing the pandemic could have been averted if the world had switched to a plant-based diet:
Police have arrested two people after animal rights activists dyed the fountains of London’s Trafalgar Square red.
Animal Rebellion called for the action to symbolise “blood on the hands” of the Government in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement posted on social media, they said the Covid-19 outbreak could have been prevented if the world had ditched animal farming and embraced a plant-based diet instead.
Scotland’s coastal communities to share £9.7 million of support to help them respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic
The revenue has been generated by the Scottish Crown Estate’s marine assets and comes from the second year of devolved management of Crown Estate assets.
It will be allocated to the 26 local authority areas which have coastlines, with funding based on their share of the adjacent sea area.
Environment and Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on communities across the country and particularly those people and businesses living and working in our coastal areas, which are often reliant on tourism.” She added:
That is why we have widened the remit of these funds to include direct support, where necessary, to coastal businesses and third sector organisations.
We have also worked to allocate this year’s funding as swiftly as possible to enable local authorities to help these organisations through the economic shock caused by the pandemic, and direct resource to where it is most needed in support of a wellbeing economy.”
Visitors return to Westminster Abbey on Saturday after four months of closure during the coronavirus lockdown
Coronavirus cases drop in the state of Victoria, Australia
The state of Victoria received some good news with health officials reporting 216 new cases in the past 24 hours, down from the record 288 the previous day.
It hopes a new six-week lockdown in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city with a population of 5 million, will curb the spread.
Scientists cautiously welcome Boris Johnson’s suggestion that face coverings may become mandatory in shops in England
The Prime Minister said on Friday that he wanted to be “stricter” on insisting people wear coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they do not normally see.
Eminent epidemiologist Professor David Heymann, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said masks should be worn by “all people in a situation where no one can physically distance to prevent infection of others”.
He said: “Face masks should be worn when physical distancing cannot be assured from others such as by carers in care homes and by people serving others who are physically distancing but who, because of their work, cannot physically distance from them.
“They should also be worn by all people in a situation where no one can physically distance to prevent infection of others – especially in closed spaces such as public transport.
“Face masks do not substitute for physical distancing if physical distancing is possible, and they do not protect the wearer from infection unless they are worn as part of personal protective equipment that also protects the eyes, a potential site of infection.”
Dozens of marines infected with coronavirus in ‘massive outbreak’ in Japan
Officials on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa said dozens of marines have been infected at two US bases in what is feared to be a “massive outbreak”.
The officials said the US military had asked that the exact figure not be released.
“We now have strong doubts that the US military has taken adequate disease prevention measures,” prefecture governor Denny Tamaki said.
Swimmers ‘overjoyed’ to return to some outdoor pools on Saturday
Charlton Lido in south-east London was one of the venues which welcomed a small number of swimmers on Saturday, with new measures in place including new signs, cleaning routines and online booking.
Jessica Walker and Nicola Foster were two of the swimmers happy to be back at the lido – and the came prepared wearing floral swimming caps and pearls, and each carrying an inflatable floating flamingo.
Ms Walker told the PA news agency she was “overjoyed” to be back after their last swim on March 20 and said the new safety process had worked smoothly.
“We’ve been heartbroken ever since because we swam every single morning and we were just in a very good place psychically and mentally, and then lockdown happened,” she said.
“There are no two happier women here today. It’s been so good to be back – it’s been better than I imagined.”
Sturgeon: Progress still good
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed figures showing there were no Covid-19 deaths in Scotland in the last 24 hours.
On Twitter, she wrote: “Positive cases in past 24 hrs back in single figures (7) after yesterday’s increase
“Also, another day with no registered deaths amongst people who had tested positive.
“Progress still good – but with significant easing of lockdown next week, we all must take care #StaySafe.”
The latest from England
A further 38 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals to 29,051, NHS England said.
The patients were aged between 40 and 98 and three patients, aged 65 to 86 years, had no known underlying health conditions.
Another seven deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
No new coronavirus deaths reported in Scotland
No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Scotland in the last 24 hours, according to the Scottish Government.
A total of 2,490 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, no change on Friday’s figure.
The latest figures show that 18,340 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by seven from 18,333 the day before.
A total of six patients are in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a fall of six on the previous day.
Belgium’s government has told its citizens not to travel to Leicester while it is facing stricter lockdown measures
Advice from the Belgian foreign affairs department states that “travel is not allowed” and “quarantine is mandatory upon your return”.
Leicester has been put in a “red zone” of risky destinations in the country’s travel advice alongside, regions in Portugal and Spain.
The regularly updated advice is based on “currently available information,” according to a note on a Belgian government website.
It also gives the go-ahead for travel to other areas of the EU, the Schengen zone and other parts of the United Kingdom.