Here’s what you need to know on 20 July. This article was updated at 5pm.
Deaths: The Government said on Monday 45,312 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, up by 11 from the day before. The daily death figures from the Department for Health and Social Care have been paused while a review takes place.
Lockdown: There’s been no uptick in the number of coronavirus cases in the UK since easing the lockdown restrictions, according to statisticians. But there is a warning people will need to be more vigilant in the autumn. Read more here.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants will have to offer smokers and non-smokers separate outdoor seating areas under new government plans. Premises should create a minimum two-metre distance between smoking and non-smoking areas, the proposals state. Read more here.
Local lockdowns: Blackburn has overtaken Leicester with the highest coronavirus infection rate in England, new figures reveal. Its rate is 79.2 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 77.7 per 100,000 people in Leicester, which had a local lockdown after a spike. Read more here.
Politics: Ruth May, England’s chief nurse, said she was dropped from Number 10 briefings after failing to support Dominic Cummings’ trip to Barnard Castle in a preparation session for the daily conferences. May was speaking to the Commons public accounts committee. Read more here.
Northern Ireland: Routine dental work returned in Northern Ireland on Monday, but some dentists have reported a shortage of PPE, which means they cannot reopen fully. Read more here.
Test and trace: The government has admitted its contact tracing app is unlawful, in a legal letter which confirms it has been running in breach of data protection laws since May. The government did not conduct a data privacy impact assessment (DPIA), which is required. Read more here.
Economy: Marks & Spencer has announced plans to cut 950 jobs, blaming a sharp downturn in business driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. The retailer said on Monday 950 jobs were at risk as part of plans to reduce store management and head office roles. M&S employs 78,000 people across the UK. 27,000 were furloughed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
Vaccines: A coronavirus vaccine could be available in the UK by the end of year, the head of a government taskforce has said. The government announced on Monday that it has signed deals to secure 90 million doses of promising COVID-19 doses. Read more here.
A trial of a coronavirus vaccine has prompted an immune response in humans. Doses of the vaccine were given to 1,077 healthy adults aged between 18 and 55 in five UK hospitals in April and May as part of the phase one clinical trial and results - published in the Lancet journal on Monday - show they induced strong antibody and T-cell immune responses for up to 56 days after they were given. Read more here.
Coronavirus restrictions will remain in place if large numbers of people refuse to take a COVID-19 vaccine, a UK taskforce has warned. There are fears that millions of Britons may opt out of being vaccinated for coronavirus, with many swayed by debunked anti-vax claims spread online. Read more here.
Education: A school in Leicestershire is planning to carry out five-hour classes on each subject from September in a bid to stop coronavirus from spreading by minimising students’ movement. Manor High School in Oadby, Leicestershire, has drawn up a fortnightly cycle of all-day lessons for each subject for the start of the next academic year, when all schools will reopen as social distancing restrictions ease. Read more here.
Read more about COVID-19
Rest of the world
A record number of daily worldwide coronavirus cases has been reported, for the second day in a row. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday there had been 259,848 new COVID-19 cases globally in 24 hours, the highest daily figure so far and the first time the tally has crossed a quarter of a million. Read more here.
The beaches of Barcelona were packed with people at the weekend even as the city was forced back into lockdown after a surge in coronavirus cases. Thousands of sun-seekers ignored pleas from the Catalan authorities to stay at home in one of Spain’s regions worst-hit from COVID-19. Read more here.
Russian officials and executives got coronavirus vaccines in April, according to reports. Bloomberg reported billionaires were among those who got a dose of an experimental vaccine developed by the Gamalei Institute in Moscow. Read more here.
While vaccine trials continue, Synairgen, a Southampton based company, has developed SNG001, a drug which has been found to prevent COVID-19 becoming more severe in 79% of cases. It uses a protein called interferon beta to trigger an immune response. Read more here.
A Tottenham Hotspurs fan credits his team as part of the reason he recovered from coronavirus after 110 days in hospital. Jeremy Clough, 47, received a get well soon card from Tottenham’s manager, Jose Mourinho, and a signed shirt from striker, Harry Kane, during his hospital stay, which his sister says spurred his recovery. Read more here.