Here’s what you need to know on 14 August. This article was updated at 5pm.
Deaths: The Government said 41,358 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19, as of Friday, up by 11.
Testing: The government has removed 1.3m coronavirus tests from its data because of double counting. It raises more concerns about the accuracy of testing. Read more here.
R rate: The R rate range of coronavirus infection for the UK is between 0.8 and 1, latest figures show. Data published on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has also revealed the growth rate of coronavirus transmission is between minus 4% and minus 1%, changing from between minus 5% and zero last week. Read more here.
England: The rate of coronavirus infections has levelled off according to new data covering England. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said it estimated there were around 3,800 cases per day between August 3 and August 9, just 100 more than the week before. Read more here.
People who continually fail to wear face coverings could be fined up to £3,200 in changes to the coronavirus rules which come into force on Saturday. It’s alongside the easing of restrictions allowing wedding receptions for up to 30 people in certain places, and the reopening of bowling alleys. Read more here.
Wales: Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced the next level of lockdown easing in the country will allow four families to form household bubbles from 22 August. But it won’t be possible to meet people outside the bubble indoors. Read more here.
Scotland: People cannot queue for a seat outside pubs and restaurants in Scotland after new rules were imposed. Venues are now required to collect contact details, not just guided. Read more here.
Local lockdowns: Several Northern cities must remain in local lockdowns after the government said the number of cases per 100,000 is not falling. It means four million people across Greater Manchester, areas of East Lancashire and large chunks of West Yorkshire as well as Leicester, can’t mix with other households. Read more here.
Science: The government’s decision to relax coronavirus lockdown measures further is the “wrong approach” if schools will be able to fully open in September, an independent group of scientists have said. Independent SAGE observed that while deaths are declining and hospital admissions remain low, a rise in cases in countries across Europe is due to a variety of reasons, including tourism, the reopening of bars and restaurants and a relaxation of social distancing as well as people’s attitudes. Read more here.
Education: Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has defended the approach to awarding A level grades after thousands of pupils were downgraded and some missed out on university places. The exams were cancelled and grades decided based on an algorithm following predicted grades. Read more here.
Travel: As more countries are added to the government’s red list, holiday makers coming back from France, Netherlands and Turks and Caicos will have to be prepared to self-isolate when they get back to the UK. Here’s how the travel corridors policy works.
Business: River Island is planning to slash 350 jobs, in the latest of a string of UK retailers to report mass job losses in the wake of the coronavirus. Store management and senior sales roles will be affected at the high street chain, which has around 300 UK stores, according to an internal memo sent to workers and seen by PA. Read more here.
Hundreds of jobs are reported to be at risk at YO! sushi restaurants too, as it prepares to close 19 of its outlets. Sky News reports it is expected to file a Company Voluntary Agreement on Friday. Read more here.
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Rest of the world
New Zealand’s leader, Jacinda Ardern, has extended the lockdown in Auckland after a new outbreak following 102 days without any community transmission. According to genomic testing, the latest outbreak is a different strain to the original outbreak in New Zealand earlier in the year. Read more here.
France and the Netherlands have retaliated against the UK’s decision to have travellers from those countries self-isolating on their return by imposing the same measures. It means the Dutch government now advises against travel to the UK, while any travellers arriving in France from the UK would have to self-isolate for two weeks when they get there. Read more here.
The government has reached agreements which it says will give Britons early access to 90m doses of two potential COVID-19 vaccines. They are being developed by US biotech company Novavax and pharmaceutical business Janssen in Belgium. Read more here.
Kerry Godliman, Al Murray and Ed Gamble are to perform as part of a socially distanced comedy night as the government gave the go-ahead for venues to reopen. The money raised will be split across a network of comedy clubs and promoters who are struggling during the closures. Read more here.