Here’s what you need to know on 7 July. This article was updated at 5.15pm.
Deaths: The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 44,391 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Monday – up by 155 from 44,236 the previous day. Read more here.
The UK coronavirus death toll has surpassed 50,000 according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Read more here.
Politics: Downing Street has refused to apologise after Boris Johnson claimed “too many care homes” did not follow the correct procedures during the coronavirus pandemic. Care home managers have reacted angrily to the prime minister’s comments, saying they followed government advice on protecting their patients and staff. Read more here.
The Conservative Party has moved its annual conference online, in the latest event to be hit by the pandemic. Labour and the Lib Dems had already made the same decisions about their autumn conferences, usually the biggest event in the party political calendar. Read more here.
Policy: Travellers arriving from the UK’s red list countries will be able to pay for a coronavirus test to avoid quarantining for 14 days, under a scheme backed by the Department of Transport. Under the plan, arrivals at Heathrow would have to pay £150 for the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based swab tests, as used by the NHS and administered in a clinic airside at the airport. Read more here.
Lockdown: Three pubs have had to close again after reopening over the weekend after customers or staff tested positive for COVID-19. The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, Indian takeaway Saagar in Burnham, and The Fox and Hounds in Batley, West Yorkshire are closed after the results. Read more here.
Leicester lockdown: The seven-day infection rate in Leicester has dropped from 135 per 100,000 cases to 117 per 100,000 since a local lockdown was implemented there, the health secretary Matt Hancock has said. However, the lockdown will stay in place until at least 18 July. Read more here.
Mask-wearing: Refusing to wear a mask should be as antisocial as drink-driving, according to Venki Ramakrishnan, the president of the Royal Society. He has called for everyone to be required to wear a mask in all indoor public settings, rather than only on public transport, and criticised confused messaging from the government. Read more here.
Vaccine: Almost a third of Britons say they may not take up a vaccine for coronavirus, a poll showed, as researchers warned about the amount of anti-vaccine content circulating online. In the study carried out by YouGov for the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) research group, 6% of those polled said they definitely would not get vaccinated for COVID-19. Read more here.
Finance: The UK’s unemployment rate could rise to 15% if there was a second wave of coronavirus, according to figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It would mean the UK would surpass France, Germany and Italy. Read more here.
A total of 9.4 million people have been placed on furlough, new figures show, meaning over a quarter of the UK’s entire workforce has been idled since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. New figures published by the Treasury show that 9.4 million people were on the government’s job retention scheme as of 5 July, up from 9.3 million on 28 June. Some 33 million people were in work at the start of this year, according to the Office for National Statistics, meaning over a quarter of the entire working population has now been placed on furlough. Read more here.
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Rest of the world
Melbourne, one of Australia’s biggest cities, is going back into lockdown after 191 cases of coronavirus were confirmed. It means no-one can leave the house for anything except care and caregiving, essential shopping, exercise and work, unless work can be done from home. Read more here.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has confirmed he has tested positive for COVID-19. The leader previously said he would shake off the disease quickly if he got it because of his “athlete’s background”. Read more here.
The European Commission on Tuesday issued a revised — and much gloomier — forecast for the EU economy for 2020. Brussels expects that the euro-area economy will shrink by 8.7% this year, versus the 7.7% GDP contraction it forecast earlier this year. Read more here.
A study in Spain has shown immunity to coronavirus may not last. The study of almost 70,000 people in Spain found that 14% who initially positive for antibodies then showed a negative result two months later. Read more here.
Countries that claimed to have had coronavirus outbreaks under control have started seeing large numbers of new cases after easing their lockdowns, the World Health Organization has said. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson, urged people on Tuesday to keep themselves informed as COVID-19 cases surge again in some countries. Read more here.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will on Wednesday unveil a £3bn ($3.7bn) green jobs package as part of a series of measures designed to lift the UK economy out of the coronavirus crisis. As part of the package, the government will spend £1bn to make public buildings, such as schools and hospitals, greener. Read more here.