Coronavirus cases have now exceeded 10 million, a major milestone in the spread of a disease that has killed more than half a million people in seven months. This week Leicester re-entered lockdown after a spike in cases, with several other towns across the UK facing a similar fate.
Among the global areas on alert is Tokyo, which confirmed more than 100 infections on Thursday, the highest daily tally in two months in the city at the centre of Japan’s outbreak.
The jump comes after the city of 14 million sought to hold new daily cases at fewer than 20 since the government lifted a state of emergency on May 25, only to see its tally consistently exceed 50 over the past week.
Meanwhile, the Australian State of Victoria was placed into lockdown as 289 new cases were recorded since Monday.
Australian police have set up suburban checkpoints in new coronavirus hotspots in Melbourne earlier today, as authorities struggled to contain new outbreaks in the country’s second-largest city, even as travel restrictions eased elsewhere.
World infections have now passed 10 million.
Meanwhile, the world’s most populous state California imposed sweeping “stay-at-home” restrictions on its residents in March after it recorded more than 8,000 new cases.
Economic forecasters say it will likely inflict more financial pain on the owners of bars and restaurants who have struggled to survive the pandemic.
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9am update: Funding boost for councils
An extra £500 million will go to local councils to deal with the coronavirus crisis and help cover lost income during the pandemic, the Government has said.
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said this morning: “Councils are playing a huge part in supporting their communities during this pandemic.
“From supporting the most vulnerable and keeping vital services running to operating local track and trace, council workers have been at the forefront of this great national effort and are the unsung heroes of this pandemic.
“Today I am providing a further package of support that takes our support for councils during this pandemic to £4.3 billion to help meet the immediate pressures councils are facing.
“I know that the loss of revenue from car parks and leisure centres has created huge difficulties, so I am introducing a new scheme to help cover these losses.”
8.30am update: Ireland to review international travel rules
Ireland’s new health minister will bring a recommendation on international travel to cabinet on Monday amid warnings from top health officials that a resumption of non-essential travel could reignite the coronavirus crisis.
Ireland’s outgoing government last week promised to produce a “green list” by July 9 of countries for which a 14-day quarantine would not apply, but new prime minister Micheal Martin and his health minister Stephen Donnelly have said they will take a cautious approach.
Donnelly told national broadcaster RTE: “July 9 is a decision that has been taken to publish a list.
“There may be a recommendation to cabinet that that might change.”
Fears of a second wave are building across the world.
8am update: Air-bridge plans ditched?
Boris Johnson will effectively ditch its air bridge plans and simply end the coroanvirus quarantine rules for those arriving from 75 countries so that people can go on holiday, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The newspaper said the UK would shortly lift a ban on non-essential travel to nearly all EU destinations, the British territories including Bermuda and Gibraltar, and Turkey, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport declined immediate comment.
The PM’s government has been grappling with how to open up international travel after it imposed a 2-week quarantine for arrivals, which has added to the woes of the shuttered tourism and travel industry.
7.30am update: Nicola Sturgeon expected to announce decision on Scotland’s 2m social distancing rule update
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is today expected to announce whether the 2m social distancing rule in the country will be relaxed or not.
It’s understood that the Scottish leader will receive scientific advice on which to base her decision.
It comes as England is due to relax its own measures by implementing a “one metre plus” rule on July 4, in which people can come closer than two meters to one another – but no more than one – as long as they take other precautions such as not sitting face-to-face.
However, the new guidelines still state that people should stay 2m apart where possible.
UK coronavirus cases.