- UK scientists warn that the country is seeing "very worrying" increases in cases, "particularly over the last few days"
- Japan says it will hold the Tokyo Games in 2021, even if the pandemic is still continuing
- UK tax authorities admit about 5-10% of cash paid out on the furlough scheme was wrongly awarded
- India records its highest daily deaths in more than a month - 1,133 people in 24 hours
- US President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden trade insults over their stances on a vaccine
Thanks for joining our rolling coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic - it's Helier Cheung, Ashitha Nagesh and Marie Jackson with you this morning in London.
To help you catch up, here are some of the main headlines from across the world.
- Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto has said the Tokyo Olympics, which were supposed to be held this year, must be held in 2021 “at any cost”. He said the Games should be held for the benefit of athletes, regardless of the challenges posed by the pandemic
- India has today recorded its highest daily death toll from the virus in more than a month, even though new cases are slowing. Yesterday India overtook Brazil in overall number of coronavirus cases, and is now second only to the US
- In the US, many people celebrated Labor Day weekend by holding large gatherings across the country, despite warnings from public health officials. More than 1,000 people went to a beach event in San Francisco, while people gathered on beaches and rooftops in Georgia and South Carolina. The US has 6m cases of the virus - the highest in the world
- Still in the US, President Donald Trump and his electoral rival Joe Biden have sparred over each other’s positions on a Covid-19 vaccine. Trump hinted again that a vaccine would be available before the election in November, while Biden expressed scepticism that Trump would listen to scientists
- Globally there have now been more than 27.3m cases of the virus and more than 892,000 deaths, according to the toll kept by Johns Hopkins University
What’s happening in the UK today?There’s a stark warning for those waking up in the UK, where the number of new infections reached nearly 3,000 a day for two days in a row:
- Prof John Edmunds, from the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), says the UK is in a “risky period” , with the epidemic “taking off again”. England's deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van Tam, said people had "relaxed too much".
- A local lockdown in the county of Caerphilly in South Wales will be imposed this evening, after nearly 100 new cases were reported there in the last week. From 18:00 BST no-one will be allowed to leave or enter the area without good reason. The Welsh government said the infection rate was 55 per 100,000 people - one of the highest in the UK.
- The Royal College of GPs is calling for a national network of “post-covid” clinics to support people who've been chronically ill with coronavirus for months. NHS England said it was rapidly expanding new and strengthened rehab centres.
- New figures obtained by the BBC show that British employers had drawn up plans to cut more than 300,000 jobs in June and July. It's more than six times as many posts as businesses were planning to axe during the same period last year, before the pandemic.
- And It's been revealed that as much as £3.5bn ($4.6bn) may have been paid out incorrectly or in fraudulent claims for the government's Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. HMRC is looking into 27,000 cases where it's believed a serious error has been made in the amount an employer has claimed.
Latest around EuropeFrench Health Minister Olivier Véran says the increase in cases - 4,203 more announced on Monday - is "worrying". However, he has stressed that the rate of infection is nowhere near as problematic as during the initial stage of the pandemic. The so-called R-rate is now around 1.2, whereas it was around 3.2 in the spring. He says France's science council backs the idea of a seven-day isolation period, rather than 14 days for people who test positive.
Elsewhere in Europe:
- Spain's total number of infections has reached 525,549, the first country in the EU to surpass half a million. The spread has sped up dramatically in the past month
- Meanwhile, Spain's foreign minister Arancha González Laya says a tourism corridor will be opened with the UK to the Canary Islands as winter approaches. "The important thing is that this window of opportunity opens," she told Spanish radio. The UK said yesterday it had a "new islands policy" to add and remove specific islands from quarantine
- A Dutch TV survey suggests as many as 74% of under 35s have suffered psychologically from Covid – stress, loneliness and persistent fatigue are the most common complaints
- Italian ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi appears to be on the mend. Reports say he could leave hospital in Milan next week. He was admitted last week with early-stage double pneumonia.
Read more: What is the R-number and how is it calculated?
UK minister: 'Virus still very much with us'We mentioned earlier that the UK has seen nearly 3,000 new infections for two days in a row, with one expert warning that cases are now "increasing exponentially".
UK minister Robert Jenrick has just been asked on BBC Breakfast about his own concerns about the rising numbers of infections in the UK.
The communities secretary stressed that the virus is "still very much with us - we have to still be concerned about it", and reminded people to wash their hands, wear a mask and stay socially distanced.
"If we do that and we all play our own part then we should be able to maintain our daily lives in this new normal," he added.
He was also asked about the possibility of testing for the virus at airports - something the opposition Labour party has been calling for as a way of cutting the numbers of travellers required to quarantine for two weeks.
Jenrick said it was an "attractive solution" but "not the panacea that some suggest," adding that "we don't want to give people a false sense of security".
Hong Kong eases coronavirus restrictions amid 'third wave'While case numbers are rising in some places, they're falling in others.
The number of new daily cases in Hong Kong has dropped into the single digits, and the city announced today it would relax more of its coronavirus restrictions, increasing the size of public gatherings from two to four people.
They will also reopen more sports venues from Friday, although swimming pools will stay closed.
"We must strike a balance," Health Secretary Sophia Chan said. "The third wave is entering two months already, and we have yet to see an end to it."
The relaxation comes two days after parliamentary elections were due to be held, on 6 September. Officials postponed the election for a year, citing the pandemic as a reason - but critics accused the government of using the outbreak as a pretext to stop people from voting.
Read more: Why Hong Kong's 'third wave' is a warning
Flouting of social distancing rules 'led to Caerphilly lockdown'Earlier we told you that the Welsh county of Caerphilly is to enter a local lockdown later today which will mean no one can leave or enter the area without good reason.
Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health minister, said there was evidence of "community transmission" in the area, with some infection coming from travellers from the European mainland. However, the largest element was people socialising in larger numbers at home, he added.
"It is that breakdown in social distancing, that breakdown in respecting the rules around extended households that is driving infection rates," he told the BBC, adding that without action, the disease would spread to more vulnerable people.
He warned that those who breached the lockdown rules would be fined and suggested people were likely to shop any rule-breakers to the police.
Read more here.
UK cases numbers could 'get out of hand'
We've already heard the stark warnings from two members of the scientific advisory group to the UK government (SAGE) that the UK is lowering its guard too quickly, and seeing case numbers rise.
Andrew Hayward, a professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at UCL who is also an adviser to SAGE, said there was concern local outbreaks, as we've seen in Leicester, Greater Manchester and now Caerphilly, would move towards broader transmission.
He told the BBC that SAGE would be monitoring the extent of transmission using the test and trace system and population studies, with a focus on looking at the age distribution of cases and where in the country numbers are rising.
He warned the increase in cases "can potentially get out of hand if we don't be very serious about the control measures".
He acknowledged the need to balance the return to normality with controlling the virus but said many restrictions, including reopening schools and universities, and getting people back to work, were all happening at the time of year when they expect to see high levels of transmission.
"The key thing to do to reduce the risk of transmission is to reduce the number of people we come into contact with," he said, in particular contact between generations.