- UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil new support for workers in parts of England under tier two restrictions
- Spain records more than one million coronavirus cases - it is the first western European country to do so
- The greater Covid risk for black and south Asian people in England is not explained by racism, says a scientist advising the government on the issue
- Scotland's licensed trade faces a 'battle' to survive after restrictions were extended in the country, industry leaders say
- BBC journalist Martin Bashir is seriously unwell with complications from coronavirus
- Greater Manchester will enter tier three restrictions just after midnight
- In the UK, 26,688 more coronavirus cases and 191 deaths were announced on Wednesday
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils "three further steps" to support for workers in parts of England under tier two restrictions
- Stoke, Coventry and Slough to be moved into tier 2 Covid reestrictions
- The new Job Support Scheme is tweaked so the government now funds 62% of the wages for people unable to work, with employer contributions reduced
- Staff can now qualify for the scheme working fewer of their normal hours than what was previously announced
- Firms in affected areas will also be eligible for cash grants of up to £2,100 a month
- Chancellor confirms that grants can backdated to August to help in those areas that have had local lockdown measures since the summer
Good morning and welcomeThanks for joining our live coverage of coronavirus developments in the UK and around the world. We’ll be bringing you updates throughout the day.
The latest from the UKBusinesses in England that have suffered a collapse in trade because of coronavirus restrictions are waiting to hear if they'll receive extra help.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce more support for workers in tier two - the second highest level of measures.
In other UK developments:
- A scientist advising the government on ethnicity and Covid-19 says "structural racism is not a reasonable explanation" for black and south Asian people's greater risk of illness and death
- Four university students have been fined £10,000 each after telling police who broke up their house party they were "spoiling their fun"
- BBC journalist Martin Bashir - known for a controversial interview with Princess Diana - is "seriously unwell" with complications from coronavirus, the corporation has said
Latest from around the worldWe'll be bringing you the latest from around the world today, as it happens.
There have now been over 41,228,181 coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Its data shows 1,131,339 recorded deaths.
In other global developments:
- Spain has recorded more than one million coronavirus cases, becoming the first western European country to pass that landmark figure . Its health minister says the virus is not controlled
- Trials of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will continue, following a review into the death of a volunteer in Brazil
- The Dutch king has said he regrets going on holiday to Greece after facing criticism for travelling during the coronavirus pandemic
- Sales of toilet paper in Germany have surged once more, the country’s statistics office said on Thursday, suggesting consumers there are preparing for potential future lockdowns
- Japanese researchers showed that masks can offer protection from airborne coronavirus particles, but even professional-grade coverings can’t eliminate contagion risk entirely
New lockdown and curfews: latest around EuropeHere's more on the picture in Europe today.
The Czech Republic has this morning gone into a second lockdown as 14,968 new infections are reported. Travel to work is allowed but most shops have been closed. Some areas have recorded rates above 800 infections for every 100,000 people.
New “level 5” rules have come into force in Ireland today - the highest level of Covid restrictions there.
Germany has announced a record 11,287 daily number of infections. That’s the first time it’s gone into five figures. The man leading the government’s fight against the virus, Health Minister Jens Spahn, has himself caught it. He took part in cabinet meetings yesterday, but officials say he wore a mask, and a big round table was used with spacing between ministers, so no-one else will need to self-isolate.
Sweden is removing special guidelines for over 70s – the same advice now applies to everyone in terms of hygiene, social distancing and avoiding large groups. If you go to a restaurant and it's too crowded, don’t go in, says Health Minister Lena Hallengren.
Italy’s Lazio region around Rome has joined two other Italian regions in declaring overnight curfews. Lombardy in the north starts its curfew at 23:00 tonight, Campania and Lazio follow suit tomorrow. Prof Walter Ricciardi, who advises the government on health, has warned that “some metropolitan areas like Milan, Naples and probably Rome are already out of control in terms of controlling the pandemic”. More here on how Italy’s restaurants are trying to reinvent themselves.
And some more on Spain, which is the first EU country to reach a million infections. The northern region of Navarre has imposed restrictions on movement from today and the Rioja wine region says it will do the same.
BBC's Bashir 'seriously unwell' with coronavirus complications
Veteran journalist Martin Bashir is "seriously unwell" with complications from coronavirus, the BBC has said.
The corporation's religion editor, 57, is perhaps best known for his 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana, in which she talked candidly about the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.
He spent part of his career as a news anchor in the United States and also appeared on the celebrity version of The X Factor last year.
"We are sorry to say that Martin is seriously unwell with Covid-19 related complications," the BBC spokeswoman said.
"We'd ask that his privacy, and that of his family, is respected at this time."
Read more here .
Belgium's deputy PM in intensive care
Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès - who was prime minister until last month - has been admitted to intensive care with Covid-19. She is said to be in a stable condition.
Ms Wilmès, 45, revealed on 17 October that she had tested positive, and was probably infected by a member of her family as she had taken considerable precautions in her office.
She tweeted at the time that the steep rise in cases "unfortunately reminds us that no-one is immune - look after yourself and above all others too".
Belgium has seen a steep rise in hospital admissions in the past week - the deputy prime minister was among 421 people admitted on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted a few moments ago: "Speedy recovery @Sophie_Wilmes."
Minister defends England’s ‘complex’ Covid rulesCrime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse has said it is important people inform themselves about coronavirus regulations in their area amid criticism of the confusing differences in England.
Mr Malthouse told BBC Breakfast different rules do bring some "complexity".
He added: "There's plenty of information out there on the internet where people can go and inform themselves about what the regulations are in their area and that fundamentally is what we would recommend everybody has to do.
"We all need to recognise we have an individual duty towards our collective health and that means informing ourselves about what the regulations are in our area and complying with the rules."
Check the rules where you live here .
Liverpool hospital ‘surpasses first Covid peak’An NHS hospital in virus-hit Liverpool is now treating more Covid-19 patients than during the first wave of infections earlier this year, its medical director has said.
Writing on Twitter , Dr Tristan Cope said: "Sadly we are now treating more patients in hospital with Covid-19… than we did in April at the peak of the first wave and numbers continue to rise. [It's] so important that people in Liverpool… adhere to social distancing restrictions.
"Treating so many Covid patients in addition to usual acute and emergency care of patients with non-Covid conditions puts a huge strain on LivHospitals staff. Thank you to all our staff for their incredible hard work and dedication in dealing with this very difficult situation.”
Extra £10m for uni students in WalesAn extra £10m is being provided to help university students in Wales cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
The money will support increased support services for students - particularly those focused on mental health - as well as student hardship funds, the Welsh Government said.
Education Minister Kirsty Williams said it was a "priority" to "support our universities and students this year in particular".
The funding can also be used to provide foo for students self-isolating, and some cash has been set aside for vulnerable students, those with disabilities or those with caring responsibilities.