- A total of 4.46 million people were waiting to start hospital treatment in England at the end of November - the highest since records began
- The World Health Organization team arrives in Wuhan as China announces its first death from Covid-19 in eight months
- More than a dozen scientists will interview people from research institutes, hospitals and the seafood market linked to the initial outbreak
- Most people who have had Covid-19 are protected from catching it again for at least five months, says Public Health England
- Six High Street pharmacies in England will start vaccinating people from priority groups from Thursday
- Andy Murray has tested positive for coronavirus, putting his participation in the Australian Open in doubt.
- Patients in packed hospitals in England's busiest intensive care units were 20% more likely to die, University College London research shows
- New rule requiring anyone arriving in England to have pre-departure testing is pushed back from Friday to 04:00GMT on Monday
- UK ministers to discuss whether to stop flights from Brazil amid concern over another new variant of coronavirus that has emerged there
- Some 270m doses of vaccines have been secured for the African continent - on top of 600m already promised - but it is still not enough for the whole region
- Globally, there have been more than 92 million registered Covid cases and almost two million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s a quick summary of the main stories in the UK this morning:
- Most people who have had Covid-19 are protected from catching it again for at least five months, a study shows
- Six High Street pharmacies in England will start vaccinating people from priority groups today, with 200 providing jabs in the next two weeks
- A new rule requiring arrivals to England to show proof of a negative test has been pushed back from Friday to Monday to give travellers more time to prepare, the government has said
- Meanwhile, a government committee is meeting today to discuss whether to stop flights from Brazil coming to the UK because of concern about a new variant of the virus believed to have emerged there
- People travelling by rail during lockdown are being urged to double-check train times, as services are being reduced
- Covid-19 patients in England's busiest intensive care units in 2020 were 20% more likely to die, new research has found
Latest from around the worldHere are some of the coronavirus stories making headlines around the world:
- After months of negotiations, a team from the World Health Organization has finally arrived in the Chinese city of Wuhan to investigate the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic
- Some 270 million doses of vaccines have been secured for the African continent , on top of 600 million already promised, but is still not enough to vaccinate everyone who needs it
- US President-elect Joe Biden is due to unveil his coronavirus relief plans, which are expected to include $2,000 (£1,467) stimulus payments for families that Donald Trump had called for
- Around 1,200 international tennis players have begun arriving in Melbourne to quarantine for two weeks ahead of next month’s Australia Open
- From today, people in Lebanon are under a 24-hour curfew preventing them from leaving their homes for the next 11 days, with few exemptions. Shopping in supermarkets is no longer allowed, with people having to rely on deliveries
Past Covid-19 infection may provide 'months of immunity'Most people who have had Covid-19 are protected from catching it again for at least five months, a study led by Public Health England shows.
Past infection gave people 83% protection from reinfection, compared with those who had never had the virus, scientists found.
But experts warn some people do catch Covid-19 again - and can infect others.
And officials stress people should follow the stay-at-home rules whether or not they have had the virus.
Read more .
WHO team arrives in Wuhan to investigate virus originAfter a number of hold-ups and delays, a team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) has arrived in the Chinese city of Wuhan to investigate the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.
The group of 10 scientists will quarantine for two weeks before interviewing people from research institutes, hospitals and the seafood market linked to the initial outbreak in late 2019.
China has faced criticism – notably from the US – over whether it was fully transparent when the virus first emerged there. For months now, Beijing has insisted the origins of the virus came from elsewhere.
Professor Dale Fisher of the WHO told the BBC he hoped the world would consider this a scientific visit. "It's not about politics or blame but getting to the bottom of a scientific question," he said.
Prof Fisher added that most scientists believed that the virus was a "natural event".
You can read more on this story here .
Latest around Europe
- Former Italian PM Matteo Renzi has triggered a political crisis in the middle of the pandemic, by pulling his ministers out of the government in a row over how to spend billions of euros of EU Covid recovery funding. The current Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte now has to find a way to prop up his coalition.
- Germany’s public health agency has reported a new daily high of 1,244 deaths in a 24-hour period. The south-western state of Bavaria will next week try to reduce the spread of cases by requiring shoppers or anyone going on public transport to wear an FFP2 facemask, which is both thicker and more expensive.
- The Dutch cabinet is considering imposing a first Covid curfew to reduce the spread of the virus. A lockdown was imposed last month but a 20:00 to 04:00 ban on movement could come into effect from the weekend, particularly with the aim of stopping young people moving around.
- Tight curfews are already in place in 25 areas of France, beginning as early as 18:00, and French ministers will consider later whether that should be extended. Prime Minister Jean Castex will reveal the latest strategy at 17:00 GMT today.
- Spain last night registered a record 38.869 new infections in 24 hours – 53% higher than the day before. The Balearic Islands, Extremadura and Madrid are among the areas with high rates of infection. Heavy snow has added to the crisis in recent days, with staffing problems and increased medical emergencies.