- Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he is "very worried" about the impact of long Covid
- His comment follows data suggesting 1.1 million people were affected by lingering symptoms in the UK
- Fewer than one-in-five people request a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms, a large study has found
- It also suggested the number who follow full self-isolation rules is low, and only half of people know the main Covid symptoms
- Dr Jenny Harries says the UK was "not fully prepared" for Covid-19 pandemic
- She heads the new UK Health Security Agency and says lessons will be learned from fighting Covid
- Proportion of black or black British adults in Britain hesitant about taking Covid vaccine has halved, the ONS says
- Europe's vaccine rollout has been "unacceptably slow", says the World Health Organization
- Welsh government confirms next set of steps to ease lockdown will go ahead from 12 April
- Brazil recorded over 60,000 Covid deaths during March as cases continue to rise there
- There have been 128,895,644 global coronavirus cases and 2,816,081 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of coronavirus developments in the UK and around the world. We’ll bring you all the latest developments as they happen.
French pandemic peak 'days away': Latest across Europe
- France is set to go under a limited lockdown for four weeks from Saturday night, with travel restrictions extended from 19 areas to the entire country. Non-essential shops will close and schools will close next week, previously seen as a last resort. Prime Minister Jean Castex has been addressing the National Assembly this morning and the health minister, Olivier Véran, says the peak of the epidemic is only seven to 10 days away. President Emmanuel Macron has said the vaccine provides a way out and some cultural venues and café terraces will reopen in mid-May.
- Eurovision is to take place in Rotterdam’s Ahoy arena in May as well, and the Dutch government wants to use the event as a test with 3,500 spectators allowed for all the rehearsals and the three big shows. There’ll be extensive safety measures for the 39 countries taking part. The Dutch have already experimented with a World Cup qualifier against Latvia, by allowing 5,000 spectators into the stadium.
- As infections surge in Belgium, a Brussels court has ruled that all the country’s Covid measures have to be lifted within 30 days because the legal basis isn’t good enough. The court backed a lawsuit from the League for Human Rights. Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden has appealed against the ruling.
- Spain is seeing a new rise in cases with the average incidence up to 152 cases per 100,000 over the last two weeks. Madrid and Navarre in the north are among the areas seeing a spike. Cases are also rising in Germany, with 24,300 in the past 24 hours. Almost 90% of infections involve the UK (Kent) variant.
- The Austrian capital, Vienna and two other provinces the east have imposed an Easter lockdown to help ease the pressure on hospitals. Austrians have been told to stay at home, except for necessary activities such as food shopping, work, exercise and helping their families.
- A new German survey suggests only 25% of people have faith in the government’s vaccination strategy. The Oxford-AstraZeneca has been limited to over-60s in Germany and 40% of those surveyed said they did not want it.
Here is a quick recap of recent Covid-related events from around the world:
- Turkey recorded 40,806 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed, the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic .
- More than 65,000 people in Brazil died of Covid in March, more than double the previous monthly record, figures show.
- Sicily’s health chief resigned after being targeted in an investigation over the alleged falsifying of Covid-19 figures to avoid a strict lockdown .
- Two shots of the Pfizer vaccine produce high levels of protective antibodies in people 80 and over, the largest independent study yet into older people’s immune responses to the jab found .
- Pfizer Inc and BioNTech said their Covid vaccine has about 91% efficacy at preventing the disease, citing updated trial data . The shot also showed 100% efficacy in preventing illness among trial participants in South Africa.
'You cannot do too much at once' - Wales FMWe've got more from Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford's interview on BBC Breakfast. He was asked why outdoor sport has returned in England but will not be allowed in Wales until 3 May at the earliest.
Mr Drakeford says: "Lots of outdoor sports here in Wales have already resumed and resumed well ahead of what was possible in England.
"People in Wales have had three weeks being able to play golf, to play tennis, to play other outdoor sports and we've resumed all outdoor organised activities for children and young people aged over 18 for a week already.
"What you can't do, what the advice from our chief medical officer and scientists is very clear, you cannot do too much at once.
"If you do that, then you risk reversing all the things that we have achieved together in Wales over the period since Christmas."
Here's a reminder of Wales' lockdown rules.
Lockdown rules ease in Northern IrelandNew rules on meeting up outdoors and the return of some sports are among the changes to lockdown restrictions in Northern Ireland from Thursday.
Garden centres are also allowed to offer click-and-collect services.
The Department of Health has put forward a paper that could see the reopening of some retail in mid-April, BBC News NI understands.
The paper, which also proposes changes to funerals, will be discussed by the NI Executive on Thursday.
With the exception of some pupils returning to school in March, the changes on Thursday are the first since NI returned to full lockdown on 26 December.
However most of the rules which have been in force have not been altered, including the stay-at-home rule.
Read here for more details about the Northern Ireland lockdown .
Brazil: Hospitals risk collapse as deaths skyrocketAbout 66,570 people in Brazil died of Covid-19 in March, more than double the previous monthly record, figures show.
The country's health service has been pushed to the brink as cases of the virus continue to climb.
President Jair Bolsonaro, who last month told Brazilians to "stop whining" about the pandemic, is facing intense criticism for his handling of the crisis .
But on Wednesday he again railed against lockdown measures imposed by local governors and mayors.
"We had, and we have, two enemies - the virus and unemployment! It is a reality! We are not going to solve this problem by staying at home," he said.
Brazil's daily deaths currently account for about a quarter of all coronavirus fatalities in the world.
Read more here .