- The Brit Awards will go ahead with a live audience next month, as part of research into how events might be held in a Covid-safe way
- India has recorded the highest one day tally of cases of any country since the pandemic began - 314,835 in 24 hours
- Labour is calling for a "thorough investigation" into Boris Johnson's contact with businessman Sir James Dyson
- Texts show Boris Johnson saying he could "fix" tax issues relating to Dyson staff who came to the UK to work
- Dyson was asked to make ventilators early in the coronavirus crisis and the PM says he "makes no apology" for trying to get ventilators for the NHS
- Driving tests in England and Wales resume today after they were suspended due to the pandemic, but there is a large backlog
- One of the UK's largest foodbank operators, the Trussell Trusts, says use of its services has risen by a third during the pandemic
- US President Joe Biden will host a climate change summit later - with 40 countries joining the event virtually
Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the morning headlines:
- The Brit Awards will go ahead with a live audience next month, as part of the government's research into how live events might work after the pandemic
- Labour has called for a "thorough investigation" into Boris Johnson's contacts with inventor Sir James Dyson
- Sir James texted the prime minister last March when he was involved in efforts to provide ventilators
- Driving tests are resuming in England and Wales after being suspended because of the pandemic
- US President Joe Biden will host 40 leaders at a virtual climate change summit later amid the ongoing pandemic
- The latest figures for the UK show a further 22 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, and another 2,396 cases have been reported
Latest across Europe
- Italy's national unity government has backed a relaxation of Covid rules from Monday, even though the far-right League party abstained. The 22:00 curfew will stay but a colour-code system will return so that bars and restaurants can serve people outdoors in yellow and white regions and travel for work or health for orange and red regions will be allowed. A green pass will enable travel for people who've been vaccinated, have recovered or have a negative test.
- Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, is today set to back a big change in the law to fight the pandemic, which will enable the government in Berlin to demand a curfew and school closures where infection rates are high. There’s only one state (in the north) where the seven-day incidence rate is currently under 100 cases per 100,000.
- Greece will allow restaurants, bars and cafes to serve outdoors from 3 May, which is Easter Monday for Orthodox Christians. Schools will reopen the following Monday and domestic travel will open up on 15 May.
- French Prime Minister Jean Castex will this evening detail latest moves towards reopening society and lifting travel restrictions. The big announcement is expected to be the lifting of the 10km (6 miles) limit on travel from 2 May and reopening terraces outside bars and restaurants in mid-May. However, more than 150,000 non-essential shops have been shut since 3 April and retail leaders have backed a call to reopen on 10 May. There has been a slight decline in infections but more than 5,900 people are still in intensive care.
- The EU’s health agency, the European Centre for Disease Control has recommended that member states can consider relaxing mask and social distancing rules in some settings.The rules should stay in place in public or large gatherings, but it says they can be relaxed for meetings involving two individuals, households and social bubbles - when fully vaccinated young and middle-aged fully vaccinated adults meet unvaccinated people, if no-one has a risk of serious disease.
What's going on around the world?We've been giving you updates so far today from the UK and Europe but here is a round-up of some of the latest developments from elsewhere in the world this morning:
- India has reported 314,835 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours - the highest one day tally recorded anywhere in the world
- Joe Biden has urged businesses in the United States to give their staff time off to get vaccinated against Covid-19. All Americans over 16 will be eligible for a jab from Monday
- Argentina's health minister says the country is going through the worst period of the pandemic since the first cases were reported there just over a year ago
- Two states in Australia have urged staff and guests in quarantine hotels to get tested and fully self-isolate, after the emergence of three suspected cases of travellers contracting the virus from other residents
- Police in Cambodia have defended making arrests and punishing people by beating them for breaching tough new lockdown restrictions
In other developments:
- President Biden hailed the US milestone of 200m vaccines delivered before the end of April , meeting the ambitious goal he set for his first 100 days in office.
- Thailand has reported seven new deaths from Covid-19 on Thursday, its highest number of fatalities in a single day since the pandemic started, authorities said, as the country deals with its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet.
- US drugmaker Pfizer on Wednesday confirmed that suspect doses of its coronavirus vaccine that were seized in Mexico and Poland were fake, with doses going for as much as $1,000 a shot, according to US media.
- French-Austrian vaccine developer Valneva on Wednesday announced that it had launched a Phase 3 trial of its candidate vaccine against Covid-19 – the last testing stage before seeking regulatory approval.
- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 29,518 to 3,217,710, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Thursday. The reported death toll rose by 259 to 80,893, the tally showed.