News

UK lab-confirmed cases pass 1.5m – as it happened

This blog is now closed. We’ve launched a new blog at the link below: Coronavirus news – live 11.41pm GMTWe’ve launched a new blog at the link below – head there for the latest: Related: Coronavirus live news: US, Germany and UK may start Covid vaccinations in December 10.38pm GMTG20 leaders meeting have remotely pledged to “spare no effort” to ensure the fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide, but offered no specific new funding to meet that goal.The virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia was an awkward swan song for Donald Trump, who skipped some sessions on Saturday to play golf, paid little attention to other leaders’ speeches and claimed the Paris climate agreement was designed not to save the planet but to the kill the US economy. Related: G20 leaders pledge to distribute Covid vaccines fairly around world 8.10pm GMTExperts have urged Americans against travelling for family gatherings at Thanksgiving this week even though millions were set to defy the advice, as the US crossed the threshold of more than 12m cases of coronavirus.Ominous warnings came as Donald Trump appeared to admit that coronavirus is “running wild” across the US, in contrast with his statements throughout the election campaign that the virus would simply “go away” or “disappear” and, more recently, that the country was “rounding the turn” on the pandemic. Related: Millions of Americans set to ignore warnings against Thanksgiving travel 8.00pm GMTThe Palestinian health ministry has recommended strict limits on Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.Celebrations in the biblical town revered by Christians as Jesus’ birthplace are usually attended by thousands of people from around the world, but this year the ministry has recommended the upcoming tree lighting ceremony in Manger Square be limited to 50 people, throughout the festive season. 7.38pm GMTOfficers carrying out arrest at an anti-lockdown protest in Liverpool, UK, have been criticised after footage emerged apparently showing a member of the public being punched and pepper-sprayed at close range while restrained. The Northern Police Monitoring Project said it was “a very concerning incident, and yet another abuse of police power” after footage of the incident went viral.pic.twitter.com/c40xRqEDevpic.twitter.com/zko8kMDZ4Y 7.18pm GMTThe UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has confirmed that it will publish recommendations on the use of vitamin D as a potential way to prevent and treat coronavirus before the end of the year.It comes after health secretary Matt Hancock asked government health advisers to produce new guidelines on its use amid reports that the government is planning to give four months worth of vitamin D supplements to more than 2 million vulnerable and elderly people, following the lead of Scotland. Related: Covid: UK government requests guidance on vitamin D use 7.10pm GMTItaly has reported 562 Covid-related deaths, down from 692 on Saturday and 699 on Friday, the health ministry said, with 28,337 new infections recorded over the past 24 hours, down from 34,767 the day before.There were 188,747 coronavirus swabs carried out in the past day, the ministry said, against a previous 237,225. 6.44pm GMTSpain will begin a comprehensive coronavirus vaccination programme in January and expects to have covered a substantial part of the population within six months, prime minister Pedro Sanchez has announced.He said Spain and Germany were the first European Union countries to have a complete vaccination plan in place. “The campaign will start in January and have 13,000 vaccination points,” Sanchez told a news conference after a two-day online summit of G20 leaders. 5.48pm GMTAnother 139 people in Turkey have died after contracting Covid-19 deaths, taking the country’s total to 12,358, the health ministry said.It comes as a record number of people were confirmed as having the virus, with 6,017 new symptomatic patients documented. The number of new daily cases are now running at higher levels than the outbreak’s previous peak in April, though testing capacity figures were not reported. 5.27pm GMTA video has gone viral of a confrontation at a coronavirus lockdown protest in Hannover, Germany, where a young woman compared herself to a famous Nazi resistance fighter and then was accused by a security guard of “trivialising” the Holocaust.The Associated Press reported that the woman spoke on stage and told fellow protesters “I feel like Sophie Scholl, since I’ve been active in the resistance, giving speeches, going to protests, distributing flyers.”Rednerin in #Hannover fühlt sich wie Sophie Scholl, da sie “seit Monaten aktiv im Widerstand” sei. Ordner wirft daraufhin das Handtuch: “Für so einen Schwachsinn mach ich doch keinen Ordner mehr. Das ist Verharmlosung vom Holocaust.” Rednerin weint und wirft auch hin. #h2111 pic.twitter.com/BU5AvvlHSD 4.59pm GMTThe number of coronavirus cases in the UK confirmed in laboratories has passed 1.5m after a further 18,662 cases were announced by the government.It brings the total number of cases in the UK over the course of the pandemic to 1,512,045, though it is widely thought the true figure is far higher.Due to a processing update, 141 previously published deaths within 28 days in England were excluded from the published data on November 21. This issue has now been corrected for data published on November 22, which includes deaths omitted yesterday in today’s total and daily number of newly reported deaths. 4.51pm GMTUS president-elect Joe Biden will have a scaled-down version inauguration due to the coronavirus pandemic, the incoming White House chief of staff has said.Ron Klain said: “I think it’s going to definitely have to be changed … Obviously, this is not going to be the same kind of inauguration we had in the past.” 4.37pm GMTThanks Caroline, and hello everyone, its Mattha Busby here to take you through the next couple of hours and beyond. Feel free to contact me on Twitter with any tips or via email on [email protected] from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have endorsed a shared UK objective of allowing “some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days” over Christmas, the Cabinet Office has said just now following a meeting.Welcoming the good progress made by all administrations over the past few days to design a single set of arrangements that can apply across the UK, ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.As such, ministers endorsed a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days, but also emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact. Related: Boris Johnson under pressure as scientists back tight rules for Christmas 4.19pm GMTHi. That’s all from me, Caroline Davies. Thank you for your time. 3.48pm GMT Madrid’s vast flea market, El Rastro, reopened on Sunday with tightened security and fewer stalls, more than eight months after closing because of coronavirus. Visitor numbers, which can top 100,000 on a normal Sunday, were limited to 2,000 at a time, while stalls were spaced further apart and police stood at the entrances and exits to ensure people stuck to a one-way route around the market, held in the neighbourhoods of La Latina and Lavapies.The market, which brings the streets to life every Sunday and national holiday, has been shut since Spain’s first national lockdown, in March. On Sunday, stallholders and locals wearing masks welcomed even a partial return to normality.“This is my neighbourhood and El Rastro is part of us. We missed it a lot; it’s great to have it here again,” said pharmacist Nuria Ponce, 34 3.39pm GMTJudi Dench, Ian McKellen and Maggie Smith are among some of the biggest names in British theatre who will join forces for a one-off Zoom performance in aid of the struggling arts industry.Derek Jacobi and Kenneth Branagh will also take part in the performance, which will raise money for people who used to work in UK theatres closed by the pandemic. Related: Judi Dench and Ian McKellen head cast for Zoom show in aid of UK theatre workers 3.25pm GMTAs the United States recorded its 12th million Covid-19 case, the Trump administration’s vaccine program adviser predicted that life in America could be back to normal around May of 2021 as immunisation is set to begin.The note of optimism came even as millions of Americans were expected to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday this week and many appeared to be ignoring warnings from health officials about furthering the spread of the infectious disease. Related: US vaccine expert predicts life could be back to normal around May 2.39pm GMTState-sponsored hackers from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are engaged in concerted attempts to steal coronavirus vaccine secrets in what security experts describe as “an intellectual property war”.They accuse hostile-state hackers of trying to obtain trial results early and seize sensitive information about drug mass production, at a time when a range of vaccines are close to being approved for the public. Related: Hackers ‘try to steal Covid vaccine secrets in intellectual property war’ Related: Which countries and hackers are targeting Covid vaccine developers? 2.18pm GMTMink infected with coronavirus have been found at a farm in the Eure-et-Loire region of western France, and 1,000 mink at the farm will be culled, the French agriculture ministry said on Sunday.Cases in mink have also been reported elsewhere in Europe, notably in Sweden, Greece and the Netherlands.In Denmark, the virus was found to have mutated into a different strain, which experts feared could render a vaccine less effective if transmitted back to humans. Around 17 million mink are due to be culled there.France started testing its four mink farms in mid-November. 2.08pm GMTSpecialist Christmas tree sellers, farms and stalls were allowed to reopen for sales in England this weekend, after the government changed the lockdown rules to reclassify them as “essential” retailers.While supermarkets and garden centres have been selling fresh cut trees because they were deemed to be essential businesses, smaller “farmgate” sellers were forced to close because of the month-long restrictions. Related: Christmas tree sellers allowed to reopen in England despite lockdown 1.45pm GMT Here are some of the key pandemic developments from around the world: 1.21pm GMTDelta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian said the travel corridor between New York and London is complicated and it would be easier to relaunch transatlantic flights to “just about any” other European capital, Britain’s Financial Times reported on Sunday.Americans can travel to the UK but have been required since the spring to spend two weeks in quarantine on arrival. The same rule applies for passengers arriving in the United States from London, Reuters reports. 1.15pm GMTMainland China reported 17 new Covid-19 cases on Nov. 21, up from 16 the previous day, with three cases of local transmission and nine cases originating overseas, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.The Commission said in its daily bulletin that two of the local transmissions took place in Inner Mongolia and one in Shanghai, Reuters reports. 1.07pm GMT A sharp rise in coronavirus infections in the Gaza Strip could overwhelm the Palestinian enclave’s meagre medical system by next week, public health advisers said on Sunday.Gaza, where the dense and poor population of 2 million is vulnerable to contagions, has logged 14,000 coronavirus cases and 65 deaths, mostly since August, Reuters reports. 12.43pm GMTIran has recorded 13,053 new cases of coronavirus and 475 related deaths over the past 24 hours, after tougher coronavirus restrictions came into force in the country.The health ministry figures take the total death toll to 44,802 and the tally of cases to 854,361 in the Middle East’s worst-hit state. 12.35pm GMTHundreds of UK gyms and swimming pools will go out of business this winter if new post-lockdown restrictions being considered for England force them to remain closed, industry leaders have warned.Huw Edwards, the chief executive of ukactive, said the government was thought to be considering keeping gyms and pools closed in December as part of a tradeoff for reopening other parts of the economy, such as pubs and restaurants. Related: Many UK fitness venues may not survive winter Covid closures, say bosses 11.53am GMTThe UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, is expected to announce proposals on Monday for how the lifting of England’s coronavirus lockdown will work.Here’s the latest on what we know about the planned new Covid tier system for England. Related: What do we know about the planned new Covid tier system for England? 11.44am GMTDubai’s health regulator said on Sunday that children aged between three and 16 could be tested for Covid-19 by providing a saliva sample instead of the widely used nasal swab.The saliva test had been permitted following a research study by the regulator and a local university, the Dubai health authority said on Twitter.To provide convenience and ease to children between 3 to 16 years old, who need a #COVID19 test, DHA  has adopted the saliva test as an alternative to the nasal swab for PCR testing after a large research study by @MBRUniversity and DHA. pic.twitter.com/YedzMvDQwL 11.41am GMTG20 leaders will pledge to “spare no effort” in ensuring the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide and reaffirm support for debt-laden poor countries, according to a draft communique seen by AFP on Sunday.The leaders also struck a unified tone on supporting “multilateral” trade as well as the global fight against climate change, but the closing document lacks firm details on many of the issues dominating the virtual summit hosted by Riyadh. 11.29am GMTThousands of mourners paid homage on Sunday to Patriarch Irinej, leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), who died of Covid-19 during the country’s record surge in new cases.The 90-year-old spiritual leader tested positive for the virus soon after presiding over the funeral of his number two, who also died of the virus. 11.23am GMTIn the UK, the Covid-19 pandemic has created a potential “existential threat” to central London because many people may in future choose to work in the suburbs rather than in the heart of the capital, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said on Sunday.In an interview in the Observer New Review, the mayor says it is issues such as this possible reconfiguration of London that keep him awake at night. Related: Threat to central London as commuters embrace suburbs, warns Sadiq Khan 11.17am GMTIn footage that spread rapidly on social media, nine inmates wearing the striped jumpers of the El Paso county jail helped move bodies into mobile morgues, Trisha Garcia reports from El Paso. “Having to use inmates tells the story of how short-handed we must be,” El Paso county judge Ricardo Samaniego told local media, as he struggled to cope with the rising tide of Covid-19 in the west Texas city on the border with Mexico. Related: El Paso inmates help move bodies into morgues as Covid deaths soar 10.40am GMTRishi Sunak, the UK chancellor, has effectively confirmed that this week’s spending review is likely to feature a pay freeze for many public sector workers in England, saying it was “entirely reasonable” to consider pay policy in the context of the Covid-hit economy.The prospect of a return to the pay freeze that ran from 2010 to 2018 has prompted anger among opposition MPs and unions, with Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s secretary general, calling it “morally obscene and bad economics”. Related: Sunak set to freeze pay for public sector workers in England 10.16am GMTUK chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted that the government will review the 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants – which was in place before national restrictions were reintroduced.He told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “It’s definitely something that we’re looking at and I think, as I said, one of the things that we’ve been able to do as we’ve learned is get data, see what works and see where we can improve things. 9.51am GMTDespite the promising experimental vaccine news from Pfizer and Moderna, other efforts – which may be even more effective – continue around the world, the Observer reports, as the race for an effective vaccine continues.You can read Laura Spinney’s report here: Related: Why the race to find Covid-19 vaccines is far from over 9.47am GMTMore from Rishi Sunak’s Sky News interview. Asked if the government would publish a cost-benefit analysis of future lockdown measures, he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “It’s very hard to be precise in estimating the particular impact of a one-week restriction.”He added: “What you will see next week when we have the spending review, alongside that will be a set of forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility … which will show the enormous strain and stress our economy is experiencing, the job losses that you mention, the forecasts of what will happen, and it’s right that we consider those in the round as we consider the best way to fight the virus.” 9.38am GMTSome key points to take away from UK chancellor Rishi Sunak’s interview with Sky News’s Sophy Ridge. On exiting national restrictions on December, Sunak said: “We’ll be going back into a tiered system, which is a far better way to tackle this on a localised approach.” 9.25am GMTFrance will start easing lockdown rules in coming weeks, carrying out the process in three stages so as to avoid a new flareup in the pandemic, the government said on Sunday.On Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron will give a speech to the nation about the virus situation and may announce a partial relaxation of restrictions which have been in place since 30 October, Reuters reports. 9.05am GMTIn the UK, shadow business minister Lucy Powell has called for “methodical, measured clarity” and a “route map” to allow the UK to plan through to 2021.She told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge it was important: “So that families know what they’re supposed to be doing when, just as importantly so that businesses can plan whether they are reopening and, if they are, under what terms and how they can continue over the coming weeks.” 8.20am GMTIt sounds like the build-up to an illegal rave. Invitations are passed by word of mouth to trusted people. Minimal information – time, directions – is quietly given with pleas for discretion. Once everyone is assembled in a barn on a remote farm – “away from prying eyes,” says the organiser – it begins.This is no rave, but an English church service under lockdown, and the organiser is a Protestant pastor. The Christians who will gather illegally in the west of England on Sunday morning – as they have for the past two Sundays – will pray, read from the scriptures, sing hymns and listen to a sermon. Related: ‘Let us disobey’: Churches defy lockdown with secret meetings 8.07am GMTFormer Manchester United captain Gary Neville will launch a campaign called UnitedCity on Monday which aims to get Manchester “moving” after lockdown.He told the Sunday Times of the need for balance, adding that saving one life was more important than 10,000 people in a football stadium, but said: “We have to get people’s lives moving again. 8.00am GMTHi. Caroline Davies here, taking over the blog from Helen. I will be with you for the next few hours. A reminder that you can get in contact on [email protected] 7.56am GMTThat’s it from me, Helen Sullivan, and my spelling and fact-checker, Bones, for today. good vibes only pic.twitter.com/ZN4ZMd8YMN 7.46am GMTSwiss doctors have urged those vulnerable to Covid-19 complications to record their wishes for end-of-life care in advance to help ease pressure on intensive care units, drawing criticism from an advocacy group.Reuters: Pro Senectute Schweiz, an organisation for the elderly, said the doctors’ appeal was premature and excessive but medics insist such patient decrees are necessary in the heart-wrenching reality of caring for critical patients during this pandemic.As health systems grapple with soaring infection rates, medical professionals working with limited resources and finite space in ICUs can at times face agonising dilemmas, and ethical questions around treating Covid-19 patients have spawned a government review in Britain and a court fight in Germany.Warning that Switzerland was running low on intensive care beds, the Swiss Society for Intensive Care Medicine (SGI) called this week on the “especially imperilled”, including people over 60, or with health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, to put their wishes on paper in case the worst should happen.“This will support your own relatives, but also the teams in the ICUs, as they make decisions so the treatment can be done in the best possible manner according to the individual patient wishes,” SGI said in a statement. 7.40am GMTRussia on Sunday reported a daily increase of 24,581 new coronavirus infections, taking the national tally to 2,089,329.Authorities also reported 401 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 36,179. 7.31am GMTA break (sort of) from coronavirus news: Related: The Tramshed Project, London: ‘It’s so now’: restaurant review 7.10am GMTHere are the key pandemic developments from around the world: 6.52am GMTMexico’s health ministry reported on Saturday 6,719 additional cases of the novel coronavirus and 550 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 1,032,688 and the death toll to 101,373.Health officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. 6.26am GMTIt’s time for ourDear Mariella: Covid edition. Here’s the dilemma – response below: My partner and I have been separated by Covid for many weeks. I am living in our home, while he has moved out and is looking after his disabled adult daughter. The agreement was that when his daughter went back to her mother, he would return home.However, the date seems ever-changing. Last week, this week and now next week. This is all down to his high anxiety regarding Covid. First, he delayed coming home because my son, who had recently had the virus, came for the weekend. He then delayed again because my son had met a friend so there could be infection on surfaces in the home for 28 days. Related: My anxious partner won’t come home because of Covid | Dear Mariella 6.09am GMTBoris Johnson and his health secretary, Matt Hancock, acted “unlawfully” when appointing three key figures – including the head of NHS Test and Trace, Dido Harding – to posts in the fight against Covid-19, according to a legal challenge submitted by campaigners to the high court.The Observer has seen details of documents from those pursuing the case – and initial responses from government lawyers – relating to the call for a judicial review into the appointment of Baroness Harding, who is a Tory peer, and into those of Kate Bingham to the post of head of the UK’s vaccine taskforce and Mike Coupe to the role of director of testing at NHS Test and Trace. Related: Boris Johnson ‘acted illegally’ over jobs for top anti-Covid staff 5.56am GMTBoris Johnson will meet his cabinet remotely on Sunday to decide how people will be able to gather with loved ones at Christmas, before the announcement of a new Covid winter plan.The prime minister, who is self-isolating, will then confirm by video to parliament on Monday that national restrictions will end on 2 December and be replaced by the three-tier regional system, with even tighter controls in some areas. Related: Boris Johnson under pressure as scientists back tight rules for Christmas 5.44am GMTMost of the British public would rather have a locked-down Christmas than have a new lockdown imposed in January, a new poll suggests.With the government considering the extent to which restrictions should be lifted to limit the impact on Christmas family gatherings, the latest Opinium poll for the Observer found that the public opted for a locked-down Christmas over new January restrictions by a margin of 54% to 33%. Related: Christmas in lockdown preferred by UK public over new restrictions in January 5.18am GMTAs Victoria marked its 23rd consecutive day of no new Covid-19 cases and no additional deaths, the state’s premier, Daniel Andrews, announced the end of mandatory mask-wearing outdoors and increased visitor limits in homes, and increased capacity in restaurants, pubs, and gyms.From Monday, for the first time in more than three months, Victorians will no longer be required to wear masks when outside at all times, under the new rules announced on Sunday. Instead, people will only be required to wear mask when indoors and on public transport, or in places outside where social distancing is not possible. Related: Victoria ends mandatory mask-wearing outdoors and eases Covid restrictions on home gatherings 5.04am GMTGuitar Center Inc, the largest US retailer of music instruments and equipment, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Saturday, as the coronavirus pandemic made music lovers move their shopping online.The retailer has negotiated to have a total of $375 million in debtor-in-possession financing from its existing lenders and intends to raise $335 million in new senior secured notes, the company said in a statement.The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Virginia. 4.54am GMTHere is the full story on South Australia’s opposition leader calling for an end to hotel quarantine: Related: South Australia’s opposition calls for end to hotel quarantine as state exits lockdown 4.42am GMTJapan may reimpose attendance limits for sports and other large events to curb a spike in Covid-19 infections, economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Sunday.The limits would be applied in areas of the country seeing a sharp increase in cases, Nishimura said on a talk show on public broadcaster NHK. The government imposed attendance limits earlier in the year but relaxed them in recent months.The government is also considering how to refund cancellation fees for customers who booked trips via a domestic tourism campaign that was partially suspended on Saturday, Nishimura said.New coronavirus cases across Japan climbed to a record 2,596 on Saturday, according to NHK. In Tokyo, the daily infection rate was an all-time high 539 cases. 4.28am GMTThe number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 15,741 to 918,269, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.The reported death toll rose by 138 to 14,022, the tally showed. 4.19am GMTOn 7 May, when England was still in its first national lockdown and the crisis over shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) was its height, a Tory peer called Dido Harding was thrust suddenly to the centre of the fight against Covid-19.Harding was well known in the business community and, partly thanks to her marriage to Conservative MP John Penrose, in top Tory circles too. But her professional reputation had little to do with any great medical knowledge. Since 2017 she had been chair of NHS Improvement, a management post overseeing foundation trusts, but her career heights were as boss at the telecoms firm TalkTalk, and before that she had been in senior roles at the supermarket chains Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Related: England’s three Covid ‘tsars’: key questions that must be answered 4.08am GMTIn the UK, coronavirus may be doing its best to cancel Christmas but, for the time being anyway, shoppers are carrying on regardless, with this week’s Black Friday online sales expected to reach new heights.In previous years, store chiefs have agonised about the impact on their high street chains of the US-inspired discount event, which arrived on British shores with a bang in 2013. But come this (Black) Friday, selling online will – for anything other than essentials – be the only game in town for retailers, whose shops may by then be closed in three of the four home nations. Related: Online Black Friday will be a stiff test for the virtual high street 3.53am GMTUS senator Kelly Loeffler is quarantining after receiving mixed results from recent coronavirus tests.The Georgia senator’s campaign said in a statement on Saturday night that Loeffler took two rapid Covid tests on Friday morning which came back negative. 3.43am GMTBack in Australia, the federal finance and trade minister, Simon Birmingham, says it’s not impossible that international travel could be back on the cards next year, but to do it in the first half of 2021 would be challenging.Such travel would depend on the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines. 3.30am GMTIn New York, the Rockefeller Centre ice-skating rink is opening in a limited way but on time for the holidays.The iconic, sunken rink in midtown Manhattan welcomed skaters on Saturday afternoon as part of a tradition dating to the 1930s, according to its website.Skates (and masks) on! Rockefeller Center ice rink opens https://t.co/4ze0AEbL9x 3.03am GMTMainland China reported 17 new Covid-19 cases on 21 November, up from 16 the previous day, with three cases of local transmission and nine cases originating overseas, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.The commission said in its daily bulletin that two of the local transmissions took place in Inner Mongolia and one in Shanghai. 2.54am GMTSouth Korea reported more than 300 new coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day on Sunday, as officials warned that stricter rules could be imposed if the trend continued to threaten the highly populated capital of Seoul and surrounding areas.The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 330 new daily coronavirus cases as of midnight on Saturday, a drop from 386 reported the day before, a level not seen since August.Officials warned that unless the number of infections drops substantially, they may raise the level of social distancing regulations. 2.39am GMTPoliticians and economists are pretty confident the Australian economy has rebounded from its massive economic contraction as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, AAP reports. A series of reports over the next week and half will give clues as to the size of of that recovery ahead of the September quarter national accounts due on 2 December, and what it might mean for the final three months of the year. 2.24am GMTOur full story now on Donald Trump appearing to have admitted that coronavirus is “running wild” across the US, in contrast with his statements throughout the election campaign that the country was “rounding the turn” on the pandemic.As new Covid infections in the US approached 200,000 a day, Trump took to Twitter on Saturday night to insist things were bad outside the United States as well: “The Fake News is not talking about the fact that ‘Covid’ is running wild all over the World, not just in the U.S.” Related: Donald Trump appears to admit Covid is ‘running wild’ in the US 2.16am GMTThe US Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorisation for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s Covid-19 antibody therapy on Saturday, an experimental treatment given to US president Donald Trump that he said helped cure him of the disease.The FDA said the monoclonal antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab should be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in adults and pediatric patients with positive results of direct Sars-Cov-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe Covid-19. 2.07am GMTEngland will enter a strengthened three-tiered system of local restrictions when the national lockdown ends on 2 December, Downing Street has said. Boris Johnson is expected to detail his plan for winter – which includes details on how families can see their loved ones at Christmas – to MPs on Monday. Related: England to enter stronger three-tier system after lockdown 1.51am GMTAustralia’s finance and trade minister, Simon Birmingham, says he wishes the brief lockdown in his home state of South Australia had never occurred, but the few days of restrictions were “a damn sight better than a few months”.Birmingham, who is a Liberal party senator, said the South Australian Liberal government had announced the six-day lockdown last week to quickly “manage what they saw the risk being at the time” and to avoid an extended lockdown as experienced in the state of Victoria. 1.26am GMTUS president Donald Trump has come a step closer to admitting that coronavirus is infecting a staggering number of Americans each day after the country – the world’s worst-affected in terms of the number of coronavirus cases – confirmed nearly 200,000 cases in 24 hours. The Fake News is not talking about the fact that “Covid” is running wild all over the World, not just in the U.S. I was at the Virtual G-20 meeting early this morning and the biggest subject was Covid. We will be healing fast, especially with our vaccines! 1.20am GMTLeaders of the 20 biggest economies on Saturday vowed to ensure a fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world and do what was needed to support poorer countries struggling to recover from the pandemic.“We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members’ commitments to incentivise innovation,” they said in a draft G20 communique seen by Reuters. “We recognise the role of extensive immunisation as a global public good.”The twin crises of the pandemic and an uneven, uncertain global recovery dominated the first day of a two-day summit under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, which hands the rotating presidency of the G20 to Italy next month.The Covid-19 pandemic which has thrown the global economy into a deep recession this year and efforts needed to underpin an economic rebound in 2021 were at the top of the G20 agenda. 1.04am GMTThat press conference is over. But in other New South Wales updates, this very good boy was spotted recently in a Sydney home: good vibes only pic.twitter.com/ZN4ZMd8YMN 1.00am GMTBack to New South Wales, Australia. Premier Gladys Berejiklian thinks local councils should not be cancelling Australia Day (26 January) plans, but that they should put Covid-safe plans in place. We’re definitely modifying our plans as a state government but we are still recognising the importance of that day and I would encourage all councils, if they have any concerns to contact NSW Health or Service NSW and we can support you in having a Covid-safe Australia Day. I don’t want people to use Covid as an excuse not to celebrate an important day. 12.56am GMTBreaking for a moment from Australian news, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday it recommended that all people avoid cruise ship travel as the risk of Covid-19 on liners is very high.It advised passengers who decide to go on a cruise to get tested three to five days after their trip and stay home for seven days after travel, even if they test negative. 12.54am GMTBerejiklian is asked about her approach compared to that of other states. She doesn’t agree with lockdowns in response to a few cases. We have obviously learned a lot about the virus and how we can handle the pandemic since March when we had the lockdown – February, March – when it first became apparent how serious the situation was. And certainly in the last months, we have learned a lot about our capacity to be resilient.So it would really depend on the extent that other states were able to control community transmission and keep that down, but what’s been demonstrated to me is that other states are moving very quickly to shut down their entire economies when they have a couple of cases. 12.46am GMTStill in New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian has reminded people not to lower their guard over summer (I was at Bondi beach earlier this morning and officials were walking around in rashies bearing the cheerful slogan “Socially distanced in the sun”). I know that the residents of NSW will continue to be Covid safe, that’s what sets us apart from the rest of the country – our QR codes, our social distancing, you know, all of us in NSW are really making the effort not to let our guard down and that’s what will continue to keep us safe, and with this border opening we need to be mindful of that even more, not to let our guard down, especially over summer when people are getting together for Christmas and New Year’s, social gatherings will be more frequent. We just have to stay on high alert, but appreciate we have freedoms here in our state … 12.44am GMTMore on the scale of that operation: there were 100,000 police shifts and 40,000 defence shifts. Between 650 and 800 police and defence personnel were working at any time. 12.39am GMTIn Australia, New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian is speaking. She says there have been zero new local coronavirus cases overnight, and 11 in hotel quarantine. 12,000 tests were done. It’s been a three-month operation, one of the biggest in NSW police history. We had 36 hours to establish border control and that was all about protecting the people of NSW from the virus. In the last three months, with the partnership with defence and other government agencies, I think we have done an outstanding job …We had more than 5m cars cross through the border checkpoints. Nearly 500,000 heavy vehicles. We have had, you know, a million permits handed out. We only had a handful of people doing the wrong thing in terms of Covid, but we did see over 1,000 arrests for criminal and other bad behaviour. 12.29am GMTHi, Helen Sullivan joining you now. This is the place to be for global pandemic news – including Australian updates. 12.23am GMTI am going to hand you over to Helen Sullivan now. 12.17am GMTSouth Australia’s chief health officer Prof Nicola Spurrier has revealed the estimated reproduction number was sitting at above two and could have been as high as four. “So that meant to me that every one of our cases had passed it on to at least two other people, if not four other people,” she said. “And in fact at that time and based on that information we had a 99% chance that the wave that was starting off in South Australia was not going to be just a little blip, but it was going to be a very significant wave.” 12.09am GMTThe South Australian Labor leader Peter Malinauskas has written to the premier Steven Marshall calling for an end to medi-hotels for returned travellers – what SA calls hotel quarantine – until a safer solution is found.Below is my letter to Steven Marshall calling for an end to medi-hotels in their current form.Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have provided bi-partisan support to the Government on the handling of the health response.FULL STATEMENT HERE: https://t.co/nmmnF8VV7I pic.twitter.com/Mglzu8RLKQ 12.06am GMTSouth Australia reported one new case of Covid-19, but it wasn’t associated with the Parafield cluster, which stands at 26 cases. The new case is a woman in her 20s in hotel quarantine.I know that many South Australians would be absolutely delighted that the stay-at-home order has now been released. This was taken off as of midnight … but I do need to emphasise we still do have high-level restrictions in place over and above where we were at this time last week. They’re going to be in place through to 1 December, so we need people to listen, know those restrictions and abide by them very strictly through to the 1 December and any restrictions that might be in place thereafter. I have got to say that we are still not out of the woods. 11.52pm GMTPremier Daniel Andrews says the Victorian government is trialling its QR code system and he will have more to say on it very soon.We’re getting close to a fairly detailed IT discussion but as I understand it with some very small modifications to code. We can have a situation where all of those products can speak to our CRM in the end-to-end fashion. The other thing to remember is … there are many venues using the QR code not just to identify who was in the building but to order, to do all sorts of things that mean there is less movement, this contact between different people. That is a really good thing and we would not want to upset that. 11.46pm GMTMore rule changes in Victoria: 11.41pm GMTAndrews says masks will still have a big role:This thing spreads rapidly. Common sense is very important. Carry the mask, because you never know, even outside, when you might need to wear it. Masks have played a very important part in these low numbers, and we just have to see this through and part of playing your part is wearing a mask, absolutely when you are inside, so that you are not spreading this virus unbeknownst to you. 11.40pm GMTVictorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced the further easing of restrictions.From 11.59 tonight: 11.27pm GMTIn the United States, the Texas national guard has sent a 36-member team to El Paso to assist morgues in the border region with the number of dead as a result of Covid, AP reports.Statewide, the Texas health department reported on Saturday a one-day high of 12,597 new virus cases, nearly 20,500 dead since the pandemic began and more than 8,200 virus hospitalisations. 11.16pm GMTVictorian premier Daniel Andrews will provide an update on the rules to be relaxed at 10.30am. 11.13pm GMTMore on one of the vaccine candidates from Reuters:Moderna will charge governments between $25 and $37 a dose of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, depending on the amount ordered, chief executive Stephane Bancel told German weekly Welt am Sonntag (WamS). 11.07pm GMTPolice have issued 60 fines and 103 cautions to South Australians caught breaching Covid-19 rules despite the state emerging from lockdown without recording any new fresh local virus cases, AAP reports.They say both business and individuals caught on Thursday and Friday “blatantly disregarded” safety directions, but most people have been “amazing” in doing the right thing over the past few days. 10.53pm GMTVictorian premier Daniel Andrews is due to announce the further easing of restrictions this morning. The Sunday newspapers suggest restrictions to be eased will include having to wear masks only when indoors and unable to distance, an increase in visitors to the home of 10 people, outdoor gatherings increasing to 50, pubs and restaurants allowed to have up to 100 patrons indoors and 200 outdoors, and gyms allowed to have up to 100 people. We will know more in a little while. 10.39pm GMTGood morning, and welcome to the Guardian’s global coronavirus live blog for Sunday.I’m Josh Taylor, and I will be bringing you the latest news for the next little while. Continue reading…