End of live blog
That’s where we will leave the global coronavirus liveblog for Saturday.
- Portugal is to ban domestic travel and close schools around two upcoming holidays in an attempt to halt the spread of coronavirus ahead of Christmas.
- In the UK, 341 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the death toll to 54,626.
- Rapid Covid-19 tests were offered to hundreds in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, as part of a pilot scheme of mass coronavirus testing. On Saturday evening, 560 people had attended the testing centre on its first day, with 554 negative tests and six positive ones recorded.
- Russia reported a daily record of 24,822 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the national tally to 2,064,748. The official death toll is now 35,778.
- The number of new coronavirus infections in France rose by 17,881 on Saturday, the health ministry also reported 276 new deaths from the virus in hospitals over 24 hours.
The Australian state of Victoria has recorded zero new cases and zero deaths for the 23rd day in a row.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is due to announce the further easing of restrictions this morning. The Sunday newspapers suggest restrictions to be eased will include only having to wear masks 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.
New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian is also due to give a Covid-19 update at 11am.
Focus will also be on South Australia, as the state comes out of its lockdown early after health authorities determined the risk of an outbreak was greatly reduced.
Summary of main events
Portugal is to ban domestic travel and close schools around two upcoming holidays in an attempt to halt the spread of coronavirus ahead of Christmas.
In the UK, 341 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the death toll to 54,626.
Rapid Covid-19 tests were offered to hundreds in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, as part of a pilot scheme of mass coronavirus testing. On Saturday evening, 560 people had attended the testing centre on its first day, with 554 negative tests and six positive ones recorded.
Russia reported a daily record of 24,822 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the national tally to 2,064,748. The official death toll is now 35,778.
In October, Australians spent more eating out than they had spent over the same month last year, according to research from Restaurant and Catering Australia.
People in every state except Victoria – where dining out was impossible during its strict Covid lockdown – headed to restaurants and cafes for a taste of non-home-made food.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that in New South Wales diners spent nearly 10% more at restaurants than last year.
Conservative rebels are preparing to resist Boris Johnson’s plans for restrictions to replace the national lockdown without extensive evidence they will save more lives than they cost.
The Covid Recovery Group (CRG), led by former chief whip Mark Harper and ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker, is threatening to withhold support for the prime minister’s measures when the four-week lockdown in England ends on 2 December.
In a letter, understood to have been signed by 70 Tory MPs, the CRG said that “even the tiered system of restrictions infringes deeply upon people’s lives with huge health and economic costs”.
The closure of non-essential retail, outside sport restrictions and care home visits were among the specific concerns raised.
It comes as a new poll reveals most of the public would prefer to have a locked-down Christmas than have another lockdown imposed in January.
G20 leaders will on Sunday pledge to pay for a fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world so that poorer countries are not left out, and to extend debt relief to them, a draft communique shows.
“We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members commitments to incentivize innovation,” the leaders said in the draft G20 statement, seen by Reuters.
“We recognize the role of extensive immunization as a global public good.”
The leaders said the global economy was starting to pick up but the recovery remained “uneven, highly uncertain and subject to elevated downside risks.”
The number of new coronavirus infections in France rose by 17,881 on Saturday, lower than the 22,882 reported the previous day.
The health ministry also reported 276 new deaths from the virus in hospitals over 24 hours, compared with 386 on Friday.
On Tuesday, French president Emmanuel Macron will address the nation about the virus situation and may announce a partial relaxation of nationwide lockdown rules which have been in place since 30 October.
Portugal is to ban domestic travel and close schools around two upcoming holidays in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus ahead of Christmas, Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced on Saturday.
Travel between municipalities will be banned from 11pm on 27 November to 5am on 2 December, and then again from 11pm on 4 December to 5am on 9 December, to prevent movement around national holidays at the start of next month.
Schools will close on the Mondays before both holidays, while businesses must shut early.
Employers are being encouraged to give workers the day off in order to minimise travel activity.
Hundreds of people in Merthyr Tydfil turned up at the first day of a pilot scheme of mass coronavirus testing, PA Media reports.
Rapid Covid-19 tests are being offered to the area’s residents and workers even if they do not have symptoms, a week after the town registered the highest rate of new cases in the UK.
On Saturday evening, Merthyr Tydfil county borough council said 560 people had attended the testing centre on its first day, with 554 negative tests and six positive ones recorded.
Merthyr Tydfil has since seen the biggest drop in cases in Wales from about 770 cases per 100,000 to now below 260 as the effect of the country’s 17-day firebreak begins to work.
Greece reported 108 Covid-19-related deaths on Saturday, a daily record, with intensive care beds in many hospitals quickly filling due to increasing demand.
Health authorities reported 2,311 confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total since the first case was detected in February to 90,121. The death toll is 1,527.
After a two-month lockdown in March, which helped contain the spread of infections, a spike since October forced the government to impose a second nationwide lockdown that officially expires at the end of the month.
However, this could be in doubt.
“Lifting the lockdown on 1 December does not seem realistic right now,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas told state TV ERT on Friday.
149 pupils at a boarding school in Cumbria have tested positive for Covid-19 following an outbreak.
Students at Sedbergh School who tested positive, and those in a bubble with a positive case, have been told to isolate at home – if appropriate to do so.
In a letter to parents, Daniel Harrison, the school’s headmaster, said that none of the results received from staff testing this week have returned positive tests.
The number of Covid-19 cases in the United States surpassed 12 million on Saturday, just days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday that health experts have warned could fuel the surging spread of infection around the country.
The milestone marks a worsening of the country’s Covid-19 epidemic, which has claimed a quarter of a million lives across America, more than in any other nation.
Reuters data shows the pace of new infections in the United States has quickened, with nearly one million more cases recorded in just the last six days since the country recorded 11 million.
Turkey on Saturday reported its highest daily number of new coronavirus patients since the outbreak started.
Figures from the health ministry showed that 5,532 people had been diagnosed with Covid-19 symptoms in the previous 24 hours.
Since July, Ankara has only reported symptomatic cases of coronavirus, a move that critics say hides the true scale of the outbreak.
The daily death toll from the coronavirus was 135, bringing the cumulative total to 12,219.
To battle a surge in cases, Turkey this week introduced partial weekend curfews and limited the opening hours of restaurants, cafes and shopping malls.
Labour has warned the government not to let England return to the “shambles” seen before the current national lockdown.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said there were 11 days until the lockdown was due to lift on 2 December and no word from ministers on what was going to follow.
She called for clarity about what economic support measures will accompany different types of restrictions after the lockdown ends.
Speaking to the Co-operative party’s local government conference, Dodds said:
It’s extraordinary that the lockdown is due to lift in just 11 days, and we still haven’t heard a peep from government as to what comes next. We need clarity about what economic support package will go alongside different types of restrictions. We can’t go back to the shambles we had before this lockdown.
Italy registered 34,767 new coronavirus infections in the space of 24 hours on Saturday, slightly down from 37,242 the day before.
The health ministry also reported 692 Covid-19-related deaths after 699 on Friday.
The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy’s financial capital Milan, remained the hardest-hit area, as it registered 8,853 new cases.
341 further Covid-linked deaths registered in the UK
In the UK, 341 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, official figures show. The total official death toll is now 54,626.
There were 19,875 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday – a drop from Friday’s data which showed a daily rise in cases of 20,252 cases and 511 deaths.
See the official release here.
Police have made 13 arrests following an anti-lockdown protest in Liverpool, which saw crowds gathering in the city centre from about 1pm on Saturday.
Those arrested were held on suspicion of breaches of coronavirus regulations and committing public order offences, said Merseyside police.
Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine said:
We have seen infection rates driven down in Merseyside thanks to the commitment of so many people, and already more than 140,000 have taken part in a mass testing pilot here in Merseyside to help the national effort to protect life and get back to normality. They are a credit to this county. So it will be incredibly frustrating for all those people to see that a minority of selfish individuals chose to flout laws brought in to protect the lives of people, putting our communities and themselves at risk.