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A Spitfire emblazoned with the words “Thank U NHS” and the names of thousands of key workers has taken off from Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, ahead of a flypast over hospitals across the south east.

We will be bringing you pictures and video from the flight as they come in.


Poland reports record coronavirus cases for the third day in a row:

Poland reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row on Saturday with 658, the Health Ministry said.

More than 200 cases were reported in the Silesia mining region in southern Poland, which has been grappling with an outbreak among miners. The ministry also reported five new deaths.

Poland has reported a total of 46,346 coronavirus cases and 1,721 fatalities.

The prime minister this week did not rule out tightening some restrictions if the situation worsens. Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski said on Saturday that curbs may be imposed on weddings, which have become a source of many infections in recent weeks.


Graphic showing coronavirus infections and deaths:



Young people saw most infections but could ‘spill’ over to other demographics:

Sage’s Professor Graham Medley said the rise in coronavirus infections appeared to be among younger people but warned there was a danger it could “spill” over into other parts of the population.

The chairman of the Sage sub-group on pandemic modelling told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

“The age distribution of infections has changed, it has moved down into younger age groups and so it is likely we won’t see that increase in hospital admissions related to infection in the same way we did in March.

“But the big fear is the virus just gets out of control and we end up in a situation where there is so much virus that it inevitably spills out into all sections of the population.”

Prof Medley said the increased lockdown measures in areas across the north-west of England were “highly unlikely” to be the “last intervention that has to be done regionally”.

“I fully expect that there will have to be other interventions at other times but what the interventions are, really depends on what happens,” he added.


Here is the flight paths for the NHS Thank You Spitfire flyover today

More details, including the timings, are here

Government may have to close pubs in order to reopen schools, Sage member says:

Professor Graham Medley, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said England could have to consider closing pubs in order to reopen schools next month.

When asked about the chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty’s prediction that the country was “near the limits” of opening up society, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine academic told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

“I think that’s quite possible. I think we’re in a situation whereby most people think that opening schools is a priority for the health and wellbeing of children and that when we do that we are going to reconnect lots of households. And so actually, closing some of the other networks, some of the other activities may well be required to enable us to open schools. It might come down to a question of which do you trade off against each other and then that’s a matter of prioritising, do we think pubs are more important than schools?”


More than a million UK holidaymakers ‘will drive on the Continent for first time this summer’ due to the pandemic, survey suggests:

Around 1.5 million UK drivers plan to take a trip across the Channel with their car for the first time this summer, new research reveals.

RAC Europe estimated that five million drivers are set to drive on the Continent in the coming weeks. This will be the first such holiday for three in 10 of those people, according to the survey of 2,078 adults.

RAC Europe believes the number of people from the UK who will drive on the other side of the Channel this summer will be similar to those who travel by plane.

Rod Dennis, spokesman for the breakdown rescue provider, said flying “appears to be seen as a less attractive option this year” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This seems to have sparked a desire in people to drive to mainland Europe under their own steam, with many planning to do so for the first time.Opting to take the car makes a lot of sense. Those that do so have a safe space of their own when travelling, with zero or minimal contact needed with other people when crossing borders while those staying in a caravan or tent also have the reassurance that they have a holiday base which is as safe an environment as possible.”


Japan opens theatres despite a spike in coronavirus cases: 

Japan’s stately traditional kabuki theatre resumed performances on Saturday after a five-month break due to coronavirus, with musicians in masks, actors further apart on stage and only half the usual number of seats.


The re-opening of Tokyo’s famed Kabukiza Theatre, which called off performances from March due to the spread of the coronavirus, came even as new cases have spiked to record highs around the country.

“We’re re-opening based on guidelines from infectious disease experts, paying attention to audience safety from the time they enter until the time they leave,” Kabukiza manager Yoshitaka Hashimoto said


More than a million medics call for tighter lockdown controls after a surge in infections:

More than a million Philippine doctors and nurses have urged President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday to reimpose strict lockdown in and around Manila.

The medics say the country is losing the fight against Covid- 19.

Some 80 groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses, warned of a collapse of the healthcare system from soaring infections of the new coronavirus without tighter controls in the capital and nearby provinces.

The Philippines on Friday recorded its biggest daily jump in new cases for a second successive day, with 4,063 infections.

“Our health workers are burnt out with seemingly endless number of patients trooping to our hospitals for emergency care and admission,” the group, led by the Philippine College of Physicians, said in a letter to the president.

“We are waging a losing battle against COVID-19,” it added.


Tokyo reports record 472 new coronavirus cases on Saturday:

The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed in Tokyo was around 472 on Saturday, Government officials said on NHK TV.

It was the second day in a row that the number of cases in the capital rose by more than 400.

Though Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has said the city could declare its own state of emergency, the central government says there is still no need to do so nationally despite a record spike in several cities around the nation.


Serious public disorder in the coming months could “overwhelm all attempts” to control coronavirus, the Government’s scientific advisers have been warned.

The current “volatile and highly complex situation” means the UK will face “grave challenges” in maintaining order, according to a paper considered by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) in July.

The academics warn that tensions duirng the pandemic have become “inextricably bound” with structural inequalities and international events.

Read more here


Here is our guide to today’s NHS flypast: Date, route and where to watch

Good morning and welcome to the Evening Standard’s coronavirus live blog for Saturday, August 1.