It’s always lovely to hear from you on Twitter – let me know what life is like amid the pandemic at the moment where you live.
In much of Australia, where I am based, things are close to “Covid normal”, which is of course particularly jarring this week as much of Europe returns to or considers lockdowns, and the US breaks its daily case records from earlier in the year.
Perhaps you’re stuck in traffic out of Paris – find me @helenrsullivan:
Hello and welcome to today’s live coronavirus coverage.
My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be with you for the next few hours.
The world has again seen a record global case rise, with more than 530,000 infections reported in a single day.
Meanwhile rhe EU’s healthcare systems are at risk of being overwhelmed by the number of coronavirus cases unless authorities act quickly, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said.
“The spread of the virus will overwhelm our healthcare systems if we do not act urgently,” she said after a video conference of EU leaders to coordinate the EU’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said the Commission made available €220m to finance the transfer of Covid-19 patients across EU countries to avoid healthcare systems in the most affected countries not being able to cope.
At the meeting leaders agreed to better coordinate efforts to battle the virus as infections in Europe exceeded 10 million, making the continent again the centre of the pandemic.
Here are the key developments from the last few hours:
- EU to fund transfer of Covid-19 patients across borders to prevent hospital collapse. The EU will finance the transfer of patients across borders within the bloc to prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed as Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations rise across the continent. “The spread of the virus will overwhelm our healthcare systems if we do not act urgently,” said Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU Commission.
- Spain hit a new record in daily cases, recording another 23,580 infections. It brought the nation’s tally to 1,136,503, health ministry data showed. The government voted in favour of a six-month extension of the state of emergency, which allows Spain’s 17 regional governments to limit mobility, impose curfews and shut their borders with other regions.
- France will restrict outdoor movement and make working from home mandatory under new lockdown rules, coming into effect at midnight. People will only be able to leave their own homes for certain essential purposes, as the country tries to put the brakes on a Covid-19 outbreak that the president Emmanuel Macron said risked accelerating out of control. More details here.
- West Yorkshire in England will move into tier 3 restrictions from 12.01 on Monday. The ‘very high’ restrictions – the strictest level in England – will see indoor social mixing banned and the closure of pubs and bars unless they can operate as a restaurant. More details here.
- Greece will impose regional lockdowns on its second-largest city of Thessaloniki and two other regions from Friday after a rise in cases of Covid-19, the government said.
- Italy registered a record of 26,831 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Under new restrictions bars and restaurants must stop serving customers at 6pm while cinemas, theatres, swimming pools and gyms must close completely.
- Sweden registered 2,820 new coronavirus cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic and the third record number in a matter of days. Hospitals are feeling the strain, with the number of patients with Covid-19 in need of care in the region having risen about 60% over the past week after a near 80% surge in recorded infections.