Berlin demonstration against coronavirus restrictions, 29 August


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Live Reporting

Edited by Sean Fanning

All times stated are UK

  1. South Korea ‘running out of hospital beds’ in Seoul

    Visitors queue to enter a hospital in Seoul, South Korea

    Copyright: Reuters

    As South Korea reported a rise of 300 cases on Saturday, there are fears the country could soon run out of hospital beds for patients.

    On Friday, the Greater Seoul area had just 4.5% of beds available, a fall from 22% a week earlier.

    “Only about 15 beds are immediately available in the Greater Seoul area for patients in critical condition as there were numerous patients who were in a serious condition and needed to be hospitalised,” said Yoon Tae-ho, director general for public health policy at the health ministry.

    Most schools in the area have closed, as well as churchs, nightclubs and gyms. From Sunday restaurants and pubs will be take-away only after 9pm.

  2. Rota system for England’s schools if virus cases rise

    Girl in classroom

    Copyright: PA Media

    Meanwhile in the UK, new government advice suggests English secondary schools in areas with significant rises in Covid-19 cases could be put on a rota system – limiting the number of pupils attending.

    The guidance also indicates that pupils who’ve been in close contact with other students who test positive for the virus would have to self isolate for 14 days.

    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said changing school attendance would be used only as an “absolute last resort”.

    Teaching unions have welcomed the guidance, but criticised the timing of its publication – just a few days before pupils are due back in classrooms.

    Read more about
    this story here.

  3. Robert F Kennedy Jr at Berlin march

    The son of Robert F Kennedy and nephew of former US president John F Kennedy has tweeted that he will speak at the protest in Berlin today against coronavirus restrictions.

    Robert F Kennedy Jr is an anti-vaccination campaigner, criticised by members of the Kennedy family for his views.

    The crowd gathering near Berlin’s Brandenburg gate includes families with children. “I’m not an extreme right-wing sympathiser, I’m here to defend our fundamental freedoms,” one participant wearing a t-shirt reading “Thinking helps” told AFP news agency.

    One of protesters’ concerns is rules about mandatory mask-wearing in Germany.

  4. Police patrolling beaches in Australia

    Phil Mercer

    BBC News Sydney

    A jogger on Coogee Beach in New South Wales, Australia

    Copyright: Reuters

    A burst of balmy weather in Sydney this weekend will test the city’s ability to keep its beaches safe as the warmer months approach. Police, lifeguards and council rangers will try to ensure there’s no repeat of the mass flouting of Covid-19 regulations that forced the closure of several beaches, including Bondi, in March.

    Groups of more than 20 people are not permitted, and beachgoers should stay a towel-length apart from each other.

    While several coronavirus clusters are causing concern in Sydney, the number of daily new infections in Victoria has fallen to below 100 for the first time since early July.

  5. Cyclists line up for delayed Tour de France

    The tour will last from 29 August to 20 September

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: The tour will last from 29 August to 20 September

    Pictures coming in now from Nice of riders lining up for this year’s Tour de France – delayed for two months due to coronavirus restrictions.

    The 21-stage tour takes place over the next three weeks.

    Stricter regulations were introduced by French authorities early on Saturday that mandate teams must drop out of the race if two or more riders test positive.

    Read more here about how the Tour is the first major sporting event to take place with fans back in attendance.

  6. Protesters begin gathering in Berlin

    Some demonstrators carried a flag referring to the German Democratic Republic, which was communist-controlled East Germany from 1949-1990

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Image caption: Some demonstrators carry a flag referring to the German Democratic Republic, which was communist-controlled East Germany from 1949-1990

    Organisers are predicting around 22,000 people will be on Berlin’s streets to protest against restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19. A similar march several weeks ago attracted anti-vaccination campaigners, conspiracy theorists and self-described “free thinkers”.

    It was broken up after protesters deliberately flouted safety regulations.

    Berlin authorities had banned this event from going ahead, fearing participants would not be able to keep a safe distance from each other. But a court sided with the organisers, saying there was no indication demonstrators would deliberately ignore social distancing guidelines. Some 3,000 police are being deployed, and authorities warn the march will be broken up “very quickly” if rules are violated.

    Although Germany has not so far seen the waves of cases seen in some parts of Europe, it does have a growing infection rate. New case numbers are reaching highs last seen in April.

  7. Welcome to our live reporting

    Hello and welcome to our continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic around the world. First a round-up of the main points:

    • Later on Saturday an “anti-corona” march is expected to attract thousands in Berlin. Protesters won the final stage of a legal battle last night for it to go ahead – police say they will strictly enforce mask-wearing and social distancing
    • The French health ministry says cases are rising “exponentially” as President Macron warns that another lockdown may be coming. A further 7,379 cases were confirmed on Friday, the country’s largest rise since mid-May
    • Children may be carrying the virus in their noses for up to three weeks and spreading the disease without realising, according to research carried out in South Korea.
    • South Korea, seen as good at controlling the spread of Covid-19, is now facing rising infections with more than 300 cases reported on Saturday
    • In the UK a leaked government report presents a worst-case scenario of 85,000 deaths due to Covid this coming winter
    • The Tour de France cycling tournament starts today in Nice – it has been delayed for two months due to the pandemic. But officials are worried about the challenges of managing the huge crowds the Tour normally draws