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Covid-19: Cancelling Olympics ‘not ruled out’ and lockdown anger

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday morning. We’ll have another update for you this evening.

Cancelling the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – which kicks off with women’s softball and football competitions later – is still an option, according to the head of the organising committee. Toshiro Muto says cancellation has not been ruled out and he would be keeping an eye on infection numbers. His comments are at odds with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach who said on the same day that cancellation was “never an option”. So far more than 70 people associated with the event have tested positive ahead of Friday’s official opening ceremony.

Anger is growing in Australia as more than 13 million Australians – about half the population – are in lockdown after a third state imposed restrictions to curb a Delta outbreak. South Australia joined Victoria and parts of New South Wales in lockdown on Tuesday. Residents there will endure seven days at home after five infections were found in a country where lockdowns have been highly policed to ensure compliance with rules.

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A new Covid health pass has come into effect in France amid a surge of infections which saw cases rise by another 18,000 in 24 hours. People need proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from Covid to enter most museums and cinemas. This could be extended to cafes, restaurants and shopping malls from August. This pass and compulsory vaccination for all health workers by September has led to protests, with demonstrators vandalising two vaccination centres this week.

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We’ve been wearing masks to help stop the spread of coronavirus. But what does the evidence show about the effect of masks and what happens when they are no longer compulsory? Take a look.

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The result of two hobby fossil hunters studying old research papers during lockdown has led to a thrilling discovery for scientists – one of the most important Jurassic sites ever found in the UK.

Are you confused about whether you can go to work if you’ve been told to self-isolate? And what, if any, difference that makes when you’re fully vaccinated? We’ve taken a look.

Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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