Wildfires in California over recent weeks have contributed to a drop in daily testing in the state, taking its more medium-term measures of tests below 100,000 a day on Thursday for the first time in more than two months.

Florida reported its biggest increase in coronavirus cases in nearly a week, with further 3,255 people testing positive for Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, state authorities revealed this afternoon, up from 2,355 on Wednesday. That was a six-day high.

The New York tri-state area has removed California and five other states from its coronavirus quarantine list, a major development for the state that became one of the major hotspots for the virus in the US over summer.

South Africa’s central bank has kept interest rates on hold even as it forecast a deeper hit to Africa’s most industrialised economy. Lesetja Kganyago, the governor of the South African Reserve Bank, said it had left its benchmark rate at 3.5 per cent over signs that inflation would remain low after the country’s lockdown, which is now loosening.

French health minister Olivier Véran said new restrictions to slow the accelerating spread of infections would be applied to the cities of Lyon and Nice, while Marseille and the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe could face even tighter measures than those already in place, including the possible closure of bars and bans on public meetings.

Teenage students in the largest school system in the US will recommence in-person learning later than originally planned, with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announcing the restart date for middle and high school students had been pushed back for a second time to October.

Pharmacy chain CVS Health plans to add more than 2,000 new drive-through test sites across the US. The Rhode Island-based company said it expects to have more than 4,000 sites operating by mid-October, with over 400 sites opening this Friday.

First-time claims for unemployment aid in the US resumed their gradual decline. There were 860,000 new applications for jobless aid on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending September 12, compared with 893,000 the previous week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

England will be subject to tough new restrictions from Friday. Residents within Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham, will be unable to socialise with individuals outside of their household or support bubble.

Ryanair has been hit by a major shareholder revolt over its pay awards to top executives including Michael O’Leary, as investors target airline remuneration policies with the industry mired in a historic crisis.


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