Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Léonie Chao-Fong.
- The Delta variant of Covid-19 doubles the risk of Covid hospitalisation compared with the previously dominant Alpha variant, a new study has found. The analysis – based on data collected in England – suggests that outbreaks of the Delta variant are likely to put an additional strain on health services.
- The US intelligence community failed to reach a conclusion over whether a Chinese laboratory incident was the source of Covid-19, US officials said in a report summary on Friday. The report was issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in response to Joe Biden’s request.
- In Australia, New South Wales recorded 1,035 new cases on Saturday – the worst daily total for any Australian state or territory since the pandemic began. Figures obtained by Guardian Australia show a huge gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Covid vaccination rates in every region of the state.
- Secondary school and college pupils will need to wear face masks in communal areas outside their classrooms in parts of south-west England, following a rise in cases in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. The new measures are expected to be in place for five weeks.
- Denmark is to lift all its remaining Covid-19 restrictions by 10 September after the health ministry declared the virus “no longer a critical threat to society”. Denmark is the EU’s third-most vaccinated country, with 71% of the population having received two shots.
- School districts in Florida in the United States may impose mask mandates, a judge said on Friday, ruling that the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, overstepped his authority by issuing an executive order banning the mandates. The Leon County circuit judge John Cooper agreed with a group of parents who claimed in a lawsuit that DeSantis’ order is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.