The Government has announced a further 744 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 69,051. It is the highest deaths figure reported on one day since April 29 during the first peak of the virus.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where COVID-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 85,000 deaths involving COVID-19 in the UK.
The number of coronavirus cases i nthe UK rose by 39, 237, the highest figure reported on a single day throughout the whole pandemic.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,149,551.
The latest coronavirus figures come after Matt Hancock announced more areas in England will move into Tier 4 from Boxing Day.
The Health Secretary made the announcement at a Downing Street press conference after acknowledge the rapid spread of the new coronavirus variant.
Areas moving to the toughest Tier 4 – where there is a stay at home order – from Boxing Day are: Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, those parts of Essex not yet in Tier 4, Waverley in Surrey and Hampshire – including Portsmouth and Southampton but with the exception of the New Forest.
Mr Hancock also announced changes in tiers for other part of the country.
He said Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset including the North Somerset council area, Swindon, the Isle of Wight, the New Forest and Northamptonshire as well as Cheshire and Warrington will all be escalated to Tier 3.
Cornwall and Herefordshire move from Tier 1 to Tier 2.
Mr Hancock told a Downing Street press conference: “Just as we had got a tiered system in place that was able to control this virus we have discovered a new, more contagious virus – a variant that is spreading at a dangerous rate.”
More to follow…