The Department for Health has confirmed a further 53,285 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported with another 613 deaths. It is the 4th successive day coronavirus cases in the UK have surpassed 50,000. The number of positive cases is slightly below the 55,892 recorded on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the number of fatalities is down by a third compared to 964 reported yesterday.
Since the start of the pandemic the UK has now reported 2,542,065 positive cases of the virus.
And the number of people who have died within 28 days of contracting COVID-19 now stands at 74,125.
The first day of 2021 has brought some positive news after Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed one million people in the UK have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Mr Hancock praised NHS staff for having “risen to this enormous task” of undertaking the vaccine rollout.
The deployment of the newly approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will begin on Monday.
It come almost a month after the roll out of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but second doses of either will now take place within 12 weeks rather than 21 days as initially planned.
Mr Hancock added: “Now that we have authorised a second vaccine, we can expect this number to rapidly increase in the months ahead.
“With hundreds of vaccination sites now open across the country, I would like to thank the health and care staff who are working so hard to deliver this vaccination programme.”
More to follow.