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UK records 48,161 new cases and 25 more coronavirus-related deaths

People visit an NHS mobile vaccination and testing unit at Northumberland Retail Park


The UK has recorded 48,161 new COVID cases and 25 more coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data.

The figures compare with 54,674 cases and 41 deaths announced on Saturday, while 31,772 infections and 26 fatalities were reported this time last week.

It comes as all UK adults have now been offered a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine – hitting the prime minister’s target a day ahead of schedule, the government has announced.

67,217 people had their first jab on Saturday, taking the UK total to 46,295,853 (87.9% of the adult population).

And a further 225,214 had their second jab yesterday, meaning 35,970,849 are now fully vaccinated (68.3% of adults).

The latest data comes hours before most coronavirus lockdown restrictions will be lifted in England on Monday, including social distancing rules and limits on social gatherings.

And the legal requirement to wear masks in enclosed public spaces is being dropped in England.

However, the government is advising face coverings should still be worn in crowded areas such as in shops and on public transport, while pubs and bars should be table service only.

The rules on self-isolating for contacts of people who test positive for coronavirus will not be eased until 16 August.

Then, people who are double-jabbed will be able to take tests rather than quarantine at home.

It came as one scientist involved in advising ministers has warned new cases in the UK could reach 200,000 a day before the third wave of the virus peaks.

Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling was instrumental in the government’s decision to order the first lockdown in March 2020, said it was “inevitable” they would at least reach 100,000 a day.

He said that if cases continued to increase they could still place a “significant burden” on the health system.

Also, a minister has said the current wave of COVID in the UK is not expected to peak until “late August, maybe even early September”.

Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday that cases are still rising.

He revealed the current government projection while encouraging people to keep the NHS COVID app installed on their phones with contact tracing enabled.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has abandoned plans to avoid quarantine after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace following a furious political backlash.

The prime minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak had originally planned to take daily tests rather than self-isolate following meetings last week with Health Secretary Sajid Javid who has tested positive for COVID.

But in a dramatic turnaround Downing Street said the two ministers would be self-isolating rather than taking part in a daily contact testing pilot. – skynews

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