A further 180 COVID-related deaths and 49,298 new infections have been recorded in the UK, the latest daily government figures show.
It compares to the 52,009 new cases and 115 deaths reported yesterday and 44,932 new infections and 145 fatalities last Friday.
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The figures also show there were another 48,732 first doses of a COVID vaccine administered in the latest 24-hour period – meaning a total of 49,603,139 people have had at least one jab.
A total of 45,486,950 people have now had two jabs, an increase of 26,828 on the previous day.
The UK total for deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID test now stands at 139,326.
On Tuesday, the UK recorded 223 virus-related deaths – the highest daily number since early March.
It comes as Boris Johnson said there is “absolutely nothing to indicate” the country will enter a new lockdown this winter, although he added the government would “do whatever we have to do to protect the public”.
On a visit to a vaccination centre in west London on Friday, the prime minister repeated his call for those who are eligible to come forward to get the “fantastic” booster jabs.
Mr Johnson admitted there were currently “high levels” of infection in the UK but maintained he was not yet ready to reintroduce COVID measures in England – under the government’s “Plan B” – in an attempt to dampen the rising number of cases.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has also predicted it was “increasingly unlikely” COVID hospital admissions this winter will rise above the peak seen last January.
However, it warned about the risk of a “rapid increase in hospital admissions” if people’s behaviour quickly returned to normal and there was a significant waning in the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, care minister Gillian Keegan told Sky News that British holidaymakers may in the future be asked to have a third COVID-19 vaccine dose before they are able to easily travel and return from abroad.
“It’s two doses for now, but I’m sure the vaccine passport concept will evolve,” she said.