UK Covid deaths increase by 35% in week as 30,825 more cases recorded

By Jonathan Coles

Covid deaths in the UK have risen by 35 per cent in a week after 61 more people died.

Last Monday - September 6 - saw 41,192 infections recorded, and 45 deaths.

Around a month ago, on Monday, August 16, 28,438 cases and 26 deaths were registered, according to official statistics.

A total of 30,825 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.

Cases had dropped below 30,000 over the weekend, but have now increased over the mark again.

According to the data, 241,644 infections have been recorded over the last seven days - a drop of 8.4 per cent on the previous week.

The latest figures come ahead of the unveiling of Boris Johnson's Covid winter plan on Tuesday.

It is thought that the Prime Minister will say further lockdowns will be a "last resort" - but guidance to work from home and the mandatory use of face masks are likely to be retained as options.

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Mr Johnson will tell the nation how the country can learn to live with coronavirus, underlining how vaccinations will be a central part of the response in the coming months.

Covid laws that are no longer required will be ditched and plans for vaccine passports for nightclubs and other large crowd venues have been shelved.

The travel traffic lights system is also expected to be scrapped and PCR tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travellers.

Number 10 said another lockdown over winter would only be considered as a "last resort".

Asked whether ministers would consider a winter lockdown if Covid-19 cases rise, the Prime Minister's official spokesman told reporters: "We are in a very different place than where we were previously when other lockdowns were introduced, thanks to the success of our vaccine programme and other things like therapeutics treatments for coronavirus.

"We would only ever consider those sort of measures as a last resort and we will set out in more detail tomorrow what our approach will be should we see a significant increase in cases."

Boris Johnson was tight-lipped on whether he would rule out a winter lockdown, ahead of Tuesday's announcement on Covid rule changes.

Speaking on a visit to Leicester on Monday, he said: "We've got to do everything that's right to protect the country.

"But the way things are going at the moment we're very confident in the steps that we've taken."

Earlier, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said some regulations may still be needed as the NHS prepares to battle both Covid and seasonal flu in the winter months.

Mr Johnson will address the nation on Tuesday (AFP via Getty Images)

Asked about maintaining the work-from-home advice, she told BBC Breakfast of the need to keep some rules on the table, adding: "Whether that's with what you just mentioned or making sure statutory sick pay can be paid from day one rather than day four, as tends to happen in more regular times.

"These are the sensible measures I think that we're going to keep."

On the issue of masks, she added: "The Prime Minister will be setting out the Covid winter plan tomorrow. I think my approach, and I see that with a lot of employers' organisations, is about having a situation-specific approach."

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Sunday that vaccine passports were a "huge intrusion into people's lives" and there were no current plans to go ahead with them.

However, Ms Coffey said the introduction of vaccine passports had not been "ruled out forever".

During his visit, Mr Johnson said he wanted to avoid passports too.

"What we want to do is avoid vaccine passports, if we possibly can," he said.

"That's the course we're on but I think you've got to be prudent and you've got to keep things in reserve in case things change."

The issue of vaccine passports has caused growing disquiet among Tory ranks, as well as facing opposition from opposition parties and industry figures.

The decision not to implement them means measures in England deviate from those in Scotland, where a motion on their introduction was passed in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, while a decision is expected in Wales next week.

Stormont ministers have yet to reach an official position on using vaccine access passports within Northern Ireland.

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