The UK has recorded another increase in coronavirus cases, with 28,773 new infections – the highest amount since January when we were in the middle of the second wave.
A further 37 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of today, bringing the UK total to 128,268.
It is the highest daily figure for deaths since April 23, when 40 were reported.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Government figures show that 86.2% of adults have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 64.3% have also received a second dose.
In total, that works out at 45,428,681 people and 33,874,176 people respectively.
It comes as Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced today that obligatory self-isolation for contacts of Covid cases will end for people who have had both doses of a vaccine on August 16.
He said that those who have been fully vaccinated will no longer have to isolate when pinged by NHS Test and Trace in six weeks’ time – but will still be urged to get a PCR test ‘as soon as possible’.
Boris Johnson has said the country will follow a new isolation system that is ‘proportionate to the pandemic’ after lockdown restrictions are lifted, which is currently scheduled for July 19.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, he set out changes expected after ‘Freedom Day’ including the end of legal obligations to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
However, many parts of the country are still dealing with a surge in Covid infections despite the fact restrictions will soon be relaxed.
The biggest hospital in the Scottish Highlands has declared a rare ‘code black status’ amid rising Covid cases and many staff in isolation.
Capacity has been reached at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, with all non-urgent elective surgery cancelled as a result.
Outpatient activity – aside from cancer, urgent and some others – has been abandoned.
It comes as NHS Highland sees ‘unprecedented demand’, with more surgery currently being carried out compared to previous coronavirus waves.
A spokesperson for the health board said: ‘We have reached capacity in the hospital, we have long waits in our Emergency Department and we know people requiring urgent care will still need to come in for treatment. As a result, the hospital is currently at code black status.’
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