Covid cases have risen for the second day in a row as the number of people testing positive has surpassed 30,000.
After cases dropped for six consecutive days, they began to rise again yesterday when 29,312 positive tests were recorded.
Today, another 30,215 people have tested positive for the virus, dashing hopes that the pandemic had begun to retreat.
Despite the increase over the last two days, the number of people testing positive and being admitted to hospital has dropped by at least 10% in the past week.
A further 86 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid, according to the Department for Health.
This brings the UK’s total number of fatalities since the pandemic started to 130,086.
However, separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there have been 155,000 UK fatalities where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate.
Today’s death toll marks a change in the upward trend seen over the past two days, after fatalities reached triple figures on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tuesday marked the highest daily death toll since mid-March with 138 fatalities recorded.
But overall, deaths have increased by more than 14% in the last seven days.
Meanwhile, the vaccine rollout is continuing at speed after another 33,334 people received their first jab and 165,669 got their second, meaning they are fully-inoculated.
A total of 73.5% of the adult UK population are now double-jabbed, while nearly 89% have some protection against the virus after receiving a first dose.
And more of the nation’s young population will soon be jabbed, after the Government announced that all 16 to 17-year-olds in the UK are eligible for their first dose.
Children within this age group can legally consent to the jab and won’t need their parents’ permission.
The teenagers will be allowed to get the Pfizer jab ‘within weeks’, announced the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) yesterday.
In further changes to Covid rules, England last night saw a huge shake-up of its travel traffic light system coming into effect from 4am on Sunday.
Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway have all been moved from the amber list to the coveted quarantine-free green category.
Double-jabbed holidaymakers returning from France will also no longer have to isolate when they return to England after the amber plus list was scrapped, and the nation was moved to amber.
Passengers arriving from India, where the Delta variant first originated, along with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain will soon avoid paying for costly quarantine hotels.
The four nations have been removed from the red list and placed under amber, narrowly avoided a price hike for quarantine hotels with the cost per person rising from 1,750 to £2,285.
Additional adults sharing a room will see their bill jump from £650 to £1,430.
But those returning from Mexico, Georgia and the French overseas departments of La Reunion and Mayotte will soon face the prices after the nations were bumped down to the red list.
Furious British holidaymakers on their way to Mexico today revealed how they found out that they will be forced to fork out thousands while in mid-air.
Travel agency CEO Paul Charles tweeted after the announcement: ‘Pity poor #UK travellers in #Mexico – some 5/6,000 who have to somehow get back before hotel quarantine kicks in on Sunday. Certainly not enough seat capacity.’
Meanwhile, Britons’ favourite holiday destination Spain narrowly avoided avoided being plunged into the red following a spike in cases – but the Government urged people to take PCR tests before they fly home.
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