The number of daily positive coronavirus cases in the UK has risen to more than 6,000 for the first time since May.
The Government said that as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 6,178 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, taking the overall number of cases confirmed to 409,729.
It is the highest number of daily cases reported since May 1, when there were 6,201, and is also a 25 per cent increase on the 4,926 new cases reported on Tuesday.
Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, added: “This is a very worrying increase in diagnosed coronavirus infections.
“We’ve not seen such a large increase since May and while it’s true that there are many more tests conducted nowadays, it is clear evidence of an accelerating spread of the virus.”
Public Health England medical director Yvonne Doyle said: “New measures have been bought in to stop the spread of the virus and it is essential that you follow them.
“You should work from home if you can, must now wear a face covering in retail and hospitality settings, unless you are eating or drinking and not be in a group larger than six people.
“We are testing much more than we were earlier on in the outbreak and our local Health Protection teams are working with local councils and directors of public health to manage the increase.”
The latest data also shows:
– There were 275 Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital in England on Monday, compared to 1,081 on May 1.
– The number of confirmed coronavirus patients in hospital in England on May 1 was 10,970, compared to 1,381 on Wednesday.
– There were 1,954 confirmed coronavirus patients in mechanical ventilation beds in England on May 1, compared to 192 on Wednesday.
Data is not reported by each nation every day, and is not always directly comparable – while the UK’s total can only be calculated when all the nations’ data is available.