UK coronavirus cases today grew by 9,765 – the lowest the figure has been on any single day in the last four months.
Another 230 Covid deaths were also confirmed in what is the lowest count recorded since the latest lockdown began.
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Today's figures are smaller than they were yesterday when 258 fatalities were confirmed along with 10,972 new cases.
They are also down considerably from last Monday's rise when another 754 people lost their lives to the bug and 14,104 tested positive.
A total of 4,047,843 have now tested positive for the bug since the start of the pandemic while 117,396 have died.
It comes as…
- Nicola Sturgeon threatens to shut England-Scotland border amid ‘red-list’ hotel quarantine chaos
- Rule of Six to return and shops could open in weeks under plans to unlock nation by spring
- UK needs to hit five targets before lockdown can ease – from the R rate to hospital admissions
- Brits may be able to take self-catered staycations by Easter if R rate stays low enough to reduce Covid measures
Boris Johnson said today Covid cases need to come right down to ease the nation's lockdown – or they will spike again and infect the elderly later.
The PM said that the rate of infection was a key part of lifting the restrictions on the nation, warning: "we want to see progress that is cautious but irreversible."
Boris said he didn't want to have to row back and force the nation into yet more shutdowns, so would be moving slowly to get the nation back to normal when he announces his plan next week.
He told reporters in a pooled clip today: "rates of infection, although they are coming down, are still high", warning that high rates could mean vulnerable people were still at risk.
The PM said: "We would like to see the rates of infection come down very low indeed…
"We want to drive it right down, and keep it right down.
"People would much rather see a plan that is cautious but irreversible, and coordinates with where we are with the disease."
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