The UK has announced another 13,864 coronavirus cases and a further 87 deaths in the latest daily update.
It brings the total number of positive tests during the pandemic to 575,679, while more than 42,000 people have died after catching the disease.
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It has also emerged that the UK’s coronavirus reproduction (R) number has decreased slightly to a maximum of 1.5.
The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said it is now between 1.2 and 1.5 – down from between 1.3 and 1.6 last week.
It means that for every 10 people infected, another 12 to 15 are likely to get the disease.
There are 3,660 COVID-19 patients in hospital, according to the government dashboard, 436 of whom are being ventilated.
The daily number of admissions is 597.
Two thirds of the salaries of staff in pubs, restaurants and other businesses will be paid by the government if they are forced to close under new coronavirus restrictions, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced.
The expansion of the Jobs Support Scheme, which succeeds the furlough scheme, would protect jobs and provide “reassurance and a safety net” for people and businesses across the UK, Mr Sunak said.
It comes amid speculation that England will be carved into three different lockdown tiers next week, with millions of people facing tougher restrictions – particularly in the north – as the government tries to handle rising coronavirus cases.
The new rules are likely to see pubs, cafes and restaurants effectively shut down in the worst-hit places, similar to what has happened in Scotland, where alcohol sales are being restricted for 16 days from today.
Ministers are planning to let MPs vote on the proposed new restrictions next week, Conservative chief whip Mark Spencer has said.
“There will be a statement to parliament next week and these things will come into force next week, subject to parliamentary vote of course,” he told BBC Radio Nottingham.
Tougher restrictions in London are “highly likely” soon, mayor Sadiq Khan has said, because, he said, the capital is at a “very serious tipping point”, with the virus “accelerating in every part of London”.
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