UK Covid daily cases are the highest they've been since January with 28,773 more infections reported today.
This comes as 37 more Covid deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours – as Brits get ready for a full unlocking in less than a fortnight's time.
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Hospital admissions have hit over 400 today in the highest rise since March, jumping 20.9 per cent on the 269 recorded a week before June 30.
Today's cases figure is also the highest since January 29 – when 29,079 were reported.
And this time last week, daily Covid infections reached 20,479 – meaning that there has been a 40 per cent increase in infections in a week.
The number of coronavirus deaths reported today – 37 – is the highest number of fatalities the UK has seen since April 23.
And just a week ago there were 23 daily deaths recorded, meaning that there has been a 60 per cent increase in the last seven days.
Government data up to July 5 shows that of the 79,302,857 Covid jabs given in the UK so far, 45,428,681 were first doses – a rise of 76,962 on the previous day.
Some 33,874,176 were second doses, an increase of 147,814.
This comes as it was announced rules on self-isolation are being eased for the fully vaccinated and under-18s as the Government continues to strip away England's coronavirus restrictions.
People in those categories who have come into contact with a coronavirus case will not need to shut themselves away for the 10-day isolation period once the change comes into force on August 16.
They will be advised to take a coronavirus test, but that will not be compulsory.
Meanwhile, the "bubble" system in schools will be scrapped following concerns about large groups of children being forced to miss out on education if cases were detected.
The announcements follow Mr Johnson's decision to tear up England's coronavirus regulations at Step 4 of the road map, expected on July 19.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Step by step, jab by jab, we are replacing the temporary protection of the restrictions with the long-term protection of the vaccine so we can restore the freedoms which we cherish and the experiences which mean so much for us all."
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson set out plans to scrap the "bubble" system which has led to classes – or even whole schools – being forced to stay at home.
Around 640,000 state school pupils – 8.5 per cent of England's total – did not attend class for Covid-related reasons on July 1, according to Department for Education (DfE) statistics.
Mr Williamson said: "We recognise that the system of bubbles and isolation is causing disruption to many children's education.
"That is why we'll be ending bubbles and transferring contact tracing to the NHS Test and Trace system for early years settings, schools and colleges."
The changes will come in at Step 4 of the road map.
And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will update MPs later this week on how to remove the need for fully-vaccinated arrivals to isolate when they return from an amber list country.
The announcements follow Mr Johnson's gamble on trusting vaccines and the common sense of the English public, once legal restrictions in England are lifted.
Mr Javid suggested cases could rise to more than 100,000 a day in the summer once the rules are removed.
He told MPs: "I understand that some people are cautious about the idea of easing restrictions, but we must balance the risks – the risks of a virus that has diminished but not defeated, against the risks of keeping these restrictions and the health, social and economic hardship that we know they bring."
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth called for a "U-turn on mask-wearing", telling Mr Javid: "Yes, let's have freedom, but not a high-risk free-for-all.
"Keep masks for now, fix sick pay, and let's unlock in a safe and sustainable way."
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