The UK’s daily coronavirus death toll has neared 700 for the first time in six months.
On Wednesday, the deaths of 696 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the previous 28 days were recorded by the government.
Of these, 604 were recorded in England, 44 in Scotland, 41 in Wales and seven in Northern Ireland.
It marks the highest daily death toll since May 5, when 726 new deaths were reported. It also brings the UK’s total death toll to 56,533 – the fifth highest in the world.
Meanwhile, 18,213 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the government is set to announce which tier of restrictions each area of England will go into when the current lockdown ends on December 2.
Boris Johnson revealed a revised, tougher version of the three tier system of coronavirus restrictions on Monday. The system is set to last until the end of March, the PM said.