• Video report by ITV News Correspondent Romilly Weeks

A total of 8,958 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Thursday, Matt Hancock said, up by 980 from 7,978 the day before.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus press briefing, the Health Secretary confirmed the coronavirus death toll in the UK had reached a record high.

Breakdown of figures from around the UK

NHS England confirmed that 866 people had died, bringing the total number of deaths in England to 8,114.

Of the 866 new deaths announced, 117 occurred on April 9 while 720 occurred between April 1 and April 8. The remaining 29 deaths occurred in March, including one on March 5.

Margate beach was empty was people appeared to listen to the Government's advice to stay home. Credit: PA

Meanwhile in Scotland, 48 more people have died of Covid-19, bringing the total number of deaths up from 447 on Thursday to a total of 495.

Nicola Sturgeon said 5,275 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 318 from 4,957 the day before.

Wales’s death toll rose by another 29, taking the total to 315.

There have been 502 new cases of the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed positive tests to 4,591, Public Health Wales said.

In Northern Ireland, the total number of people who died in a hospital setting with Covid-19 has risen by 10 to a total of 92.

There were 112 new cases of the virus, bringing the total of confirmed positive tests in the region since the outbreak began to 1,589.Figures for the Channel Islands for Friday have not yet been released.

The government have as yet not laid out plans as to how and when the lockdown will be lifted. Credit: AP

Country told to stay at home

The Health Secretary used his Good Friday press briefing to urge Britons to stay at home during the Easter Bank Holiday to help limit the spread of the disease.

He said: “This is a national effort, and every single person in this country can play their part in this plan."

Mr Hancock said the number of people in hospital who have tested positive for the disease stood at 19,304.

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the UK was still in a “dangerous phase” in regard to the number of new coronavirus cases and that it was important to stick with the current measures.

Dr Van-Tam said it was “premature” to say that the UK was at a peak in coronavirus cases.

He said the UK’s figures were “broadly in line” with what was happening in other countries.

“It’s still a dangerous situation, we have to keep taking measures to bring this under control,” he said.

“It’s premature to say we are at a peak and the push we are making with social distancing just has to continue.”

The government have as yet not laid out plans as to how and when the lockdown will be lifted.

The majority of Britons appeared to have heeded the Government’s rules and stayed at home over the Easter weekend.

The Government had launched a campaign urging the public to stay at home during the warm bank holiday, fearing repeats of scenes from last month when people flocked to tourist beauty spots.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know