Another 70,924 daily Covid cases recorded as government 'hopes' to lift plan B measures soon

Credit: PA

A further 70,924 Covid-19 cases have been recorded across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the latest government data shows.

The Department of Health said a further 88 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.

Sunday's figures do not include Scotland as the nation reported an IT problem over the weekend.

The latest government data represents a 38% drop in positive cases in the past seven days, however the number of deaths has increased by 41.6% in the same time period.

Oliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, said earlier on Sunday the “signs are encouraging” for lifting Plan B restrictions at the end of the month.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “It has always been my hope that we would have the Plan B restrictions for the shortest period possible.

“I’m under no doubt the kind of burdens this puts hospitality, wider business, schools and so on under, and I want us to get rid of those if we possibly can.

“The signs are encouraging but, clearly, we will wait to see the data ahead of that final decision.”

On Saturday, the UK reported its lowest number of reported daily Covid cases in a month, as experts said Omicron infections appear to be "stabilising".

From Monday, the booster vaccine programme will be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds, with around 40,000 teenagers eligible to get their third jabs.


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England

A further 66,273 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours in England, along with 79 deaths.

Wales

Another 2,133 positive tests have been returned and six deaths were reported.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, 2,518 cases were reported and three deaths were recorded.

No new data for Scotland was available due to an IT error.