UK Covid deaths have fallen to the lowest total in five months, with 52 fatalities and 4,618 cases in the past day.
Today's figures mean there has been a 37 per cent drop in Covid deaths in the past week.
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Daily deaths are at their lowest level since October 12.
Death tolls are lower than average on Sundays due to a lag in reporting fatalities over the weekend.
The new stats mean there have been 125,516 deaths and 4,258,438 cases since the pandemic began.
Last Sunday, daily Covid deaths fell to 82, the first time the number dropped below 100 since October.
Meanwhile yesterday deaths fell by 46 per cent in two weeks after the lowest Saturday rise in five months.
On Saturday, 121 people died from Covid – the lowest daily figure in six months.
More than 24 million people have received the first dose of a Covid jab, with another 512,108 given out yesterday.
Another 52,155 second doses were administered in the past 24 hours.
It comes as:
- Brits will be able to enjoy summer, says Professor Lockdown who is ‘80% sure’ Covid infections will be driven down
- Ireland has become the latest country to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine over blood clot concerns
- Brits could face waiting weeks to get a table at a pub or restaurant as businesses have already been rammed with thousands of bookings
- Restaurant bosses will be enforcing a "pay-before-you-eat" policy to tackle the problem of "no shows" ahead of their busy post-lockdown season
- Boris Johnson will get his jab this week – almost a year to the day after he was struck down by coronavirus
- Millions of Brits could get Covid booster vaccines this autumn to help fight off a mutant-fuelled winter surge
Professor Lockdown has said he is "80 per cent sure" that Brits will be able to enjoy this summer as the vaccine rollout beats back Covid.
Neil Ferguson, one of the scientists who spearheaded the UK's lockdown policies, believes most restrictions will be lifted as around one third of population have already had their Covid jab.
Prof Ferguson was speaking on the first anniversary of his grim warning that Covid rates in the UK were much higher than original estimations.
It was on his team's advice that the government plunged the UK into lockdown for the first-time almost exactly a year ago on March 16.
However, despite his 80 per cent prediction – he warned there remains a 20 per cent chance that mutating virus variants could derail the progress, reports The Observer.
"It is highly likely that we will have driven Covid down to very low levels of case numbers, and we can begin enjoying summer," he said.
'We will still need to monitor things very carefully and there has yet to be a proper discussion about what we do in autumn.
"Certainly, I think it is highly likely we will have to roll out a booster vaccine to protect against possible new variants.
"So, while I am optimistic overall, I still think there is a 20% chance things could go wrong – with the possible appearance of dangerous new variants which undermine immunity given by vaccines."
Prof Ferguson said a return to some semblance of the Great British Summer looks "promising" as he says the government as learned its lessons.
Boris Johnson has received criticism for lifting lockdowns too early or locking down too late as the government juggles the economy with the pandemic.
However, despite Prof Ferguson's positive outlook it still looks unlikely foreign holidays will be able to go ahead.
Ministers are already drawing up plans to hold pilot events for the reopening of football stadiums, nightclubs and theatres.
It is hoped all restrictions in the UK will be lifted by June 21.
The FA Cup final semi-finals and the world snooker championships on April 17 are believed to be using Covid testing and social distancing to allow the return of crowds – which will then serve as blueprints for bringing back more events before June.
Downing Street hopes that sports and cultural events will be able to be operate throughout the summer to distract people from the fact they cannot go abroad – with Culture Secretary Olivier Dowden saying they are working "flat out" to ensure they can.
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