Just shy of 4,000 new coronavirus cases have been detected in the past 24 hours.
Today 3,991 positive tests were returned – the highest number since early May, when the pandemic was coming down from its peak.
According to Department for Health data the most cases on one day came on May 1, when 6,201 people tested positive.
That was two weeks after the UK’s peak in terms of deaths when more than 1,200 people lost their lives.
Today a further 20 people’s deaths were added to the toll, with 17 in England, two in Northern Ireland and one in Scotland.
Yesterday the coronavirus death toll jumped by 27 – the second highest daily increase since July 29.
A further 3,105 people also tested positive for the bug.
On Monday the death toll increased by nine, with 2,621 new Covid-19 cases recorded.
That means that so far this week 56 deaths have been added to the coronavirus death toll.
The number of daily cases has been on an upwards trend in recent weeks.
During the summer months of June, July and August the daily cases ranged between a few hundred and 1,000.
Now that figure is sitting around the 3,000 a day mark, despite widespread reports of people struggling to get tested.
If the daily case rate continues to rise then tough new restrictions that limit mixing at work or in social settings could be brought in within weeks.
Government officials are understood to be looking at all options – other than closing schools – to help keep the spiralling virus under control.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out a second nationwide lockdown – opting for localised lockdowns instead.
But he but is thought to be planning one “by the back door” if the virus continues to spike.
New measures that could stop the virus spreading further include shielding being brought back for the most vulnerable, and pubs forced to close early if people don’t obey the existing rules.
They could also – eventually – include telling the public to use public transport only when strictly necessary and working for home.
It comes after the Government’s ‘Rule of Six’ came into effect – meaning people in England could face hefty fines if they’re caught socialising with more than five friends or relatives.
A decision will have to be made within a fortnight – the amount of time needed to assess whether the latest social restriction has had an effect.
A senior member of the Government told ITV they were considering “pretty much every social distancing measure should be contemplated other than school closures.”
-- to www.mirror.co.uk