Another 148 people die with coronavirus bringing UK death toll to 44,798
A further 148 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the UK death toll to 44,798.
The new figure, released today by the Department of Health and Social Care, covers fatalities in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.
A total of 288,953 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 across the country since the start of the pandemic, with 820 new cases confirmed in the past 24 hours.
It comes as tourists from across the UK started heading off on their summer holidays following the lifting of quarantine restrictions. Residents from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days on their return from a list of 73 approved countries.
Brits have been told to expect ‘90% of normality’ when they go on holiday, despite the pandemic continuing to rumble on.
TUI, the UK’s biggest tour operator, is running a limited number of flights and holidays to the Spanish destinations of Ibiza, Lanzarote, Palma and Tenerife. Holidaymakers can also visit Italy, France and Germany – but not Portugal or the US.
However, a YouGov poll suggested that those living in Europe would rather tourists visited from other countries than the UK.
Elsewhere, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted that the Government could make wearing face coverings mandatory in shops in England.
Speaking during an online question and answer session with members of the public yesterday afternoon, he said: ‘The balance of scientific opinion seems to have shifted more in favour of them than it was. We are very keen to follow that.
‘I do want to get back to a world where the British people are able to shake hands – that’s what we are aiming for.
‘But face coverings, we increasingly think that we have got to be very insistent in confined spaces, where you are meeting people you don’t normally come into contact with – transport, shops – wear a face cover.’
Face coverings are currently compulsory on public transport and in hospitals in England, while people are legally obliged to wear them inside shops and on public transport in Scotland.
Number 10 is understood to be looking at the issue.
Mr Johnson also suggested that people in the UK should begin returning to work, urging them to live their lives ‘more normally’.
It is a major shift from the Government’s official coronavirus guidance, which says people should ‘stay at home as much as possible’ and ‘work from home if you can’.
He said: ‘I think everybody has sort of taken the “stay at home if you can” – I think we should now say, well, “go back to work if you can”.
‘Because I think it’s very important that people should try to lead their lives more normally.
‘I want to see more people feeling confident to use the shops, use the restaurants, and get back into work – but only if we all follow the guidance.’