UK Covid deaths have soared to their highest point in SIX MONTHS with 209 fatalities reported today.
It comes as vaccines minister Nadhim Zahaw today suggested that Britain could face another lockdown in October if Covid cases surge again.
Today's death toll is the highest since March 9 when 231 Brits sadly lost their lives.
Deaths have more than quadrupled since yesterday when just 45 were reported – but this could be due to a backlog caused by the recent bank holiday.
Meanwhile, 37,489 new cases were reported, giving a total of 7,056,106 since the start of the pandemic.
Despite the high numbers four in five people aged 16 and over in the UK have had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, the Department of Health said.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid hailed it as a "phenomenal achievement".
The department said a total of 43,535,098 people have received two doses (80.1%) and 48,292,811 people have received one dose (88.8%).
Despite this, Zahaw today refused to rule out the return of some restrictions during the Autumn half-term to get the virus under control.
But he expressed hopes a successful booster jabs campaign will help the UK avoid a full shutdown which would be "the worst thing we can do".
He said that will mean the country can "continue, I hope, on a one-way street of keeping the economy open without having to regress into other non-pharmaceutical interventions."
A government spokesman confirmed there are "contingency plans" in place but insisted they "would only be re-introduced as a last resort to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS".
He added "it is not true" to suggest that ministers are actively "planning a lockdown or firebreak around the October half term".
It would see schools close for an extra week at October half-term, with mask-wearing and social distancing brought back in public places.
Travel restrictions could also be reimposed, although it is not thought a full shutdown and stay-at-home orders would be necessary.
Mr Zahawi insisted he hadn't personally seen any plans for the return of restrictions in October.
He said: "I don't want to adjust the half-term or go back to any form of lockdowns, because that's the worst thing we can do to the economy.
"I am absolutely focused on making sure we don't have to reverse all the great gains we've made on reopening the economy."
But he admitted there is "upward pressure on infections" because "we've reopened the economy to pretty much as close to normal as you can get
Source: Read Full Article