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THE UK coronavirus death toll hit 44,819 today in the lowest Sunday rise since lockdown.
Another 21 fatalities from the bug were confirmed, with no new deaths recorded in Scotland or Wales.
Another 650 tested positive for the bug, bringing the total number of infected cases in the UK to 289,603.
Today's rise is the lowest rise recorded on a Sunday since lockdown began, beating last Sunday's jump of 22.
The highest jump recorded on a Sunday during the pandemic has been 686, logged on April 12, when the virus was at its peak.
It comes as…
- 73 workers catch Covid-19 at farm for Tesco and Aldi veg
- BoJo urges Brits to get back on buses and trains
- Wearing face masks in shops will not be mandatory, says Gove
- Boohoo warehouse a 'breeding ground for coronavirus'
- Coronavirus droplets can linger for more than an hour
In England, 15 more hospital deaths were recorded today, bringing the virus death toll in English hospitals to 29,066.
Patients in England were aged between 72 and 96 and all but one had underlying health conditions.
No new deaths were recorded in Scotland or Wales overnight, leaving the fatal tallies there at 2,490 and 1,541 respectively.
Northern Ireland is no longer updating its figures on the weekend.
The grim figures come after 73 workers tested positive for coronavirus at a vegetable farm in Herefordshire.
The farm supplies vegetables to stores such as Tesco, Aldi and Sainsbury's.
The outbreak in Mathon near Malvern is being closely monitored by PHE Midlands and 200 workers are self isolating in mobile homes on site.
Meanwhile, Michael Gove has urged people to wear facemasks in shops and other enclosed places – but said they would not be made mandatory.
The Cabinet minister insisted that the evidence for wearing face coverings in spaces where people cannot stay apart had become stronger.
BACK TO WORK
He also joined the Prime Minister in telling Brits to get back to work after the coronavirus crisis saw offices shut down and the majority working from home.
Speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday, Mr Gove said: "We want to see more people back at work, on the shop floor, in the office, wherever they can be.
"Of course in some cases it is appropriate and convenient for people to work from home, but we want to make sure that where people can add value, where the economy can benefit from people being at work, that they are at work."
His comments came after the coronavirus R rate rose again in England this week – hitting the crucial value of 1 in some parts.
Regional statistics released by the Government yon Friday showed the figure has crept up to between 0.8 and 1 in England after rising in the South.
And the spike in cases could see more local lockdowns introduced, with Carlisle and Blackburn on the hit list.
Data released on Friday shows there were 20.3 new cases per 100,000 residents in Carlisle in the seven days to July 7 – compared with 18.5 new cases the seven days before.
The town is still far behind locked-down Leicester, however, where 122.2 new cases per 100,000 residents were recorded in the seven days up to July 7 – compared with 131.8 new cases the seven days before.
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