The number of weekly coronavirus deaths in England and Wales is at its highest figure since early June, according to new statistics.
In the week ending 23 October, a total of 978 registered deaths mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, the Office for National Statistics figures show.
This marks a 46 per cent increase on the number of deaths reported in the previous week, and is the highest figure on record since 12 June.
Leaked NHS data, seen by The Independent, has also revealed the number of patients admitted to hospital wards in England has jumped by more than 60 per cent in just 10 days.
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Liverpool to be offered new rapid tests
The whole of Liverpool is to be regularly offered coronavirus testing as part of a pilot scheme hailed as having the potential to be a "powerful new weapon" in the fight against the disease.
All residents and workers in the city of almost 500,000 will be offered repeat testing whether or not they have symptoms, the Department of Health said.
It is the first mass testing scheme of its kind in England and will come into effect from Friday – a day after the country is plunged into a second national lockdown.
Read more on this:
New procedure offers results in just an hour, rather than the more usual 24 - 48 hours
Covid hospital admissions spike in England
Leaked NHS data seen by The Independent has revealed the number of patients admitted to hospital wards in England has jumped more than 60 per cent in just 10 days.
Patients needing a ventilator has also increased by nearly 51 per cent as hospitals across the north of England and the Midlands report higher levels of Covid-19 patients than in the first wave of the pandemic.
Here’s health correspondent Shaun Lintern’s exclusive report:
The northeast and Yorkshire is now seeing the largest increases in coronavirus patients
Liverpool hospital admissions ‘stabilised’
Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, has said the R value in Liverpool is "well below one at this moment in time".
He said there is a "problem" in Liverpool but that cases in the city have halved and hospital admissions have "stabilised" under the new tiered restrictions.
Gove apologises over tennis and golf confusion
Michael Gove has apologised after suggesting people would be able to play singles tennis or golf in pairs during England's impending national lockdown.
The Cabinet Office minister made the comments during a question-and-answer session with constituents, despite Downing Street insisting it would not change direction over the decision to close golf courses and tennis clubs.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick also confirmed golf and tennis will not be allowed under the new lockdown regulations, but said whole households would be allowed to go for walks with one other person.
Third worried about catching virus at work
According to new research, more than a third of UK workers are still worried about catching coronavirus in their workplace, despite the majority of businesses taking “significant steps” to protect staff.
The study, conducted by independent think tank Resolution Foundation, also suggested low-paid workers are less likely than those on higher wages to voice concerns or to see issues resolved if they are raised. Similarly, younger workers are also less likely to raise a complaint.
Low-paid and younger employees less likely to raise concerns
‘Hope and expectation’ lockdown ends 2 December
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has said it is the government's "hope and expectation" to end new lockdown measures for England on 2 December.
He told BBC Breakfast: "We didn't want to be doing these measures, we wanted to continue the proportionate regionalised approach for as long as possible, but the evidence at the end of last week was very stark with respect to NHS capacity in particular, that we would see hospitals being overwhelmed within a couple of weeks.
"If these measures have the effect that we hope and expect them to have, then we will be exiting them on the second of December, we will return to the tiered approach at that point, and so we'll be looking 'what does the data say about different parts of the country', and able to ease restrictions accordingly at that point in time."
Sturgeon calls for clarity over furlough extension
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for clarity after housing secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News chancellor Rishi Sunak will review whether to extend the furlough scheme on 2 December.
Prime minister Boris Johnson had earlier said the scheme would be available to other parts of the UK, now and in the future, if they implement measures requiring it.
Jenrick sows confusion over new rules
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick appeared to contradict himself on whether households can meet outdoors with one other person under new restrictions in England from Thursday.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Jenrick suggested households could go for a walk with one other person and was questioned on this.
Host Louise Minchin said: "I think I heard you say that outside you can be one household, plus one other person, is that what you meant and is that right?"
Mr Jenrick replied: "Yes, that's right."
Ms Minchin said: "So a family could go for a walk, with for example, a friend."
The Housing Secretary answered yes.
However, when Ms Minchin pressed him, asking whether this applied to four people and one person, Mr Jenrick said: "Yes, so you can go out in your own household, or with one other person."
Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, and a government adviser on life sciences, has welcomed moves to extend regular Covid testing in Liverpool to the whole city.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I hesitate to use the word game-changer because it gets over-used, but it is a significant step forward in the testing arena."
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