The UK has reported 7,434 new cases of Covid-19, the lowest number of daily infections in almost five months.
The number of cases is the lowest reported since 2 October, when there were 6,968 new infections.
Coronavirus hospital admissions are also at their lowest levels in England since October, NHS figures show.
The most recent data shows 874 people in England were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 on 24 February. That is the lowest daily total since 19 October, and a drop of 79 per cent from the peak of 4,134 reported on 12 January.
The UK’s current R rate is estimated to range between 0.6 and 0.9, unchanged from last week.
A further 290 people had died within 28 days of a positive test as of Saturday, bringing the national death toll to 122,705.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 143,000 deaths involving coronavirus in the UK.
A total of 19,682,048 people have now received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, Public Health England said.
In Wales alone, more than 38 per cent of the adult population have received a first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca jab in the 12 weeks since the rollout of the country’s vaccination programme.
The figures came as Boris Jonhson rejected suggestions that remote working would become the norm, and predicted workers would return to offices “in a few short months”.
Meanwhile, the government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) warned good communication with the public is critical to prevent people from abandoning social distancing measures after being vaccinated.
The scientists fear false perceptions of immunity could lead to an increase in people breaching the rules.
“As restrictions change, messaging should be careful to ensure that the importance of continued adherence to protective measures is well explained,” Sage said.
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