The UK has recorded 46,558 new COVID-19 cases and 96 more coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data.
It is the highest number of fatalities since 24 March when 98 were reported.
The new figures compare with 39,950 new cases and 19 deaths announced on Monday, and 36,660 cases and 50 deaths which were recorded this time last week.
According to the latest data, 745 COVID patients were admitted to hospital on 14 July, and 4,500 were admitted in the last seven days, a weekly rise of 38.4%.
Some 35,670 people had their first jab on Monday, meaning that 46,349,709 have now received at least one COVID vaccination shot in the UK.
Another 143,560 people had their second shot yesterday, so 36,243,287 people are now fully inoculated.
It follows the easing of most coronavirus restrictions in England on Monday.
However, in a bid to try and increase vaccine uptake in younger people, the government has announced that anyone wanting to attend “crowded venues” like nightclubs from the end of September will need to have proof that they are fully vaccinated.
And it has now been revealed that more than one million children in England were absent from school last week due to the coronavirus.
Data released by the Department for Education showed that around 14.3% of all pupils in state-funded schools were absent from class on 15 July – a total of 1.05 million.
Of these, 773,700 pupils were self-isolating due to possible contact with a case of coronavirus from inside school, while 160,300 pupils were self-isolating after possibly coming into contact with a COVID-19 case outside school.
Health experts are encouraging people to get vaccinated and follow sensible precautions, even after the ending of restrictions in England.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said: “The past 18 months have been tough on us all. Now restrictions have lifted many of us want to get back to doing what we enjoy most.
“However, we must do so with caution and remain sensible. We are in a wave of infections that has seen an increase of over 40% in the past week, there is still a risk of severe illness for many people.
“We can all reduce the risk by getting both doses of the vaccine, testing ourselves twice a week at home and spending more time outside or in well ventilated rooms. Let’s all remain vigilant.”
The government has reinforced the need for people to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and been pinged by the NHS COVID app.
A rising number of people having to isolate due to being “pinged” has led to the creation of a system where employers can apply for an exemption if their workers are flagged as needing to quarantine.
The prime minister’s spokesman said it could include certain workers in the food industry, utilities, border staff and the NHS, but there is no blanket exemption for sectors.
World News || Latest News || U.S. News