Sunday 20 September 2020 5:27 pm

Coronavirus: UK cases jump by 3,899 as lockdown looms

Confirmed cases of coronavirus rose by 3,899 in the UK today while authorities recorded a further 18 deaths.

The figures come after cases jumped by 4,422 yesterday — the highest daily count since May — taking the country’s overall total to 394,257 since the pandemic began.

The official death toll now stands at 41,777.

Read more: Hancock threatens new coronavirus restrictions if people flout rules

These figures, released by Public Health England, are based on deaths of people who had tested positive for the virus and died within 28 days.

Health secretary Matt Hancock today said the UK had reached a “tipping point” as cases skyrocketed in recent weeks, prompting local lockdowns across the country.

“The nation faces a tipping point and we have a choice,” Hancock told Sky News. “The choice is either that everybody follows the rules… or we will have to take more measures.”

London is potentially next on the list for renewed lockdown rules, with mayor Sadiq Khan today warning the capital is just ‘days away’ from fresh enforcement.

He is expected to recommend that the government advise Londoners to work from home in the next week, and impose restrictions on bars and restaurants.

Read more: Only a fortnight left until UK coronavirus crisis ‘out of control’, experts warn

On Friday the Independent Sage committee of scientists that advises the government recommended it implement emergency measures across the country, with only a fortnight until the virus becomes “out of control” in the UK.

These included suspending all indoor seating, imposing an operating curfew on shops and restaurants between 10pm and 5am, and only allowing people back into the office once it had been certified Covid-safe.

The government today announced a new package support and enforce self-isolation, including £500 for those on low incomes.