Monday 22 June 2020 3:08 pm

UK coronavirus deaths rise by lowest level since lockdown began

The UK has recorded a further 15 deaths from coronavirus, marking the lowest daily increase since the beginning of lockdown.

The Department for Health recorded 15 fatalities in the 24 hours up to 5pm yesterday, bringing the total UK death toll from the virus to 42,647.

The figure marks the lowest daily increase since 15 March — more than a week before the lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson — in a sign that the UK is well over the peak of the virus and beginning to see signs of recovery.

The Department for Health added that 958 people tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday, bringing the total number of Brits who have now tested positive for coronavirus to more than 305,000.

However, statistics published on Sundays and Mondays tend to be lower due to a lag in processing the weekend’s data, while figures published on Tuesdays are often much higher as data catches up with reality.

Almost 140,000 tests were distributed yesterday, as the government rolled out its new “no-swab” saliva tests in Southampton.

NHS figures showed that patients killed by the virus in the past 24 hours were mostly aged between 55 and 98. The east of England reported no deaths yesterday, while London recorded just one.

Scotland has reported no new coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, while Wales recorded one further death, bringing the total to 1,478. Northern Ireland is yet to report its figures. 

It comes as the government prepares to relax the two-metre social distancing rule in a bid to boost the economy and revitalise the hospitality industry.

Johnson is set to announce further relaxations of social distancing measures to be implemented from 4 July tomorrow, following a Covid-19 Committee meeting with scientific advisers this evening.