The UK has recorded the highest number of daily coronavirus cases in nearly two months.
In the 24 hours up to 9am on Tuesday, a further 1,148 confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported – the highest number since 1,221 new cases were announced on 21 June.
A total of 312,789 cases have been confirmed in the UK since the beginning of the pandemic.
New cases were at their lowest at the beginning of July and have crept up since then – although recent data had suggested new infections were levelling off.
Public Health England said there will likely not be an update on deaths on Tuesday because of “technical difficulties with data processing”.
It follows an urgent review into the death count after Oxford University academics warned officials could be “exaggerating” the figures.
They found a recovered patient might be recorded as dying from the virus “even if they were run over by a bus three months later”.
There are some fears the UK could be heading for a second wave following a spike in cases in some European countries, causing the prime minister to put the brakes on a further lockdown easing.
The UK’s R number – which shows how many people an infected person is transmitting the virus to on average – has risen slightly in the latest figures.
It went up to an estimated range of 0.8-1.0 on Friday, compared with 0.8-0.9 the previous week.
England’s rate remained the same at 0.8-1, but the government’s scientific advisory group (SAGE) has warned it is “no longer confident” the number is below the crucial value of one.
Meanwhile, the R number had climbed in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, London, the northeast and Yorkshire, and the Midlands.
Despite this, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in private households in England and Wales has started to level off, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The study found an estimated 28,300 people had coronavirus in the week of 27 July to 2 August.
This is the equivalent of about 0.05% of the population, or one in 1,900 people, and does not include those who tested positive in care homes and hospitals.
Although the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus had risen since the end of June, the ONS said the evidence now points to this trend levelling off.