UK reports another 27,429 coronavirus cases and 39 deaths

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: An NHS sign sits on the outside of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital on January 3, 2018 in London, England. Hospitals in the UK have been advised to postpone all non-urgent operations until the end of January as the NHS struggles to cope with the surge in patients over the winter period. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Another 27,429 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the UK, according to the government’s latest daily figures.

They also show a further 39 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, taking the total figure to 130,320 since the start of the pandemic.

On Saturday, 28,612 new infections and 103 deaths were reported, and this time last week the figures were 24,470 cases and 65 deaths.

England’s R number fell to between 0.8 and 1.1 in latest estimates this week, suggesting the pandemic could be shrinking. It means on average every 10 people infected with the virus will go on to infect between eight and 11 others.

Last week, it was estimated at between 1.1 and 1.4.

The figures come as hopes of a summer getaway were given a boost on Sunday with an expansion of the government’s green travel list – and the return of France to the regular amber category.

After a spell on the so-called “amber plus” list, France’s move back to amber means fully vaccinated travellers returning to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland no longer need to quarantine.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are moving from red to amber, whilst Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Romania and Norway are going green.

Meanwhile, data published from Public Health England earlier this week found that a third of patients currently in hospital have already received two doses of the vaccine.

To encourage more people to get vaccinated, a new government campaign is urging young people to get their jabs or risk missing out “on the good times”.

SAGE government adviser Professor John Edmunds said further lockdowns may not be required despite a potential autumn wave of cases due to restrictions easing.

Professor Edmunds told Times Radio on Saturday he was “cautiously optimistic” that another lockdown would not be needed to bring cases under control.