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Latest daily figures show 341 further Covid-19 deaths and another 19, 875 cases

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 21/11/2020 Luke O'Reilly
a group of people walking down the street: Families could be allowed to meet for up to a week over ChristmasPA © Provided by Evening Standard

Families could be allowed to meet for up to a week over Christmas

PA

A further 341 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded along with another 19, 875 cases,  daily figures released by the government show.

The latest figuresbrings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,493,383 and the total death toll to 54,626.

It comes following reports that coronavirus measures could be eased around the UK for the Christmas period, with families able to mix in bubbles.

However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street briefing on Friday it was still too early to say what contact people will be able to have over the festive period.

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More on coronavirus:

Download the Microsoft News app for full coverage of the crisis

National lockdown: New rules explained (The Independent)

Opinion: Instead of leading from front, PM forced to act (Sky)

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Earlier this week, Public Health England said Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) guidance had suggested each day of greater freedom could require five days of tighter measures.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson acknowledged the frustration of people self-isolating due to coronavirus and thanked them for their “incredibly important” actions.

The Prime Minister posted a video update online from Downing Street, where he himself continues to isolate, and joked that he had finally been “put under house arrest”.

“Bear in mind what you are doing is incredibly important because that is how we are going to break the chain of transmission, stop the disease, get the R down as I believe we are doing at the moment and get it under control,” he said.

The Scottish Government announced 37 more deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours as Level 4 restrictions were put in place in 11 local authorities.

Gallery: Coronavirus outbreak around the world (Photo Services)

Positive cases also rose by 887, increasing the positivity rate to 5.9 per cent.

In total, 3,496 people have died after having tested positive for the virus in the previous 28 days, while 87,517 positive cases have been reported in Scotland since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Department of Health said a further 10 people with Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland. The death toll recorded by the department now stands at 923.

There were also another 357 confirmed cases of the virus recorded in the last 24-hour reporting period.

A total of 49,442 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the pandemic began.

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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