The UK has recorded a further 335 Covid related deaths within 28 days of a positive test on Thursday.
By comparison, 398 Covid related deaths were recorded on Wednesday – the highest total in 11 months.
Wednesday’s number was the highest figure since February last year when 442 deaths were reported.
There were 109,133 Covid cases reported in the latest 24-hour period.
Some 129,587 positive infections were recorded a day earlier.
Thursday’s figures compare to the 231 deaths and 179,756 infections recorded this time last week.
A total of 52,031,355 first doses of a COVID vaccine have so far been administered in the UK, latest government figures show.
This is a rise of 19,520 on the previous day.
Around 47,804,588 second doses have been delivered, an increase of 30,340.
A combined total of 36,079,875 booster and third doses have been given, a day-on-day rise of 126,632.
This means 62.7 per cent of the UK population over the age of 12 has now had a three doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
It comes as the isolation period in England for those who test positive for COVID will be reduced from seven days to five, the health secretary announced.
Revealing the move in a Commons statement, Sajid Javid said data from the UK Health Security Agency shows “around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five” and “we want to use the testing capacity that we’ve built up to help these people leave isolation safely”.
The change will come into effect on Monday.
Individuals will be able to leave their isolation five full days after experiencing symptoms or receiving a positive test result, whichever is first, provided they have negative Covid tests on days five and six.
“These two tests are critical to these balanced and proportionate plans, and I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the capacity we have built up in tests, so we can restore the freedoms to this country while we’re keeping everyone safe,” Mr Javid said.