The UK has reported 15,810 new COVID cases and another 18 coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period.

The figures compare with16,703 infections and 21 deaths announced yesterday, and 10,476 cases and 11 deaths this time last week.

Meanwhile, another 221,534 people had their first dose of a COVID vaccine yesterday, while 177,813 received their second jab.

It means a total of 43,877,861 first jabs have been administered in the UK, while 32,085,916 people have been fully vaccinated.

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England’s coronavirus reproduction number – or R value – has stayed the same at between 1.2 and 1.4, latest estimates show.

It means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 14 other people.

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Earlier it was revealed cases of the Delta variant of COVID have risen 46% in a week across the UK, with 35,204 new infections.

The variant first identified in India now comprises 95% of all sequenced cases in the UK, Public Health England (PHE) said.

Forty-two of the latest cases were the new Delta plus variant, which is thought to be more transmissible than the original Delta variant.

All of England’s lockdown restrictions were due to be lifted earlier this week but Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay due to a rise in COVID cases.

The remaining restrictions are now expected to be scrapped on 19 July, with a review due to take place to see if action can be taken two weeks sooner on 5 July.

The PM said on Monday it is “looking good” for 19 July to be the “terminus point” for England’s restrictions, but played down the prospect of measures being lifted early.