HERE are the key coronavirus updates from the last 24-hours. 

  • A further 224 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, as of Friday. This brings the UK total to 44,571. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 59,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
  • The Government said that, as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 20,530 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 830,998.
  • Separate Government figures show there were 6,518 Covid-19 patients in hospital in England on Friday, up from 4,647 a week ago, while 601 were in ventilation beds, up from 482 a week ago. A total of 997 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England on Wednesday, the latest figure available, compared with 706 a week earlier.
  • People may be able to celebrate Christmas “as a family” this year, Downing Street has said. A Number 10 spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “The PM has been clear previously that he is hopeful that in many ways we could be able to get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas. As I say, we’ve been clear about the ambition to ensure that people may celebrate Christmas as a family this year.”
  • The ONS said that there had been a rise in the estimated percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus in most regions over the last two weeks with the exception of the South West. A total of three regions have positivity rates above 1 per cent – the North-East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. While the rates in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber continue to grow, the trend in the North-East was showing early indications of a levelling off, but with a rate over 1 per cent, the ONS added.
  • There were an average of 35,200 new cases per day of Covid-19 in private households in England between October 10 and 16, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is up from an estimated 27,900 new cases per day for the period from October 2 to 8. The ONS said the rate of new infections has continued to increase in recent weeks. The figures do not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.