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UK reports over 40,000 daily coronavirus cases, highest since January

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Britain reported another 42,302 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, the highest since mid-January, according to official figures released Wednesday.

The country also recorded another 49 coronavirus-related deaths. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

The British government has confirmed that most COVID-19 restrictions in England will end on July 19 as part of the final step or Step Four of England’s roadmap out of the lockdown.

However, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has asked Transport for London (TfL) to keep the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport as a condition of travel on all TfL services after July 19.

“By keeping face masks mandatory we will give Londoners and visitors the reassurance and confidence to make the most of what our city has to offer, while also protecting our heroic transport workers and those who may be vulnerable and rely on the network to get around our city,” said Khan in a statement released on Wednesday.

Scientists have warned that lifting all restrictions at this stage could increase the likelihood of dangerous variants.

Earlier Wednesday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said two-thirds of adults across Britain have now had two jabs of COVID-19 vaccine. “We have beaten our target by almost a week — this is a huge achievement,” said Javid on Twitter.

The latest official data showed that more than 46 million people have now received the first vaccine dose and more than 35 million have received the second.

Also on Wednesday, the Welsh government announced that local COVID-19 restrictions will be further eased from Saturday. But the requirement of wearing face masks on public transport and in most indoor public places will still be in place.

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