The country has suffered its deadliest day since the coronavirus pandemic began with 1,325 more Covid fatalities reported.

And a record-high number of new coronavirus cases have been recorded today with 68,053 new infections. 

The Government said a further 1,325 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Friday – the highest number of UK deaths reported on a single day since the outbreak began.

It brings the UK total to 79,833.

The figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data and will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 95,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Friday, there had been a further 68,053 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,957,472.

Dr William Welfare, director for the Covid-19 response at Public Health England, said: "Each life lost to this virus is a tragedy, but sadly we can expect the death toll to continue to rise until we stop the spread.

"Approximately one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it. To protect our loved ones it is essential we all stay at home where possible. This will reduce new infections, ease the pressure on the NHS and save lives."

SAGE estimates the R rate may be between 1.0 and 1.4 - in a sign the outbreak is still growing.