THE UK’S daily Covid cases have today passed 9,000 for the first time since February.
A whopping 9,055 new cases have been reported today – giving a total of 4,589,814 since the beginning of the pandemic.
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Cases are rising despite the UK’s vaccine pushCredit: LNP
It is the highest number of cases reported in a day since February 25 – when 9,985 more people tested positive for the killer bug.
Today’s figures also show a further nine people have lost their lives, bringing the total death toll to 127,926.
The numbers are soaring despite the UK’s huge vaccine push – with 30.4 million people having now received two doses.
In the last 24 hours alone a further 420,699 Covid vaccinations have been reported across the UK.
It comes as…
In less than a month the strain has become dominant in almost every authority in England, making up at least half of the infections there.
As a nationwide picture, officials say the strain accounts for 96 per cent of new cases.
And new stats also revealed the UK has the highest daily rate of Covid infections in Europe.
Covid rules, like face masks could be in place for monthsCredit: AFP
But Matt Hancock today insisted Freedom Day will NOT be delayed beyond July 19.
The Health Secretary confirmed that Covid regulations and laws would be extended until midnight on July 18.
The laws would then fall away – meaning the end of masks on trains and buses, and fines for not covering up.
It’s not yet clear if they will have to be kept in other places like shops, or indoor venues.
Mr Hancock told MPs in the House of Commons this afternoon: “The regulations themselves, we put this pause in affect by amending the expiry date, so they expire at midnight on the evening of 18 July.
“We also need to align the dates on several other Covid regulations which are essential for keeping us safe… for face coverings on public transport, the regulations which give powers to manage local outbreaks… and the regulations that give local authorities the powers to enforce Covid secure measures for businesses.
“These will all be extended until midnight on the 18 July.
“We don’t want to extend these regulations a day longer than we have to.”
Boris Johnson is braced for the embarrassment of relying on Sir Keir Starmer to ram his Freedom Day delay past mutinous Conservative rebels in Parliament tonight.
Meanwhile, Brits can download vaccine passports from today as part of plans to unlock capacity crowds at major sporting events – and eventually foreign holidays.
A new “NHS Covid Pass” has now been made available on mobile phones and allows people to provide proof they’ve been fully vaccinated.
Those who have yet to receive the jab can also upload evidence of a recent negative test or antibodies from having the virus in the past six months.
The NHS app has been modified to make create the groundbreaking new digital documents, which could be used to enter mass events in future.
It will first be deployed at major pilot events including the Wimbledon tennis championships and Euro 2020 football games.