Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Covid-19: UK reports another 548 coronavirus deaths and 8,489 further cases
23 February 2021, 17:34
The Government has said a further 548 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, with 8,489 people testing positive within the past 24 hours.
It compares to 799 deaths reported last Tuesday, and takes the total up to 121,305.
The estimated R number is 0.6 to 0.9 with a daily infection growth rate range of -6% to -3% as of 19 February 2021.
As of 22 February 2021, the number of people vaccinated with one dose was 17,916,181 and second dose was 642,788.
These daily figures will likely be keenly watched at the Prime Minister and Scotland's First Minister have announced their lockdown roadmaps.
Boris Johnson spoke on Monday about his plan to get life in England back to as close to normal as possible by July, with a four step plan.
In the first step of the "road map", all pupils in England's schools are expected to return to class from March 8, with wider use of face masks and testing in secondaries.
Socialising in parks and public spaces with one other person will also be permitted from that date.A further easing will take place on March 29, when the school Easter holidays begin, with larger groups of up to six people or two households allowed to gather in parks and gardens.
After that, non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality, gyms and hairdressers are set to reopen no earlier than April 12.
No earlier than June 21 will all legal limits on social contact be removed.
Nicola Sturgeon has said shops and other businesses in Scotland may be able to open at the end of April, as she set out her vision on how to relax Covid restrictions.
Ms Sturgeon told MSPs the five-level system, separated by council areas, will return and she hopes those in Level 4 will be able to drop down to Level 3, which would see sectors such as non-essential retail reopen.
Communal worship, a further extension to outdoor mixing, and more freedoms in retail, are then hoped to be put in place from April 5.
Ms Sturgeon added she wanted to avoid "giving false assurance or picking arbitrary dates that have no grounding at this stage in any objective assessment".
She continued: "I am as confident as I can be that the indicative, staged timetable that I have set out today - from now until late April when the economy will start to substantially reopen - is a reasonable one."