Britain on Wednesday announced another 1,564 virus fatalities, a daily record and the first time the death count has passed 1,500 in a 24-hour period during the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest figures take the number of deaths to 84,767, among the highest in Europe alongside Italy.
Meanwhile the UK registered another 47,525 new infections — a drop on the same day last week, when health officials recorded 62,322 cases.
The total number of cases since the crisis began early last year climbed to 3,211,576.
England is in the midst of its third national lockdown, with schools shuttered and people ordered to stay at home, as a more contagious virus variant has contributed to a surge in cases in recent months.
Similar restrictions are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where devolved administrations are in charge of health policies.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers Wednesday that, although it was “early days”, the latest round of lockdown measures and the regional tiered restrictions that preceded them were “starting to show signs of some effect”.
But the government has warned it will start to get tough with people flouting stay-at-home restrictions, with evidence some are ignoring the measures.
Johnson has set a target of having 15 million of the elderly and most vulnerable people vaccinated by mid-February, as a way of getting the country back to normality.
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