The UK has reported another 27,989 coronavirus cases – the highest number since the end of January.
The last time cases were this high was on 29 January, when there were 29,079. But on that day there were 1,245 COVID-related deaths reported, compared to 22 on Thursday.
On Wednesday, 26,068 cases and 14 deaths were reported, and there were 16,703 and 21 this time last week.
Figures also show another 141,216 people have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and a further 175,749 have had their second jab.
A total of 44,860,978 people in the UK have had at least one shot, while 33,048,199 are fully vaccinated.
New data from NHS Test and Trace showed that last month the number of weekly cases recorded in England hit its highest level since mid-February.
A total of 79,248 people tested positive in the week up to 23 June, the highest since the week up to 17 February.
Another set of data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday showed an estimated 385,000 people in private households in the UK have experienced long COVID lasting for at least a year.
This is 376,000 more than a month ago, with those aged 35 to 69 most likely to report the condition.
Long COVID is defined as symptoms persisting for more than one month after a person’s first suspected infection.
On 19 July, England will move to the final stage of the government’s lockdown exit plan, when all of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions are due to be lifted.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said two jabs of a COVID vaccine will be a “liberator” for people wanting to travel abroad this summer.
He announced details of the government’s plan will be revealed in the “next few days”.
During a visit to a Nissan plant in Sunderland, the prime minister said: “I am very confident that the double jabs will be a liberator and they will enable people to travel.
“We’ll be setting out a lot more about the detail of that in the course of July and in the course of the next few days – about how we see it working.”