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It brings the total number of positive Covid test results in Britain to 439,013 with 42,001 fatalities overall.

But while the number is slightly lower than recent days, authorities remain concerned over the increasing number of people testing positive. 

In Wales, 286 infections were reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases there to 23,231.

Scotland recorded 222 more infections today, meaning 27,798 Scots have also now caught the bug.

Today’s rise in deaths is slightly greater than last week’s rise in the UK, when 11 fatalities were logged.

In England, 10 more deaths were confirmed today, bringing the total number of fatalities in English hospitals to 29,918.

The patients, who died between September 24 and September 27, were aged between 60 and 97 and all had underlying health conditions.

No new deaths were reported in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, leaving the respective tallies there at 1,612, 2,512 and 578.

It comes as ministers prepare emergency plans to enforce a total social lockdown across parts of northern Britain for two weeks – and London could follow, it has been reported.

All pubs and restaurants could be ordered to shut for a fortnight and different households banned from socialising indoors under the emergency plan.

The social lockdown was an option presented to the Cabinet’s strategy committee before last week’s fresh restrictions, which included a 10pm curfew bars and restaurants.

The Times reports the government held back from implementing the plan fearing the public was not ready for such draconian restrictions.

A senior Number 10 source said: “The nation and the party wasn’t ready for us to go any further last week.

“Unlike the first lockdown, nobody has seen pictures of body bags in Spain or France on the TV yet, which had a very powerful effect. You have to take people with you.

“Tougher measures on social interaction will have to come though. They’re inevitable in some parts if you look at the numbers.”

Critics have said the current 10pm curfew is doing ‘more harm than good’ as boozers were videoed partying to a brass band after the strict new measures see thousands of people turned out of bars at the same time.

Dr Flavio Toxvaerd, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Cambridge, blasted the consequences of the new rule as “completely predictable” – and says pubs should be open for longer, with staggered leaving times.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Create a bottleneck and people will crowd together… could have learned this from other countries.”

Meanwhile, Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, says the drinking deadline is pushing crowds into supermarkets and off-licences for more alcohol to drink on the streets.

Mr Burnham has called for a 9pm curfew on buying all booze to stop house parties – and said: “Perhaps if there was a 9pm curfew on sale of alcohol in supermarkets and shops, that would prevent the rush to shops once the pubs have closed.”

I’ve a £5k stockpile in my spare room – I’ve swept shelves & it’ll last til Feb

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News – UK coronavirus cases rise by 4,044 with 13 more deaths as infection numbers drop for the first time in two weeks