There have been more than 300,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and over 43,000 people have died, government figures show.
However, these numbers only include people who have been tested, and the total number of deaths relating to coronavirus is likely to be higher.
Latest figures from the Office For National Statistics (ONS) show that the weekly number of recorded deaths has returned to close to normal levels for the time of year.
Death certificates mentioning the virus suggest there had been more than 53,000 deaths by 12 June, according to ONS figures.
When looking at deaths over and above the expected number for this time of year, the toll rises to more than 65,000 by the same date.
Some of these deaths are likely to include people with undiagnosed coronavirus or those who died as an indirect result of the pandemic.
Coronavirus accounted for about 11% of all deaths in the UK in the week to 12 June, according to death registration data – a drop from 14% the previous week.
In the week to 17 April, when deaths from the virus reached their peak, this figure was just under 40%.
Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:
Note: Public health bodies may occasionally revise cases in their area down. In Northern Ireland, tests by commercial partners are included as well as Department of Health and Social Care laboratories from 25 June.
Downward trend in daily deaths continues
The new coronavirus, which causes the disease Covid-19, was first confirmed in the UK at the end of January, but the number of daily confirmed cases and related deaths only began to increase significantly by the second half of March.
The UK has the highest official death toll in Europe and the third highest in the world, after the US and Brazil. However, the government and many experts say it is too soon to make international comparisons.
On Thursday, the government announced a further 149 deaths.
The majority of the UK’s deaths have been in England, with nearly 39,000 so far – about 90% of the total for the UK.
In Scotland, the official government figure for deaths rose to 2,482 on Thursday, but data on death registrations from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) suggests it had reached nearly 4,119 by 21 June. Both sets of figures show the number of new deaths related to coronavirus in Scotland has been declining for seven weeks.
Wales reported eight more deaths on Thursday, bringing the total to 1,497.
In Northern Ireland the death toll remained at 547.
The most recent figures from the ONS show that the number of reported deaths in the UK for the week to 12 June fell slightly, but still remains 5% above the normal range for the time of year.
What is the R number in the UK?
The “R number” is the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to.
If R is below one, then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, known as Sage, believes the R number across the whole of the UK is currently between 0.7 and 0.9.
The government says England itself is also between 0.7 and 0.9, but slightly higher in the North West, where it’s between 0.7 and 1.0.
The estimate for Scotland is between 0.6 and 0.8. In Northern Ireland, it is between 0.6 and 0.9, while it is between 0.7 and 1.0 in Wales.
The government has said that the R number is one of the most important factors in deciding when lockdown measures can be eased.
New cases level off
The number of newly confirmed cases each day has been falling since a peak in April, but the seven-day rolling average has begun to level off.
Wednesday’s figure of 653 new cases was the lowest daily total since 20 March, before lockdown began, but on Thursday the daily total was back above a thousand. Last week saw figures of between 1,000 and 1,500 cases each day.
The latest ONS estimates suggest that an average of 33,000 people had coronavirus in the community in England, between 31 May and 13 June, excluding cases in hospitals and care homes.
However, the UK’s coronavirus alert level was downgraded from four to three last week, after the country’s chief medical officers said there had been a steady decrease in cases in all four nations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced further measures relaxing the lockdown in England on Tuesday. From 4 July, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen, as will hairdressers, hotels and camp sites.
Where it is not possible to remain two metres apart, a “one metre plus” rule will be introduced and additional measures may need to be taken, like the wearing of face coverings, to reduce the risk of infection.
Northern Ireland will be the first to reduce social distancing from two metres.
The Stormont Executive has agreed to move to a one-metre minimum rule from Monday 29 June, though businesses will be expected to put measures in place to reduce the chances of infection and customers are being advised to wear masks. The reopening of various types of business will be staggered with betting shops reopening first from 3 July.
In Scotland, people will be allowed to meet up with two other households indoors from 10 July. Pubs, restaurants hairdressers and holiday accommodation can re-open from 15 July.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the measures on Wednesday, saying “real sustained progress” had been made in suppressing coronavirus in Scotland.
Wales is to review the evidence for relaxing the two-metre social distancing rule and the Welsh Government has promised a “rapid review” to consider a phased reopening of pubs, restaurants and other venues.
Cases were originally concentrated in London, the Midlands and the North West, but Wales and parts of Scotland and the North East of England have also seen a high proportions of cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has raised the possibility that there could be “local lockdowns” in the future to control the spread of the virus.
Testing now available to more people
The UK exceeded its target to increase testing capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of May.
However, the UK Statistics Authority has criticised how the data has been presented, saying the aim appeared to be to show “the largest possible number of tests, even at the expense of understanding”.
Matt Hancock has said he would look at ways the information could be “improved”.
The government announced there were 167,023 tests processed or posted in the 24 hours to 09:00 on Thursday. This figure does not represent the number of people tested, as some are tested more than once.
At least two million people have been tested for coronavirus in the UK – but the government has been unable to provide an updated figure for the total number of people tested since 22 May.
Who is most at risk from coronavirus?
Most recorded coronavirus deaths have been among the elderly, with NHS England figures showing more than half of deaths have been among people aged over 80.
The disease appears to disproportionally affect men in their 50s and 60s, and the death rate for men outstrips women across all age ranges.
People with underlying health conditions are also at greater risk regardless of age.
Research by Public Health England (PHE) has found that people from ethnic minorities have a much higher risk of dying from coronavirus than people of white British ethnicity. But it is still not clear why – the study did not take into account occupations or obesity, which are also known to be high risk factors.
Another study found that South Asian people were the most likely to die from coronavirus after being admitted to hospital. It is the only ethnic group to have a raised risk of death in hospital, which researchers believe is partly due to high levels of diabetes.
The study, which involved universities and public health bodies across the UK, says ethnicity may now need to be considered alongside age and other health issues when deciding who gets a vaccine, if one becomes available.
The most deprived parts of England and Wales have been hit twice as hard by coronavirus as wealthier areas, according to the ONS. Urban areas were worse affected than rural areas and London had significantly more deaths from coronavirus per 100,000 people than any other region, when standardised for age.
Most hospitals seeing fewer coronavirus patients
The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has been gradually declining since a peak over Easter.
On Thursday, the government said the number of people in hospital with coronavirus had fallen to 4,186 – down from 4,837 the same time last week.
However, the picture is different across the UK’s nations and regions, with numbers falling faster in some areas than others.