A further 2,948 people have tested positive for coronavirus. (See 4.34pm.) The figure falls only slightly short of the 2,988 cases reported on Sunday - itself the highest daily total since May.
The increase has occurred even though cases reported on Sundays and Mondays are generally lower than the rest of the week due to lower levels of testing over the weekend and reporting delays.
While the number of tests carried out has risen over time since Covid-19 first reached the UK, experts have previously said the increase in testing does not fully explain the recent rise in cases.
The uptick comes as reports grow of people being advised to take long journeys to get a coronavirus test.
On Sunday Prof Gabriel Scally, a former NHS regional director of public health for the south-west said the government had “lost control of the virus”. He said:
It’s no longer small outbreaks they can stamp on. It’s become endemic in our poorest communities and this is the result. It’s extraordinarily worrying when schools are opening and universities are going to be going back.
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The reopening of a south-east London school has been delayed for 10 days after a member of staff was found to be infected with coronavirus.Trinity Church of England school in Lewisham, which takes pupils from reception to GCSE, had been due to reopen on Monday morning. It will now not reopen to pupils until 17 September at the earliest.
A letter to parents published on the school’s website suggests that a number of staff have been advised to self-isolate after coming into contact with a colleague who later came down with Covid-19.
Dozens of other schools across England and Wales have reported coronavirus outbreaks, prompting some to close. My colleagues Sarah Marsh and Amy Walker have a roundup here.
Concern continues to grow that a local lockdown might have to be imposed in Caerphilly, south Wales, following a “significant rise” in Covid-19 infections. Visits to care homes have been prohibited and a class of 21 pupils from a primary school, St Gwladys, have been told to isolate for 14 days.
Dr Giri Shankar, of Public Health Wales, said:
We are concerned about the significant rise in positive coronavirus cases in the Caerphilly area in recent days.
It is absolutely vital that everyone in the community abides by social distancing measures – that is, by self-isolating when asked to do so, keeping 2 metres away from others outside your household, and washing hands regularly.
Shankar appealed to everyone in the Caerphilly area to use the local testing unit at the leisure centre in the town if they had “even the mildest” of Covid-19 symptoms or were feeling unwell “with no explanation”.
Meanwhile, the Welsh government has committed more than £2.3m to provide free face coverings for all learners in secondary school and further education colleges.
The education minister, Kirsty Williams, said: “It is vital children and young people, parents and the education workforce feel confident that all measures are being taken to protect them as they return to schools and colleges.”
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