Nearly 14,000 more people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, as millions are placed under new lockdown restrictions.
A further 13,972 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus had been recorded in the UK as of 9am Monday, the Department of Health said. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 617,688.
The Government also said a further 50 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 42,875.
It came as Boris Johnson announced a new three-tier local lockdown alert system to be imposed from Wednesday, carrying some of the toughest curbs seen since the national lockdown in March.
The Liverpool City Region, home to around 1.6 million people, is the first to be hit area to be deemed a “very high” risk area, with pubs, bars, gyms, leisure centres and casinos forced to close for four weeks.
Meanwhile, three Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate have been put on standby to cope with surging hospitalisations, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
Figures show there were 3,665 Covid-19 patients in hospital in England as of Monday, up from 2,593 a week ago, while 426 of these were in ventilation beds, up from 331 a week ago.
A total of 515 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England on Saturday — the most recent daily figure available — compared with 386 a week earlier.
The North West has the highest number, with 177 Covid-19 patients admitted on Saturday and 1,244 in hospital – up from 889 a week earlier – and 132 of these in ventilator beds.
The North East and Yorkshire is second highest for Covid-19 hospitalisations, with 145 admitted on Saturday and 999 in hospital – up from 656 a week ago – and 104 on ventilators.
London hospitals, by comparison, recorded 51 new admissions on Saturday and 361 total, 65 of these in ventilator beds.
Nottingham is the worst-affected hotspot, with a total of 2,777 new cases recorded in the seven days to October 9 – the equivalent of 834.2 cases per 100,000 people. Knowsley in Merseyside has the second-highest Covid-19 infections in England with 656.9 per 100,000.
Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS England national medical director, said the three field hospitals had been “mobilised” “mobilised” to a “higher state of alert and readiness”, as deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam warned of a “marked increase” in infections spreading across the country.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 58,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The Prime Minister announced in the Commons on Monday that England will be placed into “medium”, “high” and “very high” alert levels under new coronavirus restrictions.
Areas listed as medium will be subject to the same rules as those which currently apply across the country, such as the rule of six and the 10pm hospitality curfew.
In the high alert level, which will apply to most of the areas already subject to restrictions, mixing between households or support bubbles will be banned indoors.
The very high alert level will apply to areas causing the most concern, and social mixing will be prohibited both indoors and in private gardens.
Pubs and bars will close unless they can operate as a restaurant, and people will be advised against travel in and out of the areas. Schools, non-essential retail and universities will remain open in all levels.