The number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 in the UK has risen to its highest level for nearly two months.
A total of 1,378 patients were in hospital on June 20, according to the latest Government figures.
This is up 21 per cent from the previous week, and is the highest since April 29.
It is also up 58 per cent from the 870 patients recorded on May 27, which was the lowest number since the second wave of the virus.
The figures are still well below those recorded at the peak of the second wave, however.
A total of 39,254 Covid-19 patients were in hospital on January 18 – the highest at any point since the pandemic began.
The figures come as the average number of daily reported cases of Covid-19 in the UK topped 10,000 for the first time since late February.
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday morning – before the latest figures on hospital patients and cases were announced – Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the data was “looking encouraging” for July 19, when coronavirus restrictions are expected to be further eased in England.
“We will watch vigilantly and we will look at the data, in particular at the start of next week,” he added.
Separate figures show the number of hospital admissions of Covid-19 patients in the UK stood at 225 on June 16.
This is up 21 per cent week-on-week, and is almost three times the post-second wave low of 78 admissions on May 16.
The last time daily admissions were higher than 225 was more than two months ago, on April 7.